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Opinion

As an evangelical, I don’t believe Trump hates Christians, but so what if he does? He still respects our rights

The Atlantic has done another hatchet job on President Trump, suggesting he privately holds Christians in contempt. Even if he does, they’ll still vote for him because of what he’s done, not what he thinks.

On September 29, The Atlantic published a piece titled ‘Trump Secretly Mocks His Christian Supporters.’ The contents of the article are exactly as you would expect given the headline – various examples of the president showing apparent disdain for religious conservatives behind closed doors.

The sources in it are completely anonymous except for Michael Cohen, the disgraced, felonious former lawyer of Donald Trump. Given how The Atlantic’s recent ‘expose’ about Trump’s comments on troops turned out – largely debunked by people who were present at the events cited –  I have my personal doubts of the validity of this article.

There is a reason that media distrust is at an all-time high. Every once in a while, we see articles that cite anonymous sources which end up being nonsense. The average citizen is beginning to see the term ‘anonymous sources’ as something synonymous with ‘imaginary friend.’

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Then you have Michael Cohen, whose own history with the truth has about as much familiarity as the president’s relationship with Hillary Clinton. So it’s safe to say that readers are entitled to question the validity of the piece. However, let’s assume that it is true. Let’s say that Donald Trump does not take people of faith too seriously. I don’t think that this will actually affect his chances of re-election at all.

There seems to be a substantial misconception about evangelicals in the United States. The media tends to portray us as a bunch of Bible-thumping hillbillies that are easily impressed anytime somebody mentions our God in a positive light. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many evangelicals are your Average Joe. If you live in the US, there’s a good chance that your doctor, your mechanic, your barber and your mailman are all religious. A good chunk of them are probably evangelicals. We really are no different than any other voting bloc, and tend to vote based on who is going to respect our rights the most.

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And it’s clear that Donald Trump probably has more respect for our rights as religious people than many other presidents before him. On top of that, his willingness to battle back against Planned Parenthood and his public declaration that opening churches was necessary during Covid-19 speak volumes to those who are religious Christians. And he has obviously made foreign policy decisions that those of Jewish descent would find favor in. He is easily the most pro-Israel president the United States has ever had.

To me, the writer of The Atlantic piece shows a keen misunderstanding of why people even vote in the first place. People do not vote simply for the warm fuzzies. Americans understand that votes have consequences. You have to keep in mind that we went to war because of a lack of governmental representation. If that wasn’t important to us, there would have been a lot less tea in the Boston harbor.

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I think the way that evangelicals actually see Trump was summed up in a discussion during a Christmas dinner some time ago. My father is a long-time pastor, so he has many conversations with working-class Christians about what their concerns are when it comes to government. 

My father compared it to the way that Nebuchadnezzar II saw the prophet Daniel in the Bible. Because of certain events that had happened previously, there was a level of respect that existed between them. I don’t know whether or not Donald Trump is a Christian or not, but honestly, it’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is whether or not religious freedom is respected by the government.

I am of the opinion that if an atheist showed the utmost respect for those who believe in a higher power, they could likely win the presidency some time in the future. 

As such, the piece written for The Atlantic ultimately ends up being worthless. Its ignorance of why people do what they do when it comes to the ballot box negates its own relevance as a journalistic piece.

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