Both camps function within a messy hybrid of what we might call transformationalism — a belief that Christians should use political power to make the state and society conform to God’s will for humanity — and dualism — a belief that church and state are separate kingdoms, designed for different work and suited for different behavior.
For Trump supporters, transformationalism ignores the Apostle Paul’s directive against holding non-Christians to Christian moral commitments and produces calls to make America a “Christian nation,” hearkening back to some mythical era when we functioned, nationally, in God’s will. The dualism, meanwhile, permits the “I’m not voting for him to be my Sunday school teacher” line.
For In God We Trump’s ex-vangelicals, transformationalism occasions Maloney’s closing wish that as the political priorities of the Christian left gain traction, “we may, in this country of ours, eventually take care of each other in such a way that we resemble a just and Christian nation. We’ll just have no need to call it that.” And dualism appears, too, not least in the suggestion that abortion and same-sex relationships are inappropriate topics for politics, and evangelicals should keep publicly silent on these points lest they create “an American theocracy.”