Sarah Posner is a journalist at the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute who reports on religion and politics. Her work has appeared in The American Prospect, Salon, The Washington Post, and The Nation, among other places. She’s the author of God’s Prophet: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values and Voters.
JW: Return with us now to August 2015, six months before the first primary, when Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions were considered by most people to be a joke. What did Trump look like at that point to evangelical leaders?
SP: Evangelical leaders were pretty skeptical of him. They’ve had a playbook for some decades by which they vetted presidential candidates, and that playbook required the presidential candidates to describe their own religious piety, to describe their own salvation in Jesus Christ, and to also adhere to several litmus tests relating to their opposition to LGBTQ rights, their opposition to abortion, and, currently, their dedication to what the religious right frames as “religious freedom”—to exemptions from having to comply with, for example, the contraception requirement under the Affordable Care Act, or LGBTQ rights, because of their supposed religious objections to those things. Trump has none of…
click here to read more