How deluded are white evangelicals and/or Republicans becoming in the age of Donald Trump? There are any number of signs pointing to the irrationality of both groups prior to 2016, but Trump’s presidency and their steadfast support of it at all costs has led to new levels of derangement.
Now there are some numbers to back it up. They come from researchers Paul A. Djupe (of Denison University) and Ryan P. Burge (of Eastern Illinois University), who have been as reliable as anyone when it comes to digging through data to learn more about religious trends.
Here’s a simple question Is Trump anointed by God?
No doubt there are white evangelicals who think all presidents are anointed by God, but Trump is a unique case. In fact, the percentage of white evangelicals who think God is hugging Trump ever-so-closely has gone up dramatically over the past year, moreso than for all presidents in general, and especially among people who attend church most frequently. (Just look at those orange (ha!) bars on the right!)
More and more people are imputing a religious significance to the presidency — something that you know would never have happened under President Hillary Clinton, and something that would inevitably disappear under a President Joe Biden. (Do the believers seriously not see that hypocrisy?)
Djupe and Burge also point out, though, that this trend is not just happening among white Protestants. People who attend church more often, period, even if they’re not white Protestants, are more likely to say Trump is anointed by God.
But maybe the biggest facepalm has to do with a picture like this one, that’s been around for years. It shows Jesus with His hands guiding Trump:
When participants were shown that picture beforehand, they were more likely to think Trump is anointed by God. They were swayed by that idiotic meme!
Not by a lot. But the percentage went up a couple of points among non-evangelicals and several points among evangelicals.
Jesus, we’re a nation of morons…
It’s not just churches creating this linkage. It’s the whole conservative ecosystem, including FOX News Channel, treating Trump as a gift from God and a friend to the faithful. The assumption that Trump is part of God’s Plan makes it that much harder to convince undecided voters to support anyone else. It’s no longer just a political calculation. Conservatives want people to think God is literally on the ballot. To vote for a Democrat, then, is to go against God’s Will.
Sadly, their plan, whether it’s intentional or not, is having an effect.