Evangelical Christians have drawn ire since overwhelmingly supporting President Donald Trump during the 2016 election. But one former evangelical, who left the church, suggests they made a deal with the devil so they could get the legislation they've always wanted.
According to Guardian writer Josiah Hesse, Trump has "bragged about his sins and built a career on casinos and half-naked women," but evangelicals saw him as an opportunity and agreed to mobilize their voting bloc in the churches to elect him.
"Evangelicals know he’s not a real Christian," Hesse explained. "But they’re pragmatic about overturning Roe v. Wade, and generally agree with his economic plan of deregulation, lowering taxes and keeping undocumented immigrants out."
It's a philosophy rumored to have inspired congressional Republicans in making a deal with Trump.
“Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump," wrote David Brooks for The New York Times shortly after Trump took office. "They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media.”
Republicans saw the rare opportunity to have every single branch of government controlled by a single party -- their party. Though, as Trump has begun attacking members of his own party, they're starting to have buyer's remorse. The evangelical community, however, is still hanging on, as Trump's board of faith-based advisors has remained intact.
“I don’t think that he’s a believer, but he cares about evangelicals,” evangelical Christian and Trump supporter Jay Eike told Hesse. “The tweeting drives me crazy. But evangelicals think his policies are more important [than his behavior].”
The same story was true for former President Ronald Reagan, who became a messiah for evangelicals. Being the "reformed" sinner who came back to God also helped George W. Bush secure the image of a prodigal son the community should align themselves with.
Hesse argues that evangelicals like that Trump wants to "shake things up." Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty University president, told ABC News he liked Trump because the president doesn't cave to the politeness of "political correctness."
"For evangelicals, pissing off liberals and defending unpopular opinions makes him appear more like one of them," Hesse explained. "What seems like an imploding presidency to some, appears as a heroic martyr against liberalism to others."
He went on to quote Jesus, claiming, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” The more hated a person is, the nearer a Christian can be to God. Given his approval rating, Trump is getting closer and closer.