The question is asked repeatedly, “How could conservative Christians endorse a liar who is unfaithful to wives and who has as his life’s work gambling?” His election has been described as the rise of or return to “Old Time Religion.”
No says a retired history professor and conservative Baptist. It reflects instead a rejection of conservative or “old time religion” and a journey toward a secular brand of religion. Conservative men, who run this branch of Christianity, no longer condemn yielding to those temptations they themselves are subjected to like cheating on wives, lying and gambling. If they fall to these temptations they would like to be given the same pass from the faith Trump has received.
It is safer condemn instead those “sins” of others, sins they themselves never have and never will encounter. Those are the “sins” of abortion and homosexuality. When Trump pledged to move against these “sins” one could almost hear the sigh of relief. Finally, a politician who didn’t care about heterosexual sins of the flesh that conservative men might like to sample.
The link explains this new version of conservative Protestantism reflects cultural change and will never return to “Old Time Religion” of more carefully prescribed Christian behavior. As I wrote recently, Hurricane Harvey is no longer punishment from God. Neither will those be punished who lie, are unfaithful husbands or promote activities frowned on in the Bible like gambling.
The faith started changing when circumcision was no longer required. It continues to change.