White evangelicals love Trump and aren't confused about why. No one should be.
Focusing on the disconnect between Trump's actions and the moral aspects of evangelicals' faith misses the issue that keeps their support firm.
Liberals have a tendency to wring their hands at the strong support President Donald Trump — he of the three wives and multiple affairs, and a tendency to engage in exceedingly un-Christian-like behavior at the slightest provocation — continues to receive from the white evangelical community. White evangelical support
for Donald Trump is still at 73 percent, and more than
80 percent of white evangelicals voted for hi
m in 2016
But focusing on the disconnect between Trump's personal actions and the moral aspects of their faith misses the issue that keeps their support firm: racism. Modern evangelicals' support for this president cannot be separated from the history of evangelicals' participation in and support for racist structures in America.
Evangelicals, in religious terminology, believe
that Jesus Christ is the savior of humanity. They have a long history in America, and include a number of different groups, including Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists and nondenominational churches. After the schism among the Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians in the 1850s over slavery, conservative denominations like the Southern Baptists — who defended slavery through their readings of scripture — came into being. And because the primary schisms between northern and southern denominations was over the issues of slavery
, in the pre- and post-Civil War years, African American Protestants formed their own denominations.