By Paul Rosenberg
In the 2016 election, Trump got 81 percent support from white evangelical Christians, and a study by Clemson sociologist Andrew Whitehead and two colleagues (Salon story here) found that “the ‘religious vote’ for Trump was primarily the result of Christian nationalism,” an Old Testament-based worldview fusing Christian and American identities that “can be unmoored from traditional moral import emphasizing only its notions of exclusion and apocalyptic war and conquest.”
The targeting of good Samaritans for deportation, or blaming a refugee family for their seven-year-old daughter’s death in Border Patrol custody are features, not bugs, of the Christian nationalist worldview. Never mind what Matthew 25:35 says: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
This week, new exit-poll data from this year’s midterm elections re-emphasized how much the Trump-led GOP depends on evangelical voters, as opposed to the much more discussed “white working class.” Among white non-evangelicals, non-college-educated men voted for Republicans, 53 to 44 percent, while women voted Democratic by 57 to 41 percent. But among white evangelicals there was virtually no difference between college and non-college voters in their GOP support: 78 percent among men for both groups, and 73 and 71 percent, respectively, for women.
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