Why did so many evangelicals turn out to vote for Donald Trump, a serial philanderer with questionable conservative credentials who seems to defy Christian values with his every utterance? To a reporter like Sarah Posner, who has been covering the religious right for decades, the answer turns out to be far more intuitive than one might think.
A wary reader might glance at Posner’s book and expect the worst, because any book that discusses honestly why the American evangelical community has embraced Donald Trump must lay waste to both sides of that relationship - a thing virtually no mainstream 'Trump book' has been willing to do. This one does ... Those grievances - against modernity, against compassion, against every kind of equality other than the equality of the male heads of households in white suburbs of the Deep South - are the hard, bitter kernel of Unholy’s story. Posner never loses sight of them, never calls them by anything other than what they are, never insults the importance of her subject with euphemisms ... very pointedly not written to pander to such people, which is intensely refreshing. And if any of those people should happen to read it and allow it to change their devotions, so much the better. It might actually save their life.
... hardhitting ... an apocalyptic view of American politics, not religion ... As Posner demonstrates ever more clearly and precisely, Trump and his unholy minions are heading the United States into a state of inequality it has never known ... Posner has been living this beat for decades. She attends the conferences, interviews pastors and televangelists, and is generally well known in these circles. Not to mention well read. The result in terrific insight, rationally laid out for the reader to appreciate in its true depth.
Posner’s narrative begins with the sense of displacement and racial grievance white Christian conservatives experienced following Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and traces the development of the religious right’s political infrastructure up until the Obama presidency, demonstrating how decades of patient strategizing created an environment in which Trump, the perfect televangelist candidate, could take center stage as the visible leader of a Republican Party prepared to pursue an agenda of wholesale assault on pluralist democracy in the name of redeeming white Christian America ... Highly recommended for those seeking to understand how white evangelicals developed political power.