Unholy answers the question of why so many evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, who seems to defy Christian values with his every utterance.


Unholy by Sarah Posner

From the back cover:

Why did so many evangelicals turn out to vote for Donald Trump, a serial philanderer with questionable conservative credentials who seems to defy Christian values with his every utterance?

To a reporter like Sarah Posner, who has been covering the religious right for decades, the answer turns out to be far more intuitive than one might think.

In this taut inquiry into the seemingly confounding alliance between Donald Trump and the evangelicals, Posner peels back layers of the religious right's radical history to reveal how issues of race and xenophobia have always been at the movement’s core. 

United in a narrative of victimization, the religious right and the alt-right came together to champion Trump's erosion of democratic norms by rolling back civil rights advances, stacking the Supreme Court with hard-right judges, defanging and deregulating federal agencies, and undermining the credibility of the free press. In Unholy, Posner deconstructs the myriad ways in which these two groups became not-so-strange bedfellows and shows how this union is fueled by antidemocratic impulses worldwide.

Revelatory and engrossing, Unholy offers a deeper understanding of the ideological underpinnings and forces influencing the course of Republican politics today. This is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

* * *

My thoughts:

I've known about a lot of what Sarah Posner writes in Unholy for some time. I've been watching what the religious right has been doing since the Reagan years. I recognize many of the names mentioned in this book.

Still, I got some surprises while reading Unholy. I had thought that at least most people who call themselves Christian had moved past that race thing.

Not so.

Although my sister had been kicked out of a Baptist church for hanging out with black schoolmates, that was in 1969 or 1970.

It was difficult enough for me to believe such a thing could happen back then. All these years later, I find it shocking that many Christians are now hooked up with Trump and the alt-right. 

I thought the Access Hollywood tape and Trump's ridicule of the handicapped would have been more than enough for any halfway decent person to distance themselves from him.

Christians would, for sure, right? They teach and preach against such behavior all the time.

But no. I was wrong again.

These nice godly folks grabbed their Bibles and searched for scriptures to excuse him. Not only do they excuse him,  they also preach that God has anointed him to be their fearless leader.

I wouldn't call him fearless, but he is very good at firing up his followers to go out and do his dirty work for him.

Ask those guys sitting in prison now because they believed his bullsh*t.

Donald Trump has said and done pretty much everything Christians say they are against. But they now seem to be determined to grab power wherever and however they can to push forward their dream of ruling the world. 

The end justifies the means, I guess.

Posner tells us this in the introduction:

"For the Christian right, Trump is a culmination of five decades of political organizing. On the surface, the Christian right is saturated with rhetoric about 'faith' and 'values.' Its real driving force, though, was not religion, but grievances over school desegregation, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, affirmative action, and more. Trump has become their hero despite being a thrice-married philanderer, who talked about dating his daughter, paid off a porn star to keep quiet about an affair, and was terrible at God talk. He became their savior because he spoke the language that tied them and him – and the grievances of the alt-right – together against 'political correctness,' civil and human rights, and at its core, the entire arduous project of maintaining a pluralistic, secular, liberal democracy. The era of the 'values voter' was over, the era of the Trump voter had begun."

And there you have it, folks.

They may not be kicking black people out of their churches these days but they are still causing plenty of trouble for them, and a whole bunch of other people as well. Basically, anyone and everyone unlike themselves.

They want the power to rule over everyone and treat us all however they please. They keep talking about freedom but the only freedom they are interested in is their own.  

Their main focus is now on gay and trans people, abortion, and books. 

If they can keep us uneducated, we'll be easier to control.

Book cover

If you want to understand why and how we got to where we are today, read this book.

Highly recommended

Available from Amazon

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