Donald Trump has always had an interesting relationship with the faith community.
While this author personally believes Donald Trump has done more to help Christians than his prior 5 predecessors combined, he is not necessarily known as a great man of faith.
Yet “evangelical Christians” (what does that term even mean, anyway?) continue to back President Trump in a big way. Bigger than ever before.
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Take a look at this new report, from The Des Moines Register:
To the adherents to the American Renewal Project, there is no doubt that the Creator is on board with the party of Trump, and that in return that party must do more to live up to its godly mandate. That’s why it is encouraging more conservative preachers to stretch beyond the pulpit and campaign for GOP seats.
The evangelical Christian group has organized a road show traveling across the country to encourage and train clergy for public office – a big push that began in 2015, aimed at the 2016 races.
In Kansas City, an event will feature Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley as a special guest. He is running in 2018 to unseat Missouri’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Claire McCaskill.
To get an idea of what the American Renewal Project stands for, consider the road show participants. One is the British expat social critic Os Guinness. In August, Guinness told CBN News that the American church has lost its “saltiness” and professed to be scandalized that Christians, though “a huge majority of Americans,” have “less cultural influence than tiny minorities” such as the LGBTQ population.
American Renewal Project sends a siren call to Republicans who view modernism as an apocalyptic peril. It appeals to religious conservatives who cannot reconcile themselves to marriage equality and are convinced that political correctness has struck down their rights of free speech. Central to the group’s doctrine is the belief that Christianity is under siege in the U.S.
Sen. Ted Cruz, former presidential contender Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are also adherents of the group’s programs.
Among the American Renewal Project’s fellow travelers is the highly debunked evangelical author and activist David Barton of the Texas-based WallBuilders. Barton pushes the theory that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious Christian men and that Congress initially intended for the Bible to be used in public schools.
American Renewal’s founder, David Lane, has been called out for years by the Southern Poverty Law Center, mainly for his anti-LGBTQ stances.
In 2016, evangelicals played a key role in delivering the nation Donald Trump as president. He’s their guy. More than 80 percent of white evangelicals cast their ballots supporting Trump, according to exit polling.
That very fact raises interesting questions about the status of their so-called godliness. Evangelicals (white ones, anyway) apparently felt permitted to ignore Trump’s history as an admitted groper of women, along with other patent indications of personal corruption.
But now Trump is descending into meltdown mode, huffing and puffing in most un-Christian terms on the world stage.
Will evangelicals continue to stand by him?
Even Chad Connelly, the head of faith outreach for the Republican National Committee, threw in the towel. He quit recently, citing an atmosphere that was “disrespectful, antagonistic and unacceptable.”
Certainly, faith and has guided many fine elected officials. But a great many scoundrels have shrouded their iniquity with the cloak of faith. That may fool their coreligionists, but it doesn’t fool others.