sherwin10_Joe RaedleGetty Images_christianstrump Joe Raedle/Getty Images

What Fundamentalist Christians See in Trump

For fundamentalist Christians in America, what matters is not the factual truth of Donald Trump’s sinful, un-Christian character, but rather the belief that divine forces are acting through him. If Republicans no longer seem committed to democracy, that is because they are now concerned with something bigger: the Rapture.

NEW YORK – Now that Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, it seems fitting to address a source of perplexity that has persisted ever since he arrived on the political scene: How can America’s fundamentalist Christians be so enthusiastic about so thoroughly un-Christian a politician?

This seeming paradox is rooted in Christian fundamentalist thought itself. At its heart is a special code of meaning-making that enables believers to see and hear what others do not.

Consider the words of Jesus in the Book of Matthew (13:16-17): “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” The meaning of these words can be properly decoded only by the faithful. Prophetic signs may well appear to those who see through the lens of faith. The ill-equipped are likely to behold something entirely different, or perhaps nothing at all.