Large numbers of evangelical Christians in the United States are ardent nationalists and fervent believers in capitalism. They are an influential part of what is called the president’s base. Eighty-one percent of evangelicals who voted in the 2016 presidential election cast their ballot for him. How could so many evangelical Christians have voted for a thrice-married casino mogul, who has a penchant for mendacity and cavorts with porn stars and playboy bunnies? According to Molly Worthen, professor at UNC-Chapel Hill writing in The Atlantic, the president’s “dictator-lite charisma is essential to his appeal. His authoritarian machismo is right in step with a long evangelical tradition of pastor-overlords who anoint themselves with the power to make their own rules—and, in the event of their own occasional moral lapses, assure their followers that God always forgives.”
Arun Gupta, journalist and activist, was a founding editor of The Indypendent and the Occupied Wall Street Journal. His articles appear in Alternet, Truthout, The Guardian, and Z. He also appears on Democracy Now! and Al Jazeera.