Right-wing Christians saw their influence expand during Donald Trump's presidency, and they're not about to let voters take that away.
The Christian right became one of the strongest forces in U.S. politics by mobilizing its voters on hot-button issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, but rapidly changing demographics have led right-wing evangelical activists to cement their political gains by embracing voter suppression legislation, reported Vox.
"The 2020 elections revealed genuine concerns in the election process that could threaten election integrity and the very foundation of our Constitutional Republic," said Jason Yates, CEO of the voter mobilization group My Faith Votes, which launched its own "election integrity" initiative that calls some results into question. "Yet, even more dangerous than election fraud is that many Christians have lost confidence in the election system."
Voter turnout among religious conservatives is lower than it used to be -- with white evangelical Protestants now making up just 14 percent of Americans, down from 23 percent in 2006 -- although that dwindling share of the electorate made up more than a third of all Trump voters in the last election.
"Without such broad support for Trump among White evangelicals, [Joe] Biden would have beaten him by more than 20 points," wrote analysts from the Pew Research Center.
That's why religious conservatives are backing "election integrity" bills intended to crack down on voter fraud, despite a paucity of evidence of such wrongdoing, and restricted access to the vote for millions of Americans, especially Black voters, on the basis of Trump's lies about his loss.
"I pray, Lord, that you will do something ... for our election system, that we'll never have another election stolen from us," said Robert Morris, pastor of the Gateway megachurch in Dallas, during a recent conference call with Trump's evangelical allies. "So, Lord, whatever we need to do to fix the electoral process, I pray for that, I pray for our country, and I pray for President Trump and his family … in Jesus's mighty name."