SOCIAL SCIENCES

Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump

Random. May 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781984820426. $28. POL SCI
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When white evangelicals handed Donald Trump an electoral college victory in the 2016 presidential race, many observers were baffled by the seeming incongruous alliance between conservative Christians who spoke of “family values” and a crass, bullying showman with a long history of transgressive behavior. Yet, journalist Posner (God’s Profits), longtime analyst of the religious right, argues that Trump “was the strongman the Christian right had long been waiting for.” Not himself a godly man, Trump was a man through whom God would act, aggressively restoring white Christian evangelicals to their rightful place as autocratic leaders of a wayward nation. Posner’s narrative begins with the sense of displacement and racial grievance white Christian conservatives experienced following Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and traces the development of the religious right’s political infrastructure up until the Obama presidency, demonstrating how decades of patient strategizing created an environment in which Trump, the perfect televangelist candidate, could take center stage as the visible leader of a Republican Party prepared to pursue an agenda of wholesale assault on pluralist democracy in the name of redeeming white Christian America.
VERDICT Highly recommended for those seeking to understand how white evangelicals developed political power.

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