Can you even remember the last time the term “evangelical” was used to describe a GOOD trend among Church People? I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure exactly what an “evangelical” is–strictly speaking–because no one has nice things to say about them.
It seems to me that no sane person would ever call himself an Evangelical, because it’s such an obvious insult. It’s an unfortunate label that gets assigned to you by critics when you do something racist or hypocritical.
Most of the time political commentators use the word “evangelical” to refer to “Christians behaving badly.” (Just as they use the term “Millennial” when they want to refer to young people behaving badly.)
“Evangelicals” are the Christians In Name Only… they’re the low class, White Trash, Bible-Thumpers…
They’re the Trump Fan Boys.
I haven’t actually asked this dude what he believes, but you can bet that someone from HuffPo would call him out as an “Evangelical”:
If THAT GUY is who David French had in mind when he wrote his article about “evangelicals,” then I guess that’s fine. (I prefer to call people like THAT GUY “Boomers.” And you can see more posts from Boomers, both real and satirical, on this social media group: “For God So Loved the World That he Gave His Only Trump.”)
But, I don’t think the majority of people who voted for Trump are as off the rails as “Boomers” like THAT GUY.
That’s why it annoys me to see headlines like David French’s: Evangelicals Are Supporting Trump out of Fear, Not Faith
Again, maybe I’m misunderstanding what he means by “evangelicals.” Maybe my friends and family who voted for Trump don’t count. Or maybe they’re not SUPPORTERS, in French’s estimation, unless they’re enthusiastic cheerleaders of every, single thing Trump does.
Maybe you’re not a Trump Supporting Evangelical unless you sound like this person:
But the real-life people I know who voted for Trump don’t seem to be “grasping at their fading influence by clinging to [Trump],” as David French describes. Nor are they “acting as if they need Trump to protect” them.
French says that these Trump Supporting Evangelicals have VETO POWER, which means there are a lot of them… But the only person he mentioned by name was Eric Metaxas, who said in 2016:
“It’s a fact that if Hillary Clinton is elected, the country’s chance to have a Supreme Court that values the Constitution – and the genuine liberty and self-government for which millions have died – is gone. Not for four years, or eight, but forever.”
A little hyperbolic, yes.
But who gave David French the authority to judge Eric Metaxas’ heart motivation as “fearful?” What makes him so sure it is “raw fear” which causes Metaxas to urge his fellow Christians against Hillary Clinton–but it’s not also raw fear to warn against Donald Trump? What’s the difference?
(Indeed, David French says that the church’s witness is at risk of “degrading further,” and that, “the church has lost its way.” I hope he has the faith to realize God is still in control, even if Trump is renominated.)
All that to say, I don’t know who these fearful, Trump-loving, morally-compromising “evangelicals” are…. but, my friends and family who voted for Trump aren’t quaking in their boots and being kept up at night with worry.
They are fairly reasonable (and mostly literate) citizens, who can speak for themselves about the process they use to cast a vote, and they are NOT wearing MAGA hats and playing defense against the “Dumbocraps.”
(Not like this guy:)
The more people confuse my intelligent, stable loved ones with the Trump Worshipping psychos, the LESS I want to consider voting for a third party (again)…
Calling people faithless “evangelicals” has almost become like calling them “racists” or “misogynists” or “white supremacists” back in 2016–which is precisely the type of vague, baseless criticism that lead to Trump’s election.
Lots of people who voted for Trump are NOT morally-compromising, power-craving, easily-influenced morons. If you don’t find out what DOES motivate them, then you’re never going to win their vote.
You might try asking someone who voted for Trump, individually, what lead to their decision, instead of speaking about them like they have a hive mind. (Especially when you never have anything positive to say about the Hive… I’m serious when I say that criticism of “evangelicals” looks an awful lot like ‘raw fear’ that they will re-elect He Who Shall Not Be Named. EEEEEK!)
Saying that “evangelicals” are voting for Trump because of “fear” is exactly like saying “Millenials” voted for Obama because they wanted free stuff.
(Except, you often get away with stereotyping Christians because they’re good at saying, “Oh, you’re probably right… I’ve been convicted… Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me, even though I’m a terrible, terrible sinner.”)
But I’m not okay with these generalities, when they result in unfair characterizations of people I actually know. I’m not okay with articles telling me what “evangelicals” are doing, when I love people who call themselves Evangelicals, and I can see their actions for myself, thanks.