cool hit counter

Right Wing Evangelicals Are ‘Marinating’ in ‘Information Aimed at Making Them Fearful, Hostile’: Journalist

admin

Evangelical support for former President Donald Trump, despite his own lack of devout faith, is no accident, author Tim Alberta told former CNN anchor Brian Stelter in an interview for Vanity Fair.

Rather, he argued, it is part of a deliberate campaign to radicalize and terrify them into loyalty — and part of what’s driving that is a “disproportionality crisis” of the information they are receiving.

““If you go to church on Sunday morning, you are going to be in the word with your pastor for, you know, 30 minutes, maybe 40, 45 minutes, and you sing some songs, and you say the prayers, and then you are out in the world for the rest of the week,” said Alberta. “And for most of these folks, as they’re out in the world, they are marinating in talk radio, in cable news, in social media—all of this information that is aimed at making them angry, fearful, hostile.”

Whereas they may hear Jesus’ message of tolerance, love, and forgiveness “on Sunday morning for 45 minutes, but then for 4, 5, 6, 10 hours during the week, you’re hearing the exact opposite. And it’s that ratio being so far out of whack that I think is really at the heart of the crisis here.”

And that’s assuming they’re at a church that will even give them messages of love and forgiveness in the first place — many pro-Trump pastors, like Greg Locke of Tennessee, have messages that are far angrier.

“[Trump] may not share their views, he may not sit in the pews with them, he may not read the good book like they do, but in some way, that’s his superpower,” Alberta explained. “He is free to fight in ways that are, you know, unrestrained, unmoored from biblical virtue. And that relationship with Trump has obviously evolved over the last eight years. What started as this very uneasy alliance for a lot of evangelicals with Trump has now morphed into this situation where, look, desperate times call for desperate measures. The barbarians are at the gates and we need a barbarian to keep them at bay.” This means that Trump’s increasingly dictatorial rhetoric is a natural outlet for the rage and frustration these evangelical voters are being fed.

None of this is to say that Trump has completely unified the evangelical world. Cracks have appeared in recent months, with prominent evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis out of concern about Trump’s electoral viability.

 

Editor’s note: Tim Alberta is an award-winning g journalist, a staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism,” and “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.”

 

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: