Many headlines trumpeting Donald Trump’s victory in the Nevada Republican caucuses credit voters’ anger with the federal government. But the real lesson of Trump’s rise is not about fury, but faith. Trump’s momentum reveals that the conservative Christian voting bloc is a splintered remnant of the kingmaking machine it once was. And perhaps this is good news both for Trump for and the conservative Christian movement itself.
Donald J. Trump wears many hats: real estate mogul, a reality television star, fashion merchandiser, a mediocre mail-order steak conossuier, a board game inventor, and of course, a Republican presidential hopeful. But you can add another title to the list after last night: persecuted Christian.
In an interview following the GOP presidential debate on CNN, Trump stated that he could not release his tax returns because he was currently being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. The candidate then went on to speculate that perhaps the IRS was targeting him because of his faith.
“Well, maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian, and I feel strongly about it, maybe there’s a bias,” Trump said.
The Georgia Senate passed a religious freedom bill that critics say will allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT persons on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill is a combination of the Pastors Protection Act, which protects clergy from being forced to perform same-sex marriages, and the First Amendment Defense Act, which would allow taxpayer-funded organizations to deny goods and services to gays and lesbians. Georgia’s governor Nathan Deal could sign the bill into law as early as next week.
But a new study of Georgians’ attitudes on the matter shows that most residents of the Southern state are opposed to at least part of the bill. Roughly 66 percent of Georgia residents say that LGBT persons should be protected against discrimination in the workplace, public accommodations, and housing. This includes a majority of both Republicans and Democrats.