Believe me may be the most commonly used phrase in Donald Trumps lexicon. Whether about building a wall or protecting the Christian heritage, the refrain is constant. And to the surprise of many, about 80% percent of white evangelicals have believed Trump-at least enough to help propel him into the White House. Historian John Fea is not surprised-and in Believe Me he explains how we have arrived at this unprecedented moment in American politics. An evangelical Christian himself, Fea argues that the embrace of Donald Trump is the logical outcome of a long-standing evangelical approach to public life defined by the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and a nostalgic longing for an American past. In the process, Fea challenges his fellow believers to replace fear with hope, the pursuit of power with humility, and nostalgia with history....
|Title||:||Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump|
|Number of Pages||:||208 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Believe » Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump|
Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump Reviews
This was one interesting read. Read it in two sittings. While Trump is a big part of the book, the bigger story is how conservative evangelicals paved the way for someone like him to get there. Fea writes from an American historian’s point of view and goes as far back as Thomas Jefferson’s presidency to make his case. The chapter I found most provocative was chapter 4: The Court Evangelicals
My earliest clear memory of American politics is of conservative Christians howling “Character counts! Bill Clinton is not morally qualified to be president and must be impeached!”. Fast forward to 2016 and many of these same voices eagerly led 81% of white Evangelical Christians to vote for a profane, lecherous bully…but it’s okay because “we’re voting for a commander in chief, not a pastor in chief and he’s going to appoint such good supreme court justices.” Major cognitive dissonance! This bo ...more
An interesting take on evangelical Christian culture in the U.S., this was a book that presented questions, answers, and yet more questions about the past and future of American religious and political identity. Fea's perspective as an anti-Trump evangelical provides a nuanced analysis of racial politics and how evangelism intersects with culture, which I found enlightening.
Unfortunately, this book had a lot of issues with accuracy. Fea refers to the Trail of Tears as a "removal campaign" inste ...more
This book bills itself as a book about the way evangelicals received Trump, by an evangelical; speaking their language, interpreting from the inside, as it were. It was definitely interesting to hear from someone not outright rejecting the evangelical premise, though little of it was revelatory to me as someone with more than a cursory knowledge of both American politics and right-wing zealots. However, I found that ultimately, whether because of his evangelical roots, blindspots due to his part ...more
I received ‘Believe Me’ by John Fea as an advanced reading copy from NetGalley. The thing I love most about this book is that it was written by a self-proclaimed evangelical who also happens to be a historian. I love that John Fea used history to back his claims. I found some parts of history to be a bit boring, but interesting at the same time because it all tied together in the end. What was so shocking to me was to find out that 81% of white evangelicals actually voted for Donald Trump. That ...more
Beginning with the obligatory notice that I’m friends with and work with the author, I will say I found John’s historical analysis of fear at the root of much evangelical politics to be compelling and useful. Although he doesn’t go there, for those of us who either grew up in or continue in that tradition it raises the uncomfortable question of how deeply fear is tangled in evangelical, or even just Christian, forms of faith and practice as such, a question beyond the scope of John’s interest he ...more
In "Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump" John Fea traces the history of Evangelicalism to attempt to figure out how it was possible for such a large percentage of Evangelical voters to cast their votes for someone like Trump, whose character flaws were disqualifying in any candidate before him. Fea concludes that fear was the main factor in Evangelicals voting the way they did. In and of itself, that isn't a new idea, but where Fea shines is in his analysis of how fear has influence ...more