Many reflected on how much they had gained in the last four years under the Trump administration, Nytimes.com reports.
When President Trump won the White House four years ago in a surprise victory, conservative Christians could not believe their good fortune.
At every turn of his presidency, he gave them everything they wanted: Two hundred federal judges appointed for life. An embassy in Jerusalem. Anti-abortion policies. Two Supreme Court Justices, and then in the final hours, a third. He was their bulwark, their defender, at a time when the country as they knew it, and their place in it, was changing. And he brought their movement to a pinnacle of political maturity.
Now the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr. marks a new chapter for conservative Christian power, which reached a peak under Mr. Trump. As Republican evangelicals around the country processed the week’s events, they reflected on how much they had gained in the last four years and on their fears over what could happen under a Biden administration. They also wondered when and how they would regain power.
In Sheldon, Iowa, where about eight out of ten voters supported Mr. Trump, Leah Schoonhoven journaled her concerns about a Biden presidency over three single-spaced pages. She worried that the election results were corrupted, and that Mr. Biden would reverse Mr. Trump’s priorities, from building the border wall to elevating conservative evangelical ideals on religious freedom.
“He doesn’t stand for Christianity at all; maybe he will prove me wrong,” she said of Mr. Biden, who is Catholic. “It scares me. He’s not going to do everything that Trump did.”
“I don’t think our world will ever get back, when you have a country that is this divided,” she said.
Donna Rigney, a pastor whose church meets in the lodge of an R.V. park in Salt Springs, Fla., had supported the president since 2016, when she received what she saw as a direct message from God supporting his candidacy.
After this election, she sent an email to the people in her prayer circles urging them not to give up. “We have to drag Donald Trump over the finish line with prayers of faith, worship, fasting and staying in the place of loving and forgiving our enemies,” she wrote.
But she said Friday that if this did turn out to be the end of the Trump era, she was grateful for what he had done for the country, and comforted that he would suffer fewer attacks. “He will be fine, he has God’s hand on him,” she said. “He’ll be better off not being the president and not being attacked daily. But I really feel this will be terrible for the nation.”
Mr. Trump’s presidency repeatedly revealed the deep divide between white conservative Christians and other people of faith, or of no faith at all. Mr. Biden’s narrow margin of victory in several battleground states revealed that the cultural clash between these groups is far from over. About eight in ten white evangelical voters supported Mr. Trump in the 2020 election, according to AP VoteCast, just as they did in 2016. Mr. Biden’s coalition included many Black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, and religiously unaffiliated Americans.
President Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett at The Whit House after he announced Ms. Barrett as his pick to be the next Supreme Court Associate Justice, in September.