It Turns Out Values Trump Everything

Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill.
Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill. (Reuters)

So how did Donald Trump seal the deal with Conservative Christians?

Well, it turned out to do more with the Republican Party platform and less about President-elect Trump.

Nearly 6 in 10 Trump voters were impacted by the pro-life, pro-religious liberty planks of the Republican Party, according to a post-election poll commissioned by Family Research Council.

"The Republican Party's platform positions on unborn human life and religious liberty were the bridge between Donald Trump and Christian conservatives," FRC President Tony Perkins told me. 

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Nearly 60 percent of Trump voters were more likely to vote for him because the platform is very clear on life and religious liberty, he said.

"It was the party platform that brokered the deal between Trump and Christian conservatives—a deal that was sealed in the final debate when Trump vividly described a partial-birth abortion and pledged to appoint pro-life justices," Perkins reiterated.

White evangelicals turned out in massive numbers on Election Day for Trump—81 percent to 16 percent, according to exit polls. 

They obliterated a narrative perpetrated by the mainstream media and "Never Trump" religious leaders that evangelicals were divided over the Republican nominee. In reality, the only divisions were among a small, but vocal group of evangelical leaders—not the rank and file.

Values voters wanted a president who would defend the unborn as well as the rights of Christians to practice their faith in the public marketplace.

There was also considerable interest in Trump's promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment. 

The amendment in essence bars advocacy organizations from mentioning elected officials and prohibits pastor and churches from commenting on candidates. 

Yet for decades a provision of the tax code referred to as the Johnson Amendment has prevented these organizations from providing such information.

"Indeed, under current IRS guidance, it prevents a whole host of nonprofit organizations, religious and otherwise, from informing their followers in ways relevant to their own duty to vote," Perkins wrote in a post on the FRC website. 

But perhaps the most crucial issue on Election Day was the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court. 

One of President-elect Trump's first decisions will be to nominate a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. It could be a defining moment for his presidency as well as his future relationship with the Christian conservatives who put him in the Oval Office.

"The Republican Party platform played a key role in bringing Christian conservatives and Trump together," Perkins said.

Only time will tell whether the Trump administration actually values those kinds of voters.

Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.

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