oldtestamentisrael300xMerely one year ago it is was largely unthinkable that evangelicals would turn to an evil man like Donald Trump — a malignant narcissist, sexual predator, serial hater, unethical businessman and pathological liar dismissed by many evangelicals at that time as an anti-Christ — to make America Old Testament again, in the image of theocratic-leaning colonial America.

How quickly things change.

Evangelicals by and large are publicly known for their opposition to Jesus’ teachings of love, justice and mercy on the one hand, and commitment to Old Testament discriminatory legal codes on the other hand. So when the ever-shrewd Trump promised wilderness-wandering evangelicals that he would allow them to discriminate against other Americans if he were elected president, they looked past his evil persona and figuratively bowed down to him.

In November over 80% of evangelical voters cast their ballot for the man who had spent his life making mincemeat of the Ten Commandments so dear to evangelicals. At his January inauguration one reporter quoted a Trump follower calling the Donald “my savior.”

True to his word — odd for Trump, to be sure — he appointed an all-star lineup of far right wing evangelicals among his cabinet picks. Evangelicals cheered at the appointee’s commitments to reducing public education, using tax dollars for religious education, assaulting church state separation, discriminating against LGBT persons and other minorities, taking money away from the poor to give to the rich, and so on.

Although Trump’s immigration ban targeting Muslims has at least temporarily made some evangelical leaders publicly uneasy, they are ecstatic about his Supreme Court pick. With a track record of allowing evangelicals to discriminate against persons they deem as unworthy human beings — especially LGBT persons and non-Christians — Neil Gorsuch is Trump’s latest gift to evangelicals as a reward for their faithfulness to him.

And above all else, evangelicals believe Gorsuch will help tilt the court toward making abortion illegal.

Unfortunately for evangelicals, however, abortions will rise under the administration of Donald Trump, as they did during the presidency of George W. Bush. Like Bush, Trump has signed an executive order prohibiting foreign aid for organizations that offer reproductive counseling, including contraceptives. When Bush effectively defunded contraception in international clinics, abortion rates soared. Stateside, a lack of widespread access to contraception on the part of poor Americans led to rising national abortion rates.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, established policies that reduced abortion rates to their lowest since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973.

Quite simply, Obama expanded contraception coverage at home and abroad. In America the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as ObamaCare — mandated contraceptive coverage in health insurance policies. And internationally, he resumed foreign aid funding of contraceptives in health clinics.

But did anti-abortion evangelicals praise Obama for his administration’s remarkable success in reducing abortions?

Of course not. He is a Democrat. And many had bought into the racist lie — perpetuated by none other than Donald Trump — that the president was not even an American, but had been born in Kenya.

Now, Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, both of which will dramatically reduce access to contraceptives for poor women, sending the abortion rate upward once again — while evangelicals cheer.

As abortion rates rise, one can also expect racial, religious and ethnic minorities, as well as poor Americans in general, to suffer from the unholy alliance between Trump and evangelicals to make America Old Testament again.

Bruce Gourley

About Bruce Gourley

Bruce Gourley is online editor. In addition to managing Baptist Today’s web presence, Bruce is the executive director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society (baptisthistory.org), general editor of the Baptist History & Heritage Journal, editor of the Baptist Studies Bulletin, creator and author of the "Baptists and the American Civil War Project" (civilwarbaptists.com), and author of seven books. Bruce is also an avid hiker, owns the Yellowstone Net website (yellowstone.net), and is an award-winning photographer (brucegourley.com). A graduate of Mercer University (B.A.), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Auburn University (Ph.D.), he and his family live near Bozeman, Montana.