Church Pews Empty Out On Christmas In Wake Of Trump Election
Just a few days before Christmas 2016, Gallup released the results of a survey, showing that Christian identity in the United States continues to decline. What’s more, church attendance among American Christians is shrinking.
The problem came to a head last week on Christmas Eve, when churches traditionally hold religious services. This year, attendance at Christmas Eve services hit a record low, as churches across America echoed with the sound of preaching to pews that were mostly empty.
The election of Donald Trump created a moral crisis for Christianity, as researchers note that majorities of Christians of all varieties, Catholic and Protestant, voted for Donald Trump – a candidate who advocates torture, assassination of children, sexual assault, violent beatings of protesters, and persecution of religious minorities by the U.S. federal government. For right wing zealots, the Trump victory is a cause for celebration, but for moderates and liberal Christians, the strong support of racism, sexism, and fascism among their fellows in faith has been disturbing, causing many to question their religious affiliation.
A month after Election Day, ChurchCentral.com quoted a Christian preacher as complaining, “In the past, I’ve been able to lead churches to growth. I can’t do it anymore.” Christian writer Katherine Maxwell-Rose announced to her readers that “Trump’s election made me want to stop calling myself a Christian”. Right wing Christian David French describes the problem as he writes, “For Evangelicals, there is no clear answer. Those who’ve strongly advocated for Trump have largely lost their public moral witness, corrupting their message and destroying their reputations in a vain quest to justify the unjustifiable.”
Christianity is not at risk of complete extinction in the United States. However, with the election of Donald Trump, the character of the religion has shifted dramatically, becoming primarily identified with right wing extremism far outside of the American mainstream.
Those not wanting to be identified with the cruel and crude politics of Donald Trump are simply walking away, toward a secular moral high ground, leaving their churches to rot in the swamp.