Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump in overwhelming numbers. Evangelical support for the president remains relatively firm; indeed, even as others criticized the president’s remarks in the wake of Charlottesville, evangelical leaders rose to the president’s defense. All of this gets under the skin of President Trump’s critics, who cannot believe that men and women who think of themselves as godly can possibly stomach Trump’s behavior. For such critics, the only possible explanation for evangelicals’ continuing faith in Trump is some combination of ignorance and hypocrisy.
Conversations with actual evangelical Christians at a recent gathering here — the Hillsboro Family Camp, where families have met annually since 1972 for four days of praise and worship — suggest a different picture. These voters — and almost all of them voted — see Trump’s flaws but perceive him as a fellow sinner willing to fight the forces of the establishment on their behalf.