Protests against Domald Trump continued until the very end © Eugene Garcia
The votes of white evangelicals and conservative Christians for Trump are apparently paying off. The president-elect is filling his Cabinet chairs with billionaires and generals – and allies of the right-wing Christian movement.
Four-fifths of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election. In all, they introduced on 8. November about a quarter of the ballot box goers. White evangelicals have been a solid Republican voting bloc for 40 years. But overall, Republicans probably would have benefited more from that alliance than Christians, says David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University at Georgia State.
Their conservative values on ies such as the family, abortion and homosexuality have not always been implemented in politics. That could change: Trump, of all people, who is not considered particularly religious, is rewarding right-wing Christians – with his cabinet appointments.
Conservative Christians would apparently get "more from Trump than they've gotten from past presidents," said Barry Lynn, president of United Americans for Separation of Church and State. The association is in a standing clash with the religious right.
Trump has promised them a lot of concrete things, Lynn said. Among them, reform allowing churches to engage in partisan politics.
The Trump cabinet
Health Minister becomes Congressman Tom Price, an avowed anti-abortionist, as praised by the pro-life association National Right to Life. In Congress, Price voted for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the life covenant of a man and a woman. He also wants to undo Barack Obama's health care reforms. A darling of conservative Christians is Secretary of Education-to-be Betsy DeVos. She is an heiress to the Amway marketing company fortune, a funder of right-wing causes and has served for a time on the leadership council of the Mars Hill Church megachurch. DeVos is committed to school privatization and government subsidies for religious schools. Secretary of Energy to be a longtime friend of the Christian right, Rick Perry. Former Texas governor argues America was founded on Christian values. As governor in 2011, Perry had a church service for 30.Have 000 people organized for prayer for moral renewal.
Minister of Construction will be Ben Carson, a physician with no experience in the field, but known as an author and speaker on moral ies. Jeff Sessions, opponent of abortion and gay marriage, to take over Justice Department. Environmental Protection Agency chief will be Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general and a deacon at First Baptist Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He has come under criticism for his view that it has not been proven that climate change is caused by humans. More than 40 prominent Baptists defended Pruitt in a letter to Trump against "environmentalists and theologically liberal clergy". Pruitt is eminently qualified for the environmental post, he said.
The abortion ban is coming?
In contrast, future Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, head of ExxonMobil, was met with negative reactions from evangelical Christians. The oil company has donated to the family planning organization Planned Parenthood, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, complained. As honorary president of the Boy Scouts (2010 to 2012), Tillerson had advocated for admitting gay members, he said. This, he said, has divided the "Boy Scouts".
The "big prize" for conservative Christians is hope for an end to liberalization on abortion, says Georgia ethics professor Gushee. He said Trump has promised he will only appoint interrogation judges to overturn the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion. In addition, he said, measures are likely to be taken to allow citizens to disregard regulations if they contradict their religious beliefs.
Religious scholars will probably debate for a long time why conservative Christians, who entered politics as campaigners for family values, voted for a play casino founder who is married for the third time. Gushee says it probably has something to do with Trump's "authoritarian nature". The latter apparently goes down well with many evangelicals.