GOP Jesus and Trump: an Exploration of the Usage of Evangelical Christianity by Donald Trump

Head shot of Fiona Schieve

Name: Fiona Schieve
Majors: Political Science, Religious Studies
Advisors: Jeremy Rapport, Terry Reeder

Most Timely Research Award

This project intends to analyze the overwhelming support Donald Trump garnered from Evangelical Americans during the 2016 presidential election. It is proposed that Trump achieved this using an augmented version of Christianity alongside the use of rhetorical tools to specifically gain the support of the Evangelical right. The project isolates and unpacks two identity models, that of the protector and the provider, which emerge as a result of the patriarchal nature of Evangelical Christianity. It is argued that Trump used these models to gain the voter support of a population that, at first glance, would not be assumed supporters. The Protector stands as a model for the strong male image that has permeated through the American psyche, the man who is able to care for his home, family, and community. The Provider is a model for the economic power a man should hold in order to be able support his family. These models are broken down to understand their origin, persistence in political culture, and how they worked to create the perfect environment for Trump to exploit what they mean to the Evangelical community. This project will explore how Trump was able to prime this audience, despite not possessing any of the actual values the models allowed him to project.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 14, 2023.

4 responses to “GOP Jesus and Trump: an Exploration of the Usage of Evangelical Christianity by Donald Trump”

  1. Benjamin C. Dover, Ph.D says:

    Very nice work fiona!

  2. Bill Kulp says:

    Fascinating topic.

  3. Rachel David says:

    Thank you for exploring this topic!

  4. Mark Graham says:

    Hi Fiona — Congratulations on completing this excellent and important work. I’ve been aware through the school year of the project, and so it’s great now to learn more about it. Thank you for doing this work and sharing it here. I am interested to read the entire IS, if that’s possible.

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Related Areas of Study

Religious Studies

An interdisciplinary, academic approach to the study of religion that includes history, art, theology, and more.

Major Minor

Political Science

The study of power, with concentrations in U.S. politics, international relations, political theory and comparative politics.

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