Though 81% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, and rejoiced when he won and rhapsodized that Our Invisible Friend was moving to eradicate the national stain of Barack the Wicked (A nigra!!, and a Moozlim!!), there is a lot of discomfort one year on — and the antics of cartoon characters like Robert Jeffress aren’t helping.
Dr. Jeffress is welcome to speak for himself and if they allow, for his church. But I hope the press will understand that “evangelicalism” is far from monolithic and he is not “the voice of evangelicalism.” He is not the voice of Southern Baptists and does not speak for us (nor do I or any other individual). Please understand, Dr. Jeffress has the right to lift his voice but as a conservative evangelical Christian I beg you to hear me — it is NOT my voice.
Anybody who pays attention to the big evangelical blogs, especially the Southern Baptist blogs, is well aware that Trump’s candidacy was widely seen as an opportunity to project the so-called Conservative Resurgence into our national life, that so-called Movement Conservatism is a reprise of the same impulses that wracked the SBC for 20-years.
In other words, what Trump aims to do to our national life is exactly what Paige Patterson et. al. did to the SBC. The difference is that Trump isn’t acting on a small stage occupied exclusively by sheep reared to blind obedience as an ideal. When Trump tries the bully act that was so effective in the SBC, that is, he gets pushback — and now the bully’s fans are running for cover.
As I said almost immediately after Trump’s election win, this is the end of the Evangelical Right. They voted for a man who explicitly, and repeatedly, promised to impose a religious test as a condition of admittance to the United Stataes; point that out next time you hear mewling about ‘religious freedom.’ They voted for a serial adulterer, liar, and author of countless frauds (Trump University?) — and knew they were doing so; point that out next time the moral preening starts.
There’s no running from the hypocrisy, and I’m enjoying their discomfort.