As The Economist noted in 2017 (photo credit above), the secret of evangelical support for Donald Trump lies in the prosperity gospel.
The idiocy of the “pastorpreneurs” — or, the prosperity gospel, as lifted straight from the corporate capitalist playbook.
Is anyone detecting a trend?
The Immoral Majority review: how evangelicals backed Trump – and how they might atone, by John S Gardner (The Guardian)
As a scandal-ridden presidency lurches towards impeachment, Ben Howe offers valuable insight into how it came to this
In his new book, Ben Howe attempts to explain something that should never have occurred: why most white evangelicals voting in 2016 chose Donald Trump.
Many observers thought Trump could not win because evangelical Christians could not support someone whose life (and tweeting) was so at odds with their beliefs and practices. Indeed, Trump failed to win a majority of evangelicals in any Super Tuesday primary.
Howe’s subtitle tells the tale: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power over Christian Values.
As Howe notes, “Trump evangelicals are very fond of binary choices”, many of which are in essence “false dilemmas” in which a supposed “greater moral consideration takes precedence”. This “whataboutism” was key. Could one have opposed Trump and Clinton? Of course – and Trump would have lost. Yet, as Howe reminds us, “putting God in one compartment” and politics in another “is clearly out of step with Christian tradition”.
This provides a further clue. Howe writes extensively about the impact of social media and cable news in deepening the political divide in America and intensifying it to fresh levels of vitriol and “hyperbolic outrage”, largely based on the idea of victimization. This had dramatic effects: a spirit of bitterness and a “persecution complex” on the right meant that “ [a]s the clicks came, and the ideas were reinforced through group dynamics, they became even more pronounced. Anger had become a currency.”
Trump promised power. “In the end,” Howe writes, “It’s what many absolutely believe Trump as president has given them.”
Power was one of the temptations the devil offered Jesus. He refused.
This is a deeply introspective, at times anguished book …