If evangelicals were to consult their past, they would find that their times of greatest positive influence — inlate–18th-century and early–19th-century Britain, or mid–19th-century America — came when they were truest to their religious calling. It was not when they acted like another political interest group. The advocates of abolition, prison reform, humane treatment of the mentally disabled and women’s rights were known as malcontents in the cause of human dignity.
Today, far too many evangelicals are seen as angry and culturally defensive, and have tied their cause to a leader who is morally corrupt and dehumanizes others. Older evangelicals — the very people who should be maintaining and modeling moral standards — have ignored and compromised those standards for political reasons in plain view of their own children. And disillusionment is the natural result.
I think Gerson still considers himself Evangelical, though he attends and Episcopal Church. But regardless, like me, he incorrigibly treats the Evangelical tribe as redeemable.
But my rational mind says, “No. They’re insane. They keep doing the same thing* while expecting a different result.”
If EVGL was a stock, I’d be shorting it.
[* Regarding doing the same thing, see Damon Linker’s perceptive column on the gestalt of the Trump Presidency.]