|Sarah Huckabee Sanders: God Wanted Donald Trump to Be President|
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that she believes President Donald Trump has the approval of God, saying, “I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president.”Per PRRI data from 2017, 28 percent of Americans believe that God played a major role in the election of Donald Trump, and 13 percent believe that God played a minor role. In the interview, Sanders also explains why she thinks it makes sense that white evangelical Protestants still support Trump. “There’s a reason evangelicals are sticking with the president, and that’s because he’s delivered on all the things he said he would do,” she notes. PRRI data also shows that 57 percent of white evangelical Protestants believe that God played a major role in Trump’s election, compared to nearly half (45 percent) of Republicans, 26 percent of independents, and 18 percent of Democrats. PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones chimed in on Twitter: “Sanders’ claims [about] Trump and ‘people of faith’ define most religious Americans outside that category: White evangelicals are the ONLY religious group who have favorable view of Trump, and they comprise only 15 percent of the population.”
|Lawmakers Create First LGBT Caucus in Texas State Legislature|
Seven years after she became just the second LGBT woman to serve in the Texas assembly, Texas State Rep. Mary Gonzalez will become the first chairwoman of a newly formed LGBT caucus. Gonzalez joins four other women who hope to advance bills that will impact LGBT lives. “If you would have told me that we would have five LGBTQ members in the Texas Legislature, I would have never believed you,” Gonzalez explains to The Dallas Morning News. “And all women, and all in the House.” One of the caucuses first actions will be to champion Gonzalez’s ‘Romeo and Romeo’ bill, which would provide more protection to LGBT rape victims. Currently, statutory rape laws only apply to offenses between opposite genders. Recent PRRI data shows that nearly six in ten (57 percent) Texans oppose allowing small business owners to refuse to provide products or services to gay and lesbian people based on their religious beliefs. Most Texas subgroups, with the exception of white evangelical Protestants and Republicans, oppose those refusals. Fifty-seven percent of white evangelical Protestants in Texas support religiously-based service refusals, compared to 35 percent of all Texans and 33 percent of Americans overall.
|Trump’s Former Pastor Criticizes the President|
In response to Trump’s tweet advocating for the introduction of Bible literacy classes in public schools, the president’s former pastor tweeted a response, accusing Trump of never coming to church. NewsOne featured an editorial on this back-and-forth, concluding that it’s unlikely to have an impact on Trump’s base: “Sadly, Trump supporters will not care, their only agenda is ‘white Christian dominance,’ which sounds like something right out of Nazi Germany,” NewsOne staffers write. Their analysis also draws on a recent interview in The Washington Post with PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones, where Jones explains, “Even if Trump loses support among other parts of his 2016 base, the data suggests white evangelicals may be the last loyalists standing by his side.” The NewsOne editorial concludes that because Trump’s election in 2016 hinged on “white dominance,” this a strategy emphasizing this theme makes sense for the 2020 election as well.
|The Gap Between Black and White Christians|
At The Atlantic, Emma Green recently wrote a review of a new book by Jemar Tisby titled The Color of Compromise. In her article, Green explains that Tisby “challenges the notion that white supremacy is merely a legacy, and not a present reality, in the church.” While white supremacy continues to manifest in contemporary society, Tisby contends that it is taking a different shape now than it did historically. “It looks like Christians responding to black lives matter with the phrase all lives matter. It looks like Christians consistently supporting a president whose racism has been on display for decades,” he writes in the book. Green cites PRRI data reinforcing this point in her review: “According to the Public Religion Research Institute, white evangelical Protestants have consistently favored the president since he was elected, with roughly 72 percent of them expressing support in the fall of 2018.”