As presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks more on his own faith to appeal to religious voters, his statements remain largely ambiguous. America, a national Catholic magazine, interviewed CRCC’s Andrew Johnson about his candidacy’s impacts on Christian communities. Trump’s seemingly unclear policies open themselves up for interpretation, causing divisions within Christian groups.
“Trump is exposing the cracks in what is called ‘evangelical America,'” Johnson said. “Some evangelical leaders are doubling down on ‘religious right’ strategies from the past as younger evangelicals are trying to separate themselves from that.”
Johnson also commented that some evangelical and Catholic voters see him as a way to re-strengthen their voices and influence.
An excerpt from the article:
Mr. Trump’s biggest supporters from the evangelical and, to a lesser extent, the Catholic worlds are figures whose cultural impact has waned considerably in recent years. With Mr. Trump, these figures see an opening for the religious right to regain a seat at the table, Mr. Johnson said.
“There are some evangelical leaders who have had a very small voice in the political discussion who are rising up because of this vacuum created by people leaving Trump,” he said.
But for certain religiously motivated voters, even those traditionally supportive of Republican politics, some of Mr. Trump’s promises could make their social advocacy work more difficult.
Take the issue of immigration, for example.
Catholics and evangelical leaders have in recent years emerged as some of the most vociferous supporters of immigration reform, highlighting especially how U.S. border policies separate families. Some have allied with Republicans sympathetic to their cause, including some of Mr. Trump’s former rivals, like Gov. Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.
But Mr. Trump, of course, favors building a wall and deporting nearly 12 million people living illegally in the United States, though in recent weeks his aides have said he is reconsidering this stance.
If he is elected, it would lead to many more questions on what Trump’s presidency would mean for the faith community.
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