Both are potentially dangerous if not fettered by reason and common sense. And, evangelicals follow each with blind loyalty.
The single greatest deficiency with evangelicalism is its complete lack of objective scrutiny when it comes to the Bible. The Bible is a book riddled with contradictions, incongruences and implausibilities which are obvious to the critical eye but obscured by faith. Evangelicals don’t see them because they accept the Bible’s authority as God’s word. Their undying faith in its central message of eternal hope which they depend on prevents them from questioning its veracity.
Evangelicals have been rehearsing for the Trump presidency for decades. Placing complete confidence in something that has never earned nor merits such devotion is the foundation of evangelical ideology. Whether it’s in Trump’s promises or the biblical promises, evangelicals will rationalize away any doubts or evidence to the contrary.
Much of the world marvels at the unholy union of Trump and evangelicals. It is not that hard to understand. Evangelicals are steeped in a faith that demands blind allegiance without internal criticism. Instead all energy is directed outwards. Evangelicals attack those things that threaten or impinge on their faith like science and rationality. They are conditioned to mistrust any source other than the Bible. Churches have become a breeding ground for unwarranted skepticism in our most sacred and trusted institutions like the scientific community, secular education and the media.
Trump has successfully commandered a branch of evangelicalism which he is effectively using to advance his political goals. Evangelicals, on the other hand, have willingly submitted to his control in exchange for a place at his table and the attention (read: influence) they desperately crave.
When something satisfies a deep seated need, you will tell yourself whatever is necessary to justify its presence in your life. Evangelicals have surrendered intellectual objectivity in subscribing to the teachings of an ancient book of superstitions. With Trump they have sacrificed their reputation as Jesus’ ambassadors and moral compasses. Any respectability evangelicals once had has been lost.
Using the Bible to advance one’s moral agenda is dangerous and unwarranted. Relying on teachings tainted with cultural bias and bigotry while purporting it to be divinely sanctioned is intellectually irresponsible. Science and reason must be used to evaluate anything claiming unconditional authority. Trump is no different. He, like the Bible, is deeply flawed and extremely dangerous if left unchecked and given free rein. Unfortunately, he has surrounded himself with an army of followers who stoke his ego and fan the flames of racism and sexism.
With the Trump presidency, evangelicals have chosen their hill to die on. History may show it was a deadly choice.