Right Wing Watch has a comprehensive timeline of the ascension of the religious reich into the current regime, and it’s a very ugly look at the coming Theocalypse, if these people get their way, which so far, they are. We do not need to be all concerned over the rise of AI. We do need to be concerned with the rise of the religious reich, and we need to be concerned with the rise of stupid.
Donald Trump wasn’t exactly the dream candidate of the Religious Right. Throughout the Republican primary contest, many in the social conservative movement urged voters to pick what one group of anti-choice activists called “anyone but Donald Trump.”
But once it became clear that Trump was going to win the GOP nomination, he started aggressively courting the evangelical Right, including holding a massive meeting for Religious Right leaders in New York that many cite as a turning point for their support. On the day of that meeting, Trump announced the formation of an evangelical advisory board that included Religious Right leaders including James Dobson and Michele Bachmann. Trump’s selection of Mike Pence as his running mate sealed the deal for many on the Religious Right. Trump’s “amen corner” of prosperity gospel preachers and domininionists eventually expanded to include the large share of Religious Right leaders, who offered various theological explanations for their embrace of a morally flawed candidate.
Once he was elected—with 80 percent of the white evangelical vote—Trump kept his evangelical advisory board intact and promised to give it unprecedented access to the White House. He stacked his Cabinet with friends of the Religious Right, including Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Betsy DeVos at Education and Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development. Far-right pastor Ralph Drollingerworked with Trump’s transition team to set up weekly Bible studies for Trump’s Cabinet members. The conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society vetted potential judicial nominees.
The White House continues to hold weekly calls with evangelical advisory board members. Conservative leaders also receive a weekly email from the White House compiling “highlights for—and requests for action from—the conservative world.” And Religious Right leaders report enjoying an open door with the Trump administration. Former Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land told The New York Times that conservative evangelical leaders have a “regular, ongoing and continuing dialogue” with the administration.
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkinssaid in August, “I’ve been to the White House I don’t know how many more times in the first six months this year than I was during the entire Bush administration.” The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser said she visited the White House seven times in Trump’s first 100 days in office. Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America said in September, “I’m told from people before me that even under George W. Bush, we didn’t have this kind of access. It certainly is unprecedented and we’re very grateful.” Land gushed about evangelicals having “unprecedented access” to the White House, adding that there “are more evangelicals in this administration as personnel than any administration in my lifetime.”
The timeline is extensive and heavily link rich, there’s enough reading for a day or two. It’s all recommended, because we are at one terrifying confluence here. The Year The Religious Right Moved Into The White House.