I think it depends on how long he holds office, how long the Republican Party maintains a majority in the Senate, and how successful they are in stacking the federal judiciary. It’s a culture reliant on charisma and loyalty, plagued by scandal, and insulated by the credulity of viewers willing to attribute any accusation of wrongdoing to the deceptions of Satan. R&P: Your narrative culminates in the declaration that the Christian Right, along with the alt-right, hopes to transform the United States into “a nativist power that accords different rights to different groups of people, based on race, religion, and ethnicity.” Are you attributing this vision to movement elites, to the rank-and-file, or to all of the above? The book is much less about President Trump than the subtitle might predict. Unholy is very pointedly not written to pander to such people, which is intensely refreshing. You were there reporting it all. The argument is not that only white evangelicals support Trump—certainly, not all white evangelicals support Trump in any case—but rather that the Christian Right as a movement was started by white people and continues to perpetuate an ideology of white Christian nationalism, claiming that it is under threat by pluralistic social change. Despite the fact that Trump has called the press “the enemy of the American people” for years and openly incited his followers to physical violence against reporters, most segments of the mainstream press have nevertheless been suborned by Trump. And is Trump enacting it? Eventually the rest of the leadership came around based on conversations in which Trump pledged to enact their favored policies and appoint their favored judges, and things like that. SP: I don’t think so. They converged on Trump during the Republican primary, but they did so from two separate tracks. That much is clear. Submitted by twarren on Wed, 2020-06-03 16:20 A “masterful and meticulous”* feat of reportage that explains one of the central mysteries of the Trump era: the unholy marriage … Sarah Posner is a reporting fellow with Type Investigations. Her coverage and analysis of politics and religion has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Prospect, Politico, and many other outlets. Is this simply opportunism? R&P: Some prominent evangelicals have suggested that God chose Trump for this moment—a claim that they previously made about George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, but not as much about John McCain, Mitt Romney, or Barack Obama. Here's a review I wrote of Sarah Posner's Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump, which appeared in the 2-15 October print edition of National Catholic Reporter and is now also online at the NCR website.It's entitled, "Sarah Posner's 'Unholy' implicates Catholics as … Civil Liberties, Culture, Education, Elections, Law, Media, Sexuality & Gender. This leadership has embraced Donald Trump literally and figuratively, declaring as God’s anointed a lying, lecherous, miser who is also almost certainly the country’s first truly atheist President in modern times. They routinely use wormy euphemisms when writing about virtually everything connected with him; his lies are called “inaccuracies,” his stupidities are called “indiscretions,” his autocratic fascism is called “unconventional.” And all of this is done for the most sordid reason: to skim the profits and clicks and revenue of Trump’s audience while pretending to hold him accountable. Some of it is not being enacted by Trump himself—it’s being enacted by cabinet secretaries, political appointees, and agencies. As Trump was energizing the alt-right, the Christian Right leadership mostly refused to criticize him for it. Savvy New York lawyers who certainly know better will find themselves taping clients and coercing tenants at his mere association. This content was created by a … R&P: The standard account suggests that the Christian Right was initially formed in response to Supreme Court rulings like Engel v. Vitale and Roe v. Wade. Experienced financial managers commit embezzlement with barely a recordable urging from him. These same policy initiatives have played out in other agencies. Stream Unholy by Sarah Posner, read by Cassandra Campbell by PRH Audio from desktop or your mobile device There are a number of different paths that people take to anoint Donald Trump, but I think the main takeaway is that many of his supporters continue to claim a divine mandate for his administration and its policies. I don’t see a theological basis for that, but it is an image that some televangelists have used to describe Trump. And if any of those people should happen to read it and allow it to change their devotions, so much the better. A wary reader might glance at Posner’s book and expect the worst, because any book that discusses honestly why the American evangelical community has embraced Donald Trump must lay waste to both sides of that relationship - a thing virtually no mainstream “Trump book” has been willing to do. This one does. Her investigative reporting has appeared in Rolling Stone, VICE, The Nation, Mother Jones, The New Republic, HuffPost, and Talking Points Memo. Across the Country, Muslims Are Fighting Voter Suppression and Intimidation, Trinity Lutheran: The Church-State Case Looms at the Supreme Court, How American Jews Became Israeli Settlers, The Book of Mormon Gets the Literary Treatment, Healing a House Divided: An Interview with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, More from The States of the Union Project >, We Should Be Peacemakers in the Abortion Wars, The Abortion Conversation Needs New Language, We Must Engage with Shared Values in the Abortion Debate, Let’s Recognize the Human Dignity of All People. Though the subtitle of Sarah Posner’s “Unholy” (White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Fonakd Trump) is not likely to draw many Trump supporters in to take a chance, he book is a masterpiece delivered with surprisingly little judgement or snideness. Do they complicate the story? Has anyone provided you with a theological warrant for claims about God’s choices? For years, Sarah Posner has been one of the most perceptive journalists covering the political activism of U.S. evangelicals and the broader Religious Right. One of the evils of Donald Trump, alongside his physical cowardice, his domestic cruelties, his compulsive lying, is also one of his oldest and most insidious evils: the ability to suborn. Random House, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-984820-42-6. Some leaders, like Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell, Jr., understood from the outset that the base was falling for Trump, and so went ahead and endorsed him early on. Kind-hearted charity directors will coarsen into habitual four-day-a-week creatures of the Manhattan legal system because that’s where he brings them. Don’t believe the medical experts, drink hydroxychloroquine. You draw on Randall Balmer and others who have argued that it was more directly responsive to racial issues like the desegregation of public schools, and that it remains invested in distinctly racial politics. Biden Can Restore America's Credibility on Religious Freedom https://t.co/NEeIoHCvCI. Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump - Kindle edition by Posner, Sarah. With each tweet excused or rationalized, with each racist utterance waved off as misunderstood or manipulated by “fake news” to make Trump look bad, with each rejoinder that it is Trump’s critics who are fomenting divisiveness, Trump’s evangelical loyalists have helped make the unthinkable - an overtly racist American president - a reality. As a Christian, I found this book far more disturbing and damning than I expected. "Sarah Posner reveals, with clarity and without hyperbole, the unholy alliance between Donald Trump and white evangelicals in this country. R&P: In the course of your reporting, you also spoke with some Black and Latino clergy who support Trump. Published by Random House, May, 2020. His website is http://www.stevedonoghue.com. SP: Yes, because Trump is a racist, and they continue to support him, with no indication that they are doing so despite his racism. Posner gives a brief and very skillful overview of the growth of the modern American marriage of fundamentalism and conservative politics and then moves straight into deeper detail about how faith leaders could so readily make common cause with “a thrice-married philanderer who talked about dating his daughter, paid off a porn star to keep quiet about an affair, and was terrible at God talk.” At the heart of this collaboration, she rightly notes, is naked transactional expedience: Trump’s ascent was not an ideological aberration, despite his deviations from Republican free market and foreign policy orthodoxies. “Sarah Posner reveals, with clarity and without hyperbole, the unholy alliance between Donald Trump and white evangelicals in this country. Their conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity. They say that Trump came along and “told it like it is” at a time when America was in extraordinary peril from globalism, George Soros, secularism, the secular left, or some other supposed enemy of Christian values. The book is much less about President Trump than the subtitle might predict. R&P: You note that, through all of this, Trump has consistently attacked the credibility of the press, the experts, the federal agencies and watchdogs, and anyone else who challenges or investigates the host of bizarre claims that he makes daily on Twitter and on television, and that the Christian Right has been dutifully consenting all the way. R&P: How would you characterize the relationship between the Christian Right and the so-called “alt-right” since 2015? Sign up to receive our newsletter and occasional announcements. Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump by Sarah Posner has an overall rating of Positive based on 7 book reviews. It might actually save their life. Her investigative reporting has appeared in Rolling Stone, VICE, The Nation, Mother Jones, The New Republic, HuffPost, and Talking Points Memo. There is a very common claim that Trump is a new iteration of King Cyrus, in that he himself is not a believer, but God is using him to restore America. $28.00 . She is the author of God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters (Polipoint 2008) and has written for The American Prospect, The Guardian, The Nation, Salon, AlterNet, The Atlantic, The Washington Spectator, The Daily Beast, and The Washington Post. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Unholy: Why … Best 10 Unholy Sarah Posner tested by reviewers. But his administration is working on it. One-sided? By promoting sycophantic outlets, like the Christian Broadcasting Network, by joining his attacks on the media, and by questioning those who challenge Trump as a truth teller, they have contributed to creating a base of voters who are divorced from the reality that everyone else can see. Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump Sarah Posner. She is a reporting fellow with Type Investigations. Check out our top pick. SP: Yes. Proud and even arrogant politicians find that they have become cringing underlings with hardly a nudge from the man they once scorned and now fawn upon. In her new book, Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump, journalist Sarah Posner draws on years of reporting to examine and explain the relationship among the president, his famously religious base, and the explicitly racist elements that … Steve Donoghue is a founding editor of Open Letters Monthly. I think it’s important to understand that both Trump himself and the Trump coalition have been strongly influenced by televangelists, and that Trump understands how to use the communication methods of televangelism to communicate to his base. Trump didn’t sign that version, but he authorized the Justice Department to put these religious freedom guidelines into place, which Jeff Sessions did. Sarah Posner is the author of "Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump," and a reporting fellow at Type Investigations. For the Christian right, Trump is a culmination of five decades of political organizing. So when you look at how Trump has conducted his presidency, putting someone like Stephen Miller in charge of his immigration policy, trying to ban Muslims from entering the country, separating children from their parents at the border, and then you hear Christian Right figures praise him as the most pro-life president ever or the most pro-religious-freedom president ever or the greatest ally they’ve ever had in the White House, you can see a meeting of minds even if they never got together to formalize a partnership.
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