A new study has found a common link among Christian voters who chose Donald Trump for president and who remain supportive of his government despite numerous scandals and controversy.
The authors of the study, titled "Make America Christian Again," pointed to Christian nationalism as the key. It's based on the same ideologies that fueled the American Revolution.
While Christian nationalism is ever-present in American history, today's ideology follows a more aggressive stance against a secular culture, and it aims to restore America as a nation of Christians. Those who embrace this belief have largely been Trump voters.
The study took place from Feb. 2 to March 24, 2017 and used data from the Baylor Religion Survey. The experts asked 1,501 adult Americans across the country to identify six statements about the separation of the state and church that they identified with the most. Those who agreed with five or all six statements were likely to have voted for Trump.
The ideology also influences party leanings. A Democrat who agrees with views on Christian nationalism is three times more likely to vote for Trump compared to a Democrat with more liberal views. On the flip side, Republicans with less consistent views on Christian nationalism might likely reject Trump.
The experts also said that when Trump gave evangelical leaders key positions in his advisory board, he won the votes of Christian nationalists. They saw this as access to the U.S. presidency, one of the most powerful posts in the world. Christian nationalists felt they lost this access when Barack Obama became president for eight years.
"For Christian nationalists, the end goal is a society that favors Christianity in various aspects and at a number of institutional levels," study author Andrew Whitehead told Huffington Post. "How that project is achieved is of little consequence to them. They believe God can use anyone, 'even a thrice married, non-pious, self-proclaimed public playboy,' as we say in the paper," he said.