Understandably, many evangelicals—perhaps even some who voted for Trump—want to distance their faith from its association with the president-elect. Trump is a tyrant and a demagogue who demonstrates no Christian principles, evangelical or otherwise. Evangelical critics of Trump are right to worry about how their fellow believers’ strong support for him will damage their faith’s reputation and public witness.
But advancing historically indefensible claims and naïve predictions that white American evangelicalism has ever been or will ever be anything other than steadfastly conservative in its politics and public influence is no way to handle the fallout from its linkage to Trump. That relationship represents neither a historical anomaly nor a minority position. To suggest otherwise only magnifies the lie.