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How and Why Donald Trump Has The Christian Right In His Pocket


*(Via Newsweek)- In an administration full of “firsts,” Mike Pence marked another over the weekend by being the first ever vice president to publicly speak to Focus on the Family – a longtime leading organization in the Christian Right.

Pence’s closeness to the Christian Right may make this seem unremarkable, but it would arguably have not been surprising if President Trump appeared himself.

Focus on the Family has never hosted a President, but white evangelicals have been his most loyal supporters. As Pence stated, the group has, “ an unwavering ally in President Donald Trump.”

This episode and the relationship underlying it also illustrates something important about evangelicals and the Christian Right; that is, their elevation of political pragmatism over moral principle. And, thus far into the Trump presidency, this move has paid handsome political dividends for the group.

From the beginning, the Christian Right’s embrace of the crass, materialistic, thrice-married real estate and reality TV mogul has raised eyebrows.

Trump is the moral antithesis of the Christian Right’s proclaimed values, and past data suggested that those values guide the white evangelical vote. Despite this, 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump – a higher percentage than voted for George W. Bush, who is an evangelical.

What’s more, white evangelical support for him has actually risen despite a constant barrage of negative press about the president. Around the 100-day mark of his presidency,78 percent endorsed the president’s performance, with over two-thirds of those very strongly approving of the president, dwarfing the general public approval rating of 39 percent.

Get the rest of this Newsweek story at MSN News.