Below are a few excerpts from a recent Washington Post article by Julie Sauzmer entitled, “He gets it: Evangelicals aren’t turned off by Trump’s first term,” that help explain evangelical support for Donald Trump.

“Some evangelicals, like Julian Ketchum at Hope Community Church in King of Prussia, Pa., label themselves ‘values voters.’ What they mean by values: abortion and gay rights, not traits like integrity and kindness. ‘There’s no way I can know those” attributes of a person’s character,’ Ketchum said, though he then said he picked Trump over Clinton in part because he found her dishonest.”

“’If you are coming to America and you are in one of our facilities being held, that’s on you,’ said Andrea Owen, a retired police officer who spends most days babysitting her autistic great-nephew. ‘I’m not trying to be hateful because we’re all God’s people. But do it legally. . . . The places they’re housing them? Honestly, if they’re so uncomfortable, they shouldn’t have come here.’”

And here’s the kicker conclusion:

“The accusations of Trump’s shortcomings just keep coming. Opponents decry his attitude toward people of color, his approach to immigrants detained at the border, his answers to violence in American cities, and on and on…

“But in Appleton, WI the Rev. Dennis Episcopo hasn’t felt the need as a religious leader to denounce any of it in front of his congregation, which includes more than 5,000 attendees on a typical Sunday. The mega church that he has led for 22 years is almost entirely white and conservative, like the lakeside region where it is located…

“Episcopo has not seen any behavior from Trump in the past three years that would prompt him to openly dissuade churchgoers from supporting this president. ‘There could be something, where society really crosses the line on something, that I feel as a pastor I have to get up and say something,’ he muses. ‘But it hasn’t happened yet.’”


As soon as I read the article an imaginary story came into my mind. God calls Jesus into the throne room, asks him to sit down, and then hands him this article. Jesus reads it and then looks at God who says, “Son, I just have one question. What the hell did you say to those people when you were down there.”

If I were God, I would certainly wonder how American evangelicals ever came to believe that hypocrisy could be justified on the basis that believing something makes it morally acceptable. Heck, I’d like to know myself.

For all practical purposes that is precisely what the people in this article were saying by their support of Donald Trump. Because they believe he stands with them in their efforts to impose their narrow minded, biblically uniformed moral beliefs on the nation, Trump’s lack of moral character doesn’t matter.

Nor does the fact that he is a racist, or that he abuses babies and children as part of an outrageous immigration policy.

I don’t think this level of hypocrisy is something we have ever seen before in this country. It is absolutely stunning in its boldness and its lack of shame, which leads me to make this suggestion to all Democrats.

FORGET about evangelical Christians in 2020. Trying to listen to them is a colossal waste of time. You cannot take out of a person’s mind with reason what reason didn’t put into it in the first place, so they are hopelessly Trump supporters who would be the first to find a justification were he to shoot someone on 5th Avenue in New York City.

Instead, Democrats need to focus on the rest of us, including Christians who know that evangelicalism is blinded by a long history of anti-intellectualism that leads to unreasonable and at times thoughtless positions on issues.

We who are not evangelical are a different kind of Christian. To us beliefs are easy, but living a life of compassion, justice seeking, and unconditional love requires sacrifice and informed and compassionate compromise.

On the one hand it is sad and also infuriating to hear evangelicals argue that criticizing their beliefs is being intolerant or that requiring them to respect the rights of all Americans is to want to ban them from the country.

But the real truth about evangelicals is that they don’t deserve to be taken seriously theologically, and politically they are on the wrong side of history.

That may not seem to matter now, but it does, both now and in the long term.

That said, since Christians are interested in “good news,” there is good news in all of this.

When we defeat Trump in 2020, we will also defeat evangelicals.

And not only will America be the better for it, we just might even save Jesus from getting into trouble again in heaven.