'Militant — even militaristic': Why Trump appeals to white evangelicals’ view of 'masculinity'

'Militant — even militaristic': Why Trump appeals to white evangelicals’ view of 'masculinity'

Despite battling four criminal indictments, former President Donald Trump continues to be the clear frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary. A CBS News/YouGov poll released on August 20 finds Trump leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the primary's second-place candidate, by 46 percent. And that poll is hardly an outlier.

Polls released in mid-August showed Trump ahead of DeSantis by 38 percent (Trafalgar Group), 39 percent (Quinnipiac University and The Economist/YouGov) or 37 percent (Fox News). DeSantis has been making a concerted effort to win over the Religious Right, but so far, Trump remains the favorite among far-right white evangelicals.

On the surface, Trump and the Religious Right seem an unlikely combination, yet many right-wing Republicans regard Trump as a staunch ally.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

In an episode of The Bulwark's "Beg to Differ" podcast released on August 18, host Mona Charen examined that alliance during a conversation with guest Kristin Du Mez (author of the 2021 book "Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation").

Critics of the Religious Right have accused them of blatant hypocrisy for supporting Trump, but according to Du Mez, it is consistent with their history.

Du Mez told Charen — a former Nancy Reagan speechwriter and Never Trump conservative — "If you look at how many conservative evangelicals responded to abusive leaders, abusive pastors in their own churches and in their own organizations…. time and time again, you see evangelical communities ending up defending perpetrators of abuse — of sexual abuse, of abuse of power — and doing so in the name of protecting the witness of the church, (and) blaming women for leading men on or for seducing men. All sorts of excuses, really…. And that's exactly the rhetoric that we have heard and continue to hear around somebody like Donald Trump."

According to Du Mez, the Religious Right's embrace of Trump reflects their views on "masculinity."

READ MORE: Trump-appointed judges have ruled favorably to conservative Christians but not other religions: study

The author told Charen, "I started noticing, more than 20 years ago, a growing embrace of a very kind of militant, rugged, even militaristic conception of what it meant to be a Christian man — a kind of warrior. And I traced that up to the present and heard so many echoes of that in evangelical support for Trump; he was their ultimate fighting champion, who would do what needed to be done to advance their aims…. You can see in the recent history of evangelicalism kind of an ebb and flow of perceptions of masculinity and what's wrong with masculinity."

READ MORE: Vivek Ramaswamy's Hindu faith 'major stumbling block' for evangelical 'Christian nationalists': report

Find Mona Charen's interview with author Kristin Du Mez at this link and here.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.