The Religious Right’s Trump Schism

Oct 24, 2016

By Sarah Posner

Donald J. Trump had already roiled the religious right, casting the Republican Party’s most reliable voting bloc into an abyss of despair, recriminations and uncertainty about the future. Then the 2005 video surfaced of him boasting about his sexual predations and women began coming forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

“The world is getting a glimpse into the dark and rotting core of evangelicalism,” an evangelical with deep roots in the movement told me recently.

The divide — or, more aptly, the crater — between pro-Trump and anti-Trump evangelicals is a window into the future of the Republican Party. White evangelical voters are the heart of the party’s base, the loyal foot soldiers who turn out for the party’s presidential nominee every time. A poll by the Public Religion Research Institute taken in part after the video’s release shows 65 percent of white evangelicals intending to vote for Mr. Trump. That is high enough to be significant, but is relatively low for evangelical voters and the Republican nominee. (For comparison, Mitt Romney, who was viewed with suspicion by many evangelicals because he is Mormon, won the votes of 79 percent of white evangelicals.) Most telling, though, is the significant gender gap: while 72 percent of white evangelical men said they intend to vote for Mr. Trump, only 58 percent of white evangelical women did.


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21 comments on “The Religious Right’s Trump Schism

  • Here’s where the dissonance becomes epic- There’s a Southern Baptist preacher from South Carolina who has his minions on Facebook posting that yes, Trump is evil, but that god has a long history of using evil people to achieve his lofty goals and who are we to question…

    He then ran off a list I wish I had saved but early Israeli master spy Rahab the Harlot led it off. It just doesn’t get any more desperate than that.



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  • rjohn19 #1
    Oct 25, 2016 at 12:54 am

    There’s a Southern Baptist preacher from South Carolina who has his minions on Facebook posting that yes, Trump is evil, but that god has a long history of using evil people to achieve his lofty goals and who are we to question…

    Well yes! I mean Mussolini led Italy to fascist ruin in WW2, but hey! – he set up the Vatican State to “benefit” the world, while those nice American Xtians set up the Mafia to rule extensive areas in exchange for a bit of help with the war effort!



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  • You could hardly think of a worst poster boy for the religious right:
    1. adulterer
    2. married 3 times
    3. accused by 18 women of sexual assaulting them
    4. swindles people and brags about it
    5. avoids taxes and brags about it
    6. mocked a disabled man
    7. selfish to the extreme
    8. pretends to share wealth, but tricks others into give him money in the name of charity (e.g. the 6 foot portrait and the football helmet)
    9. pro choice, but says he is pro life

    I heard one religious right person say “I don’t care about his personal faults, it is what he says he will do that matters”.



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  • “God has a long history of using evil people”

    My hunch is that the pastor didn’t mention some Biblical examples, such as Nebuchadnezzar or Judas, who were used of God much to the chagrin of believers. I nearly agree with some evangelical friends who are arguing that this election is not our last chance as a nation to avoid God’s judgment (this is how it’s often phrased, usually followed by some mention of SCOTUS), but rather this election is God’s judgment. Paraphrasing one of the Reformers (Calvin, I think), when God wants to punish a nation, he sends them evil rulers. I’m starting to be afraid that someone’s going to win this election.



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  • “The world is getting a glimpse into the dark and rotting core of
    evangelicalism,” an evangelical with deep roots in the movement told
    me recently.

    Yes, of course. evangelicalism is definitely rotten to the core. I could never believe in their “god” or the “god” of any other religion without repeatable evidence of that entity’s existence. Also look what they do to human sexuality and evolutionary biology. Evangelicalism is insane crap.



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  • cbrown

    Evangelicalism is insane crap

    Insane, yes! We have a definition of delusion that has a built in loophole for the religiously afflicted (the last line below.) I want that line to be removed in future editions of DSM.

    Definition of delusion from Wiki:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion

    Definition[edit]

    Although non-specific concepts of madness have been around for several thousand years, the psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers was the first to define the three main criteria for a belief to be considered delusional in his 1913 book General Psychopathology.[1] These criteria are:

    certainty (held with absolute conviction)*

    incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary) impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre, or patently untrue)

    [2]
    Furthermore, when a false belief involves a value judgment, it is only considered a delusion if it is so extreme that it cannot be, or never can be proven true. For example: a man claiming that he flew into the sun and flew back home. This would be considered a delusion,

    [3] unless he were speaking figuratively, or if the belief had a cultural or religious source.



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  • [3] unless he were speaking figuratively, or if the belief had a cultural or religious source.

    I suspect Professor Robert Sapolsky might disagree with this. He teaches that religion is precisely where the schizotypal individual may find a congeal and normalising environment.



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  • Thomas #4
    Oct 26, 2016 at 11:50 am

    “God has a long history of using evil people”

    My hunch is that the pastor didn’t mention some Biblical examples, such as Nebuchadnezzar or Judas, who were used of God much to the chagrin of believers.

    The problem with trying to use references to “The NT Bible” for anything, is that gospels were cherry picked by Roman bishops in the 4th. century for the purposes of the Roman empire.
    According to some accounts, Judas was demonised in the writings of rival sects!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Judas

    The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel whose content consists of conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. It is thought to have been composed in the second century by Gnostic Christians, not by the protagonist Judas, since it contains late 2nd century theology. The only copy of it known to exist is a Coptic language text that has been carbon dated to AD 280, plus or minus 60 years.

    In contrast to the canonical gospels, which paint Judas as a betrayer who delivered Jesus to the authorities for crucifixion in exchange for money, the Gospel of Judas portrays Judas’s actions as done in obedience to instructions given to him by Christ. It does not claim that the other disciples knew about Jesus’s true teachings. On the contrary, it asserts that they had not learned the true Gospel, which Jesus taught only to Judas Iscariot, the sole follower belonging to the “holy generation” among the disciples.



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  • Mr Trump has stated that, as POTUS, he would appoint a supreme court justice in the mould of Scalia. He’s also said that women who have abortions should be prosecuted (though he later backed away from that one).

    This is music to the ears of the religious right. On no other issue are they so united and so vehement as their opposition to abortion. Which should come as no surprise I might add. For people who believe that abortion is murder all other issues pale in comparison. Evangelicals aren’t wild about socialized medicine or limits on guns but they could give some ground there. On abortion they won’t give an inch.

    That’s why Ms Clinton and other Democratic candidates before her missed a golden opportunity to distance themselves from the “abortion should be legal with no restrictions” crowd. No other Western country that I’m aware of uses fetal viability as a test for allowing unrestricted termination of pregnancy. Unfortunately, much like gun control, the issue has become so polarized that only the most extreme views are heard. Each side uses this as a wedge issue to gain support, (witness Trump’s “ripping babies from their mother at 9 months” remark during the last debate – Clinton had no effective answer to that one).

    Abortion is to the evangelicals what gun control is to liberals. I have a simple solution. Create a set of graded restrictions that link one with the other. At one end of the scale the unrestricted right to bear arms combined with unrestricted abortion at any stage, (almost what we have now). At the other end, all private gun ownership is banned and abortion is illegal in all cases. The two sides can then work out a happy medium with some restrictions on both guns and abortions. I suspect that were this to happen we would see a set of laws remarkably similar to what other western countries already have.



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  • Please RD Foundation, will you please stop attacking Trump and glorifying Clinton and doing it in the name of all atheists and non-believers. I am a militant non-theist (a follower of Victor Stenger) and I have a great regard for RD’s fight against fundamentalism and bigotry, but I cannot believe that the RD Foundation still continues to support a totally corrupt and deceitful person like Clinton. Oh sure, Trump has his problems and faults, but I get the impression from afar (not a US citizen) that he is much more of a realist about a number of issues than Clinton. I base my belief mainly on the continued support for him coming from people like Guilliani, Christie and other more level-headed people. I think you are making a great mistake in believing that Clinton will promote the cause of free science and religious openness. She will only look after her own interests!



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  • @11

    I think you are making a great mistake in believing that Clinton will promote the cause of free science and religious openness

    Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time – Hillary Clinton

    The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive – Donald Trump

    I invite readers to decide which candidate will best “promote the cause of free science”



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  • John.wb, Please carefully note my last sentance: “She will only look after her own interests”. She will support whatever side suits her at the particular time! You cannot believe the utterings of politicians at any time, but especially so during election time!



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  • @13

    So, HC states something intelligent on the issue of climate change and you choose to disbelieve her!

    On the other hand DT continues to spout utter childish nonsense and is so obviously ill-suited to become President to any sane observer that you still believe he needs to be given the benefit of the doubt!?

    I hope for all our sakes that the vast majority of the US electorate do not think like you do!



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  • I think we must all keep ours eyes on who will be making the US Supreme Court nominations. That is by far THE most important issue. All else pales to insignificance. Never mind sordid soap operas and suggested questionable emails.



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  • Most important issue.

    I don’t think it is, cBrown. Not necessarily. I don’t know what else to say. I’ve said it all. The Trump campaign is being run by nefarious people. His supporters are a mob of angry, loutish, frightened, shame-ridden people – like Hitler’s brownshirts. We don’t know what will happen. Fascism is one scenario. (Law and order under martial law.) A corporate / surveillance state, perhaps – as opposed to classical fascism with a charismatic, authoritarian leader. Maybe a combination of both. We just don’t know. Our delicate democracy will suffer and may not survive. Look how he treats the press, and attacks it. The “dirty press”. That’s Hitleresque. Plus his rigged election, his ridicule, his lies, his alt-right team of lying advisers and his supporters. He is incompetent, not suited to be president, is an autocrat, a neo-fascist, a swindler. Trump is an immoral, fraudulent, hate-mongering, immigrant-scapegoating, thin-skinned narcissist.

    His tax cuts for those at the top will destroy us. He has no plan to make health insurance more affordable. He wants to gut public education with his “school choice”; a con job. The environment will suffer. Nuclear war is possible. Those are a few more things to worry about.

    To Hillary haters:

    Trump is the real crook and people are buying into the bullshit Hillary phobia mania which is complete crap. Beliefs tell people what to think. Evidence doesn’t care what people think. She was found innocent by FBI and the idiots out there still won’t let it go; yet Trump, who has scammed and cheated his whole life, is considered ok by those who see Hillary as a crook? That’s sick! Hillary on her worst day is a hundred times better than Trump and his power mad cohorts (Giuliani, Christie, et al). She will be quite good, I think.

    Hopefully, after the election, all of the dim, white, uneducated, unrefined, gun loving, racist, flag waving, brutish losers and degenerates who support this semi-literate, shiny-phony, pied piper, crappy landlord, city-destroying, egomaniac, party-killing, debt-rich Trump, will just fade away. They will go hear him and bask, sure, but they will do nothing to get in trouble with the law, because they are cowardly turds.



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  • Speaking of early voting, Laurie, I heard some good news on the Laurence O’Donnell show. Reliable and carefully conducted exit polls in the all-important state of Florida show Hillary with a sizable lead. And many registered Republicans have crossed over. Twenty-eight percent. You’ll be hearing about that tomorrow, I think.

    I am now living in MA (near Harvard Square). How do I get to Town Hall? I don’t know my way around yet. (Kidding.)



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  • I just saw a clip of Trump on the BBC news.

    He was announcing his environmental Trumponomics!

    He is going to stop “wasting billions” on combatting global warming, and concentrate on spending the money “saved” on “US home environmental issues” – like building flood defences for Florida!!!!



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  • Further research to find the evil in Clinton.

    https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/wall-street/

    Fnck me, this is all near perfect.

    Impose a tax on high-frequency trading.

    This is exactly right. What I’ve been calling for.

    She was too near to Wall Street huh? She did her homework. A bit secretive huh like with the Healthcare Project? With moles in the state machinery in the pay of big biz and big money, one might just be tempted into using other mail servers.

    This is all left leaning but pragmatic.

    So what is the real beef about her? I’ve been through that damning list we saw some months ago from that first not-Sanders-so-Trump guy (edited), and nothing sticks apart from emails….



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  • I agree with you, Dan (#16), with regards to Trump’s rather absurd qualifications. But as president, Trump is at the max an 8 year joke. The worst damage he could do is get us into a nuclear war, but the next rule terrible thing he could do is nominate more Supreme Justices like Antonin Scalia or Pat Robertson and their ilk.



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