Generations of evangelicals consumed millions of books and listened to countless sermons expounding these "truths." Within this framework, there was ready forgiveness for male sexual misconduct. It was up to women to avoid tempting men who were not their husbands and meet the sexual needs of men who were. When men went astray, there was always a woman to blame. For men, misdeeds could be written off as too much of a good thing or perhaps a necessary evil, as evidence of red-blooded masculinity that needed only to be channeled in redemptive directions.
Within evangelical communities, we see these values expressed in the way organizations too often turn a blind eye to abuse, blame victims, and defend abusers in the interest of propping up a larger cause â a man's ministry, an institution's mission, or the broader "witness of the church."
In 2016, we heard precisely this rhetoric in defense of Donald Trump. Trump was a man's man. He would not be cowed by political correctness, but would do what needed to be done. He represented "a John Wayne America," an America where heroic men were not afraid to resort to violence when necessary in pursuit of a greater good. Evangelicals did not embrace Trump in spite of his rough edges, but because of them.
At a time when many evangelicals perceived their values to be under fire, they looked to Trump as their "ultimate fighting champion," a man who would not be afraid to throw his weight around to protect "Christian America" against threats both foreign and domestic.
Bianca Gracia, a right-wing conspiracy theorist who served as president of Latinos For Trump, recently ran for a seat in the Texas state Senate because, she claimed, God had called her to take her ârightful placeâ in the state capitol and âmake the devil run.â So positive was Gracia that God wanted her to inhabit that seat that she went around claiming victory in the Republican primary months before it even occurred, even warning Christians that they would be held accountable by God if they didnât vote for her.
When primary Election Day arrived March 1, Gracia came in last place, drawing single-digit support. Predictably, she refuses to accept that result and is insisting that the election was stolen from her (and God).
When Gracia spoke at the recent ReAwaken America tour event in San Diego, California, earlier this month, she claimed that those who supposedly stole the election from her are now âgonna have to deal with God.â
âGod chose me for a reason,â Gracia declared. âI didnât lose. I won.â (...)