No One Should Be Confused About Where Trump Stands on Abortion

Maybe you think that, alone, wouldn’t be enough to recommend Trump to the kind of Christian that imagines this nation can only be restored to its divine origins once these particular Christians assume leadership over all. Project 2025, for example—the Heritage Foundation–led effort to guide Trump—puts “Restore the family as the centerpiece of American life and protect our children” at the top of its list of concerns.

But the Christian right has been inclined to offer Trump broad latitude so long as it’s in service to its goals. “Many Americans, including large swaths of White Christian nationalists, seem to accept that the figure who is asked to protect the purity of the national family may overstep the bounds of purity himself to do so,” the professor of religious studies and former Christian nationalist Bradley Onishi writes in his 2023 book tracing and critiquing that movement. “This transgression is viewed not as an unforgivable sin but as a sign of virility and power.” In Trump, they have found their latest perfectly impure leader. “Like a good strongman, he is seen as the head and protector of the American family,” Onishi writes. “His transgressions are not only forgivable; they are signs that he is up for the job.” Even “family values” Christians may follow such a leader—not because they have no other choice, but because he fits the part.

Trump, in his way, nodded to this relationship in the rambling prophecy at the end of his remarks. He promised his audience that their power would return, with him: “These are gonna be your years, because you’re gonna make a comeback like just about no other group … and I’ll be with you, side by side.”

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