The alt-right has identified a new group as targets ripe for their recruiting efforts — evangelical supporters of Donald Trump.
The Christian Post reported that Religious Left scholars presenting at a recent Georgetown University conference on “Christianity and the Alt-Right” agreed that “politically-savvy alt-right activists specifically targeted white evangelicals that voted for Trump as likely converts.”
One of the foundations for this type of recruitment, columnist Joshua Arnold wrote, is the trend of politics being “upstream” from religion, or people changing their religious beliefs to match their politics.
Much of the alt-right’s basest beliefs — that non-white people are inferior to whites and that white people deserve an “ethnostate” free of people of color — are abhorrent to Christian values, Arnold noted. But were those groups to form coalitions with evangelical supporters of the president, the racist activists may convince them to come around to their bigotry as well.
“Syncretism,” or the blending of often-disparate religious ideas, is the other concept that makes evangelicals ripe for the alt-right’s pickings, the report noted.
“Dr. Melanie McAlister, an expert on evangelicals, pointed out that most religious believers live out a contradictory mix of official dogma, common sense, and personal preference,” the columnist wrote. “The danger, then, is that alt-right ideas may be perceived as common sense or personal preference and adopted alongside their official evangelical beliefs.”
Arnold noted that although he and other conservative evangelicals are often “skeptical” of left-leaning Christians who label political beliefs racist, he agreed with the scholars’ assessments.
“I believe this time it is important that conservative evangelicals heed their warnings,” he wrote.