The Forces Behind Anti-Trans Bills Across the U.S.
Russell Contreras for Axios reports that the multimillion-dollar effort to restrict transgender rights is being fueled by many of the Christian and conservative groups that led the charge against Roe v. Wade, including the AllianceDefending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the Liberty Counsel, and the American Principles Project. (The Alliance Defending Freedom reported more than $78 million in revenue in 2021, and the Family Research Council changed its IRS status to an “association of churches” to avoid filing a public tax return, ProPublica reports.) The Trans Legislation Tracker has followed 492 anti-transgender bills in 47 states as of April 2, a 489% increase since 2015. Of these bills, PRRI President and Founder, Robert P. Jones stated: “They want to preserve their vision of a white, Christian America (and) they’re willing to embrace all sorts of anti-democratic means to protect it.”
Will Trump Indictment Make White Evangelicals Ditch ‘Imperfect Vessel’?
Adam Gabbatt for the Guardian writes about how America’s white evangelical have justified their support for Trump by comparing him to the biblical KingCyrus, who liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity, despite not believing in the god of Israel himself. Gabbatt cites Robert P. Jones’ response to Trump’srecent indictment: “The evidence from the public opinion data suggests that it will not make much difference,” Jones said. “It was never really about abortion. I think that that line is, frankly, a propaganda line for evangelical leaders to try to justify their support for Trump,” he said. “It was a more palatable reason for them to support Trump than what the data indicate the reasons actually were.” Rather, Jones contends that Trump’s anti-immigrant, MAGA sentiment is what really stuck with evangelicals. “What [MAGA] did is it evoked this powerful sense of nostalgia for an America that many white conservative Christians saw slipping away.”
White Nationalism Remains Major Concern for Voters of Color
In a recent blog for the Brookings Institution, Gabriel R. Sanchez looks at the results of the PRRI/Brookings Christian Nationalism Survey and the 2022Midterm Voter Election Poll conducted by the African American Research Collaborative (AARC) to understand our current political climate and the threat Christian nationalism poses to our democracy and to communities of color.“The new Christian nationalism survey makes clear that there is an underlying ideology of racism among the Christian nationalist movement that connects them,” Sanchez writes. While the PRRI/Brookings Christian NationalismSurvey found 1 in 10 Americans are defined as adherents to Christian nationalism, the AARC 2022 Midterm Voter Election Poll found that Black respondents in this survey are the most worried across the board about the risk of white nationalism, 73% of whom are worried about extreme Republicans and white nationalists promoting hate towards immigrants and minorities.
Vatican Rejects Doctrine of Discovery
Nicole Winfield for AP reports that the Vatican on Thursday responded to Indigenous demands and formally repudiated the “Doctrine of Discovery,” theories backed by 15th-century “papal bulls” that legitimized the colonial-era seizure of Native lands and form the basis of some current property laws. The statement reads that the papal documents had been “manipulated” for political purposes “to justify immoral acts against Indigenous peoples that were carried out, at times, without opposition from ecclesial authorities.” Robert P. Jones writes about this doctrine in his forthcoming book “The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path to a Shared American Future” and how it shaped the way European Christians would understand the “discovered” world and the people who populated it.
Read PRRI’s full report “Abortion Attitudes in a Post-Roe World: Findings From the 50-State 2022 American Values Atlas” here.