It’s yet unknown how U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts to position himself as the Christian candidate of choice will influence Christian voters in the United States — and how Democrats’ attempts to speak to Christians may sway previous Trump voters or those not publicly declaring their intentions.
“Dems want to shut your churches down, permanently,” Trump tweeted in early October. A few days earlier, his son, Eric Trump, declared that his dad “literally saved Christianity.”
These statements fit a wider pattern: Trump has called himself “the chosen one,” proclaimed that God is “on our side” and warned that Biden will “hurt the Bible, hurt God.”
The Trump administration and its Christian supporters have been using Christianity to draw battle lines in this high-stakes election. This Republican political strategy that uses Christian language to cast Trump as a divinely appointed protector of Christians warrants more scrutiny than it’s received.
In my book, Republican Jesus, I identify key trends in the way today’s right-wing influencers interpret the Bible: they view Jesus as a prophet of free-market capitalism who opposes taxes and is against any regulation that supports social welfare programs, protects workers or prevents discrimination.