President Donald J. Trump captured 81 percent of the evangelical vote on election day. Since then, many political pundits have grappled with the question of how a lecherous and biblically illiterate candidate whose relationship with the truth is casual at best could have done so well with this constituency of alleged “values voters.”
Religious Right groups have argued for a long time that a president has to do more than oversee the economy, direct international relations and run the Executive branch. He or she is also expected to set a moral example. During the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Religious Right groups frequently complained – unfairly, in the view of many Americans – that these two men had failed in that regard.
This weekend, extremely disturbing images emerged from Charlottesville, Va. When we have actual fascists marching in our streets, spreading hate, waving Nazi flags and screaming slogans of rage aimed our neighbors, friends, family members and coworkers, disengagement is not an option. Decent Americans are morally compelled to respond – not with violence but with pledges to support and protect the communities under attack and through reminders to our nation and the world that we are better than this.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a Religious Right group founded to oppose marriage equality. The Supreme Court upheld that concept in 2015, so NOM has closed up shop, right?
Well, no. Since that defeat, NOM has kept busy doing other things – like trying to make the United States more like Russia.
It’s been less than two weeks since President Donald J. Trump and his administration transitioned into power, and chaos and protests over their actions have already erupted.
But one group, in particular, remains mum on criticizing the Trump administration’s words and actions: the Trump-loving Religious Right.
Goodbyes are frequently difficult, but this one seems especially so. After half a decade at Americans United, I am leaving to become the media relations manager for Small Business Majority. I am very excited about my new position. But at the same time I am frightened for the future of the United States and sad that so much work will need to be done in the coming years to defend religious liberty from attacks by the far right.
As I watched the election results come in last week, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. Everyone had gotten it wrong, from research centers to media polls to political pundits. I thought to myself, how could America elect a man who ran a campaign anchored in so much hateful rhetoric?
So I waited for the election data. And when I saw this article from Pew Research Center, I can’t say I was surprised.
The Religious Right tends to dial up its gloom-and-doom predictions every election season in an attempt to scare its base into voting for candidates who will supposedly uphold “biblical values” (or, more likely, the far right’s narrow view of theology). This year is no different, but some religious zealots are taking scare tactics to a new level by suggesting that this could be the last presidential election ever in the United States.