Commentary

Religious Americans Are Pro-Trump

By Bill Donohue | June 21, 2017 | 3:18pm EDT
President Donald Trump (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

On June 20, Pew Research Center released the findings of a new poll on President Trump's job performance. It found that 39 percent of the public approves of his performance in office, while 55 percent disapproves. But among those who attend church weekly or more the respective figures are 48 percent and 45 percent. This suggests that it is secularists who are driving down his approval ratings.

Among white non-Hispanic Evangelical Protestants, Trump wins the approval of 74 percent; 20 percent disapprove. Among white non-Hispanic Catholics, he wins the support of 52 percent; 42 percent disapprove.

Overall, 48 percent of Protestants approve of the president's performance, while 45 percent disapprove. Among Catholics, the figures are 38 percent and 56 percent. The drop-off in support overall is clearly due to the Hispanic input. Here's more proof.

White non-Hispanics, independent of religious affiliation, approve of Trump's handling of the job by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent. But among Hispanics, the figures are 20 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

Trump's lack of support among Hispanics is well known, but more controversial is his support among the faithful. To take a line from President Bill Clinton, he feels their pain.

Two weeks ago, President Trump told religious Americans that the "bitter voices" of elites are responsible for the "hatred" and "prejudice" toward religion. Saying the faithful are "under siege," he vowed to "put a stop to the attacks on religion," pledging to "end discrimination against people of faith."

This is a welcome change from the Obama years where the executive branch used its powers to challenge the autonomy of churches and religious non-profits. The faithful are taking note, redounding to the favor of President Trump.

With regard to the role of religion, two conclusions seem plain. One, religious Americans like the president. Two, secularists don't like him. A third conclusion, based on other data, is also warranted: militant secular activists are the "bitter voices" of hatred and prejudice against the faithful.

This is one more reason why the culture war is not going away, and why practicing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims must stand up to the bullies who are leading the attacks against them.

Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.

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