"Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Liberty University" by Shealah Craighead / Public Domain

The religious right is still sticking by Trump. Sadly, there’s a long, grim pattern

Jun 5, 2020

By Sarah Posner

As Donald Trump, aided by the attorney general, Bill Barr, orchestrates a militarized, armed-to-the-teeth crackdown, terrorizing lawful protesters of racism and police brutality, much of Trump’s white evangelical base is cheering him as a courageous, godly leader facing down protesters falsely depicted as “professional anarchists”, “cultural Marxists” and “domestic terrorists”.

For Trump’s Christian partisans, his Monday night photo op in front of St John’s Episcopal church in Washington DC, after Barr ordered the park between the White House and the church cleared of protesters with teargas, is just another illustration that Trump is a mighty protector of freedom – the freedom of his white Christian supporters, anyway.

A common refrain in white evangelical circles is to condemn the police murder of George Floyd as, in the anodyne words of the evangelist and Trump ally Franklin Graham, a “terrible tragedy that should not have happened and should never happen again”. In this all-too prevalent way of thinking, there’s only one cure for racism. As Dan Patrick, the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, told Fox News on Wednesday, the country could only be “healed” by people accepting Jesus Christ.

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