A photo of trump at a rally

Why aren’t evangelicals condemning Trump’s fascist remarks?


FFRF Action Fund condemns — as every self-respecting American should — the increasingly fascist, frightening remarks and proposals of presidential candidate Donald Trump. But where is the outcry from Trump’s evangelical base?

Trump is calling political foes and the left (including presumably President Biden) “thugs that live like vermin,” charging that undocumented immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country” and announcing plans to round them up, concentrate them in enormous camps and deport them by the millions without due process

Last weekend at a Veterans Day appearance, Trump vowed: “We will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country,” and warned that “the real threat is not from the radical right. The real threat is from the radical left, and it’s growing every day.”

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung derided concerns by critics that Trump sounds like Mussolini and Hitler as “snowflakes grasping for anything . . . and their entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.” 

Meanwhile Trump, who faces 91 charges in four criminal cases, is pointing to individuals he plans to prosecute if he wins a second term, such as siccing a Justice Department he will take over to launch political witch hunts against folks he considers disloyal, like John F. Kelly, his former chief of staff. He’s threatened that special counsel Jack Smith, who now requires around-the-clock protection, thanks to some of Trump’s fans, will end up in a “mental institution” by the end of his next term.

“Project 2025,” devised by the Christian nationalist Heritage Foundation with 75 other groups, would set the stage for destroying the independence of the Justice Department and other cabinets, and for deploying the military against American citizens under the Insurrection Act of 1871. It would also be a harrowing roadmap for establishing Christian nationalism.

Trump is unabashed about his intent. After complaining about his criminal prosecutions during a campaign event in October, he complained, “This is third-world-country stuff, ‘Arrest your opponent.’ And that means I can do that, too.”

The shocking New York Times exposé earlier this week on Trump’s appalling plans to corral millions of undocumented workers notes that Trump wouldn’t stop there. He would rescind the visas of foreign students who participate in protests he doesn’t like. He would instruct U.S. consular officials to block individuals with “undesirable attitudes.” Those with temporary protected status or who have been allowed here for humanitarian reasons would also be kicked out, including tens of thousands of Afghans evacuated in 2021. Trump has repeatedly vowed to end birthright citizenship, even though it’s provided for in the U.S. Constitution, and would start implementing that promise by barring the Social Security Administration from issuing social security cards for such babies. 

The architect of his 2025 immigration policy is none other than the infamous Stephen Miller, who was responsible for Trump’s draconian immigration policies during his presidency, which brought family separations and his ban on Muslims from many nations entering the country. The U.S. Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote ultimately blocked Trump’s policies, but since that vote, Trump has replaced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett.

Robert P. Jones, president of PRRI and a speaker at FFRF’s recent national convention, writes: “At his rallies, Trump’s favorite closing incantation of ‘one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God’ echoes the rhythms of Hitler’s ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer’(one people, one realm, one leader).”

FFRF Action Fund has previously condemned Trump’s despicable references to stigmatizing nonbelievers and non-Christians by imposing a religious test to enter the country, saying on the campaign trail, “If you hate America, if you want to abolish Israel, if you don’t like our religion — which a lot of them don’t — if you sympathize with the jihadists, then we don’t want you in our country and you are not getting in. Right?” 

Liz Cheney notes that Trump is using “the same Nazi propaganda that mobilized 1930s–40s Germany to evil.” History, she added, will judge “every Republican who is appeasing this dangerous man.” How can Trump still be significantly ahead in the GOP presidential nominee polls?

But even more so: How can Trump’s evangelical base continue to support this dangerous demagogue? We can only ask evangelical Trump supporters, as a prosecutor famously asked of Joe McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency?”

FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues.