Here's the extraordinary delusion that makes US evangelicals think they must support Trump
Conservative faith leaders pray for President Donald Trump (Twitter)

Conservative evangelical Christians in the United States are among President Donald Trump's fiercest supporters, despite the fact that the president has led an extraordinarily immoral life.

Paul Djupe, a professor of political science at Denison University, has found that there's an extraordinary delusion that lies behind evangelicals' loyalty to Trump: Namely, they believe that they will lose their freedom to practice their religion if a Democrat ever retakes the White House.

Writing in the Washington Post, Djupe describes evangelicals' fears of what would happen to them if Trump were removed from the White House -- and also explains why those fears are completely unfounded.

"Of those white evangelical Protestants, we found that 60 percent believed that atheists would not allow them First Amendment rights and liberties," he writes. "More specifically, we asked whether they believed atheists would prevent them from being able to 'hold rallies, teach, speak freely, and run for public office.' Similarly, 58 percent believed 'Democrats in Congress' would not allow them to exercise these liberties if they were in power."

However, Djupe then points to his own research to show why this belief is completely untrue.

"65 percent of atheists and 53 percent of Democrats who listed Christian fundamentalists as their least-liked group are willing to allow them to engage in three or more of these activities," he writes.

So what is behind this belief that atheists are obsessed with stripping away evangelicals' first amendment rights? Djupe believes that right-wing media outlets such as Fox News and talk radio are a major factor.

"Conservative Christians believe their rights are in peril partly because that’s what they’re hearing, quite explicitly, from conservative media, religious elites, partisan commentators and some politicians, including the president," he writes.

Read the whole op-ed here.