An evangelical calls out evangelicals who taught him
January 23, 2020
From the time the results of the 2016 presidential election showed that 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump -- despite the reality that his life is an almost-complete rejection of the values they say they hold dear -- lots of people, including me, have been trying to figure out why.
Many possible answers: They wanted Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe vs. Wade; they wanted to "drain the swamp"; they wanted their gun rights protected; they thought the world was leaving them behind, including their memories of times when, allegedly America was "great;" they thought the economic forces were crushing them; they thought Hillary Clinton was demonic. And on and on.
Still, in the end, they chose a man who was not one of them and never would be. They chose someone who had affairs, paid off porn stars, ran businesses on the value of revenge; encouraged white nationalists, wanted no part of the immigrants and strangers who, the Bible says, are to be loved and protected.
Here and there we've heard some voices finally calling these evangelicals to task for the abandonment of their faith. One example was this recent editorial in the evangelical journal Christianity Today.
But perhaps a more powerful voice can be heard from a musician, Daniel Deitrich (pictured here), who has written "A Hymn for the 81%," described in this Religion News Service article, which includes an audio clip of him singing it.
Whew. It is a powerful example of what religion calls a prophetic voice, which is to say a voice that calls out what's gone wrong and urges attention to the right path.
I hope you'll give it a listen, remembering that he's not telling people they should have voted for Clinton and not offering a damning critique of Trump's various political policies. Rather, Deitrich is asking the people who raised him as a Christian why they no longer seem to believe what they taught him.
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HOW TO APPEAL TO EVANGELICALS
Along the same lines today, here's an AP story about whether and how Democrats running for president now can appeal for the votes of those who identify as Christian evangelicals. I suppose anything below 81 percent for Trump in this year's election (assuming some bolt of lightning doesn't result in a conviction in the impeachment trial) will be considered a victory.