Michael Gerson has two essays this week excoriating evangelicals for their support of President Trump—one long piece in The Atlantic and another shorter piece in The Washington Post. His basic thesis is that evangelical Trump supporters have discredited their Christian witness. Indeed, they have abandoned it altogether. In the longer piece for The Atlantic, Gerson writes:
The moral convictions of many evangelical leaders have become a function of their partisan identification. This is not mere gullibility; it is utter corruption. 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. Little remains of a distinctly Christian public witness…
How did something so important and admirable become so disgraced?
Gerson follows this with a deep dive into the history of North American evangelicalism, with a special emphasis on all of its triumphs and failures over the years. He writes,
It is the story of how an influential and culturally confident religious movement became a marginalized and anxious minority seeking political protection under the wing of a man such as Trump, the least traditionally Christian figure—in temperament, behavior, and evident belief—to assume the presidency in living memory.
I won’t attempt to sketch the whole essay here. I simply encourage you to read it.
I am sympathetic with much of what Gerson writes in this essay. In fact, I’m fairly certain that we share the same point of view about the current president and his moral corruption. Having said that, I think Gerson’s essay is problematic for several reasons. Continue Reading →