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How Trump Has Transformed Evangelicals

How Trump Has Transformed Evangelicals

Donald Trump and American evangelicals have never been natural allies. Trump has owned casinos, flaunted mistresses in the tabloids, and often talked in a way that would get him kicked out of church. In 2016 many people doubted whether Trump could win over evangelicals, whose support he needed. Eight years later, a few weeks away from the Iowa caucuses, evangelical support for the former president and current Republican frontrunner is no longer in question. In fact, there are now prominent evangelical leaders who have come to believe that Trump is “God’s instrument on Earth,” says Tim Alberta, a staff writer at The Atlantic and author of the new book The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism. How did evangelicals shift from being reluctant supporters of Trump to among his most passionate defenders? How did some evangelicals, historically suspicious of politicians, develop a “fanatical, cult-like attachment” to Donald Trump? And what happened to the evangelical movement as some bought into Trump’s vision of America and others recoiled? Alberta is …