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Washington Post columnist condemns ‘White, conservative Christians’ for allying with Trump

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Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, who claims he is a religious person on his “better days,” suggested in a Thursday piece that “white, conservative” Christians are misinterpreting their own faith’s ideals when it comes to former President Trump.

Gerson described the United States as feeling like “two nations,” claiming that, “cosmopolitan America holds to a progressive framework of bodily autonomy, boundless tolerance and group rights — a largely post-religious morality applied with near-religious intensity.” Meanwhile, he suggested that what concerns him as a sometimes religious person is the conservative half and “the perverse and dangerous liberties many believers have taken with their own faith.”

He warned further, “Much of what considers itself Christian America has assumed the symbols and identity of white authoritarian populism — an alliance that is a serious, unfolding threat to liberal democracy.”

He did acknowledge that some Christians have reason to be concerned about America’s radical social changes, however.

Washington Post columnist condemns ‘White, conservative Christians’ for allying with Trump

A silhouette of a crucifix and a stained glass window inside a Catholic Church in New Orleans.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)


“The disorienting flux of American ethical norms and the condescension of progressive elites have incited a defensive reaction among many conservative religious people — a belief that they are outsiders in their own land,” he acknowledged. 

He added further that conservatives “feel reviled for opposing gender ideology that seems to have arrived just yesterday” and “their values are under assault by an inexorable modernity, in the form of government, big business, media and academia.”

However, Gerson condemned the GOP for weaponizing those concerns into a political movement.

Leaders in the Republican Party have fed, justified and exploited conservative Christians’ defensiveness in service to an aggressive, reactionary politics,” he wrote. “This has included deadly mask and vaccine resistance, the discrediting of fair elections, baseless accusations of gay ‘grooming’ in schools, the silencing of teaching about the United States’ history of racism, and (for some) a patently false belief that Godless conspiracies have taken hold of political institutions.”

He specifically cautioned against support for Trump, noting, “Anxious evangelicals have taken to voting for right-wing authoritarians who promise to fight their fights — not only Donald Trump, but increasingly, his many imitators.”

Former President Trump stressed the importance of restoring law and order in America in his first speech in Washington D.C. since leaving office.

Former President Trump stressed the importance of restoring law and order in America in his first speech in Washington D.C. since leaving office.
(Getty Images)


Gerson went on to say he made the “disturbing realization” that “White, conservative Christians” are misinterpreting their own faith.

“In both public perception and evident reality, many White, conservative Christians find themselves on the wrong side of the most cutting indictments delivered by Jesus of Nazareth,” he said.

He then issued paragraphs of grievances with popular “evangelical” issues with subheaders like “Woe to evangelical exclusion.”

Gerson lamented, “In their overwhelming, uncritical support of Trump and other nationalist Republicans — leaders who could never win elections without evangelical votes — White religious conservatives have joined a political movement defined by an attitude of ‘us’ vs. ‘them,’ and dedicated to the rejection and humiliation of social outsiders and outcasts.”

He appeared to condemn Christian concerns on a variety of issues as completely invalid.

“From the start, the Trump-led GOP dehumanized migrants as diseased and violent. It attacked Muslims as suspect and dangerous. Even when evangelical Christians refuse to mouth the words of racism, they have allied themselves with the promoters of prejudice and white grievance,” he warned. “How can it be that believers called to radical inclusion are the most hostile to refugees of any group in the United States? How can anyone who serves God’s boundless kingdom of love and generosity ever rally to the political banner ‘America First’?”

A woman praying in a church

A woman praying in a church

He followed up by condemning the “Christian nationalism” of evangelicals, who he claimed “broadly confuse the Kingdom of God with a Christian America, preserved by thuggish politicians who promise to prefer their version of Christian rights and enforce Christian values.”


He suggested that because Christianity has a history of charitable acts, that somehow “It is difficult for me to understand why so many believers have turned down a wedding feast to graze in political dumpsters.”

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