Religion leaders pray with President Donald Trump throughout a rally for evangelical supporters in Miami in January 2020. AP Photograph/Lynne SladkyThe Analysis Transient is a brief tackle fascinating tutorial work.The massive ideaWhite evangelical help for Donald Trump has lengthy puzzled observers. To many, it appears hypocritical that Christians who’ve lengthy touted “family values” may rally round a thrice-married man who was accused by a number of ladies of sexual assault. Students have commented on his crassness, outlined by historian Walter G. Moss as “a lack refinement, tact, sensitivity, taste or delicacy.” Others have noticed how he has damaged guidelines of civil political engagement.However in my analysis on evangelical masculinity, I’ve discovered that Trump’s management type aligns intently with a rugged splendid of Christian manhood championed by evangelicals for greater than half a century.As I present in my e book “Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation,” conservative evangelicals embraced the best of a masculine protector within the 1960s and 1970s with a view to confront the perceived threats of communism and feminism.Believing that the feminist rejection of “macho” masculinity left the nation in peril, conservative white evangelicals promoted a testosterone-fueled imaginative and prescient of Christian manhood. Of their view, America wanted robust males to defend “Christian America” on the battlefields of Vietnam and to reassert order on the house entrance.Tradition has performed a essential function in shaping and sustaining this rugged imaginative and prescient of Christian manhood. In fashioning their masculine splendid, evangelicals have drawn liberally on Hollywood heroes – on mythologized warriors like Mel Gibson’s William Wallace within the film “Braveheart” and on the heroic cowboys and troopers performed by John Wayne.Reflecting the onscreen heroism portrayed by males like Gibson and Wayne, this masculine splendid condoned violence within the pursuit of righteousness and justified a vigorous, even ruthless assertion of energy.Why it mattersIn 2016, exit polls revealed that 81% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, a quantity greater than every other non secular demographic.Story continuesI argue that the language evangelicals used to defend their help for Trump means that they weren’t betraying their values, relatively that Trump embodied effectively the rugged and even ruthless splendid of evangelical masculinity.“I want the meanest, toughest son of a you-know-what I can find,” defined Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas. Of their e book “The Faith of Donald J. Trump,” Trump’s evangelical biographers David Brody and Scott Lamb concurred: Trump would “protect Christianity”; he can be their “ultimate fighting champion.”Along with his ballot numbers flagging, sustaining white evangelical help is essential to the president’s reelection efforts.That help is prone to hinge not on his presumed morality or Christian advantage, however relatively on his means to undertaking rugged energy and masculine energy.[Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.]How I do my workAs a historian, I method evangelicalism not as a set of summary theological beliefs, however relatively as a historic and cultural motion.As a way to perceive American evangelicalism, I surveyed common evangelical teachings on masculinity, sexuality and household values as revealed not solely by sermons but additionally by Christian radio, movie and the Christian publishing trade.Collectively, books on Christian manhood have hundreds of thousands of copies, sending the message of an aggressive, testosterone-driven splendid of Christian manhood and affirming the brand new evangelical identification.What nonetheless isn’t knownThe relationship between evangelical consumerism and formal non secular authorities is a fruitful space for additional analysis. Extra work, too, will be carried out to discover how conflicting concepts of Christian manhood coexist inside white evangelical communities and the way conceptions of Christian masculinity fluctuate throughout racial divides.What’s nextI am starting work on a undertaking that’s in some ways a counterpoint to Jesus and John Wayne, tracing the cultural and political ramifications of evolving beliefs of white Christian womanhood.This text is republished from The Dialog, a nonprofit information web site devoted to sharing concepts from tutorial specialists.Learn extra:Kristin Kobes Du Mez acquired analysis funding from the Louisville Institute to finish this e book undertaking.