Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, has written a lengthy piece in The Atlantic raking evangelical Christians who back President Donald Trump over the coals.
In particular, Gerson notes that the values that Trump espouses on a regular basis are values that have in the past been antithetical to Christian morals.
“Trump’s unapologetic materialism — his equation of financial and social success with human achievement and worth — is a negation of Christian teaching,” he writes. “His tribalism and hatred for ‘the other’ stand in direct opposition to Jesus’s radical ethic of neighbor love. Trump’s strength-worship and contempt for ‘losers’ smack more of Nietzsche than of Christ. Blessed are the proud. Blessed are the ruthless. Blessed are the shameless. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after fame.”
Gerson also says that there are no good excuses for evangelicals’ embrace of Trump, which he believes is a cynical calculation made to get them policy wins.
“This is not mere gullibility; it is utter corruption,” he writes. “Blinded by political tribalism and hatred for their political opponents, these leaders can’t see how they are undermining the causes to which they once dedicated their lives.”
Gerson, who was raised as an evangelical Christian, says that watching evangelical leaders prostrate themselves before Trump has been particularly painful on a personal level, as he sees these leaders debasing their entire faith in the name of political power.
“The corruption of a political party is regrettable,” he writes. “The corruption of a religious tradition by politics is tragic, shaming those who participate in it.”