The Rev. David Gushee: A crossroads for white evangelicals

RNS asked some of the country’s top faith leaders, scholars and activists to consider what changes the religion landscape will see in 2018. Find all their predictions here.

(RNS) — I predict that in 2018 some event involving President Donald Trump will pose a decisive moral test for his strongest base of supporters, white evangelicals.

Perhaps it will be new evidence related to sexual assault allegations against him, or an indictment from FBI Director Robert Mueller of his family members or even of the president, and a presidential firing of Mueller or pardon of the indicted.

Sadly, I think that we already know what will happen. A core of #Trumpvangelicals will remain loyal no matter what. They will take their talking points from Fox News. Their inability to offer anything resembling biblical moral reasons for their view will be painfully obvious. And it will be even more clear that whatever happens to Donald Trump will happen to these evangelicals, because they have become indistinguishable.

The Rev. David P. Gushee wrote the popular RNS column "Christians, Conflict & Change." He is the director of Mercer University's Center for Theology & Public Life. He is also president of the Society of Christian Ethics and president of the American Academy of Religion. The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

Read RNS reporters' deep dive into President Trump's "unprecedented ties" with white evangelicals.



  1. Putting the kibosh on all religion in 2018 in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  2. So…exactly what point are you attempting to make here, “rationally conclusions”?? I await your reply. ?

  3. The subject basically is religion in 2018 but in reality there is no religion in 2018 nor has there ever been as there is no god or gods ever.

  4. Well, you ARE correct that there is no religion in 2018. I agree with you. (Why? Because 2018 hasn’t arrived yet.)

    But be sure to click on this online Countdown Timer, because when it hits Zero-Zero-Zero-Zero, there WILL be religion in 2018, lots of it, and we theists are gonna rip up this scam-job atheism to worm-fodder PIECES !!!!!!!!!

  5. In the last sentence Rev. Gushee says “these evangelicals”, referring back to the Trumpvangelicals, but the stakes are far higher than that. The general public will not distinguish between “these evangelicals” and “those evangelicals”, not unless evangelicals who oppose Trump become a lot louder, more organised, and more active. Until that happens, evangelicalism itself stays firmly associated with Trump.

    Saying “well, we never *really* supported him”, after he’s out of power, won’t convince anyone.

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