SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump

Eerdmans. Jun. 2018.248p. notes. ISBN 9780802876416. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781467450461. REL
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Fea (history, Messiah Coll.; Was America Founded as a Christian Nation??) examines why white evangelicals gravitated toward President Donald Trump, who won 81 percent of their vote in the 2016 election. He concludes that they were acting out of fear, perceiving Trump as one who would act to maintain their privileged position despite his status as being well outside evangelical norms. Fea contends that this position is rooted in American exceptionalism, which stems from the Puritan ideal of America as the New Zion. The author investigates how a loose coalition of mainstream evangelicals, prosperity gospel preachers, and independent groups came together in supporting Trump after initially voicing moral qualms, then delving into what Trump might mean by "Make America Great Again," and how evangelicals have reinterpreted that slogan.
VERDICT Fea is clearly dismayed with his fellow evangelicals, and his historical treatment lacks a certain amount of nuance yet provides a heartfelt and clear presentation worth considering.

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