Monday, November 07, 2016

Watching Tomorrow's Presidential Election Results Through Denominational Lenses

For election watchers who are also concerned about religious issues, the results of tomorrow's Presidential contest will provide interesting glimpses into the reactions of several religious groups to each of the candidates.  Here are trends to watch:
  1. Evangelical Christians have been divided over supporting Donald Trump, with some supporting him and others part of the "never Trump" movement (see Washington Times, Nov. 6). Trump has emphasized his support for repeal of the Johnson Amendment that bars campaigning by religious non-profits, and the pro-life views of individuals he will nominate to the Supreme Court. (Christian Post, Nov. 4).
  2. Muslim Americans have been rattled by rhetoric from Donald Trump that is perceived to be anti-Muslim.  Voting participation is likely to be high among American Muslims. (see AlJazeera's Nov. 6 report on voting in Dearborn, Michigan).
  3. Many Mormons in America are uneasy with Donald Trump's policies and his personal rectitude.  This has made third party candidate Evan McMullin, who is a Mormon (and whose running mate Mindy Finn is Jewish), a viable contender in Utah. (Salon, Oct. 14).
  4. Many Jewish Americans are alarmed by the anti-Semitism disseminated by some Trump followers and the alleged anti-Semitic "dog-whistles" in Trump's own campaign statements and ads. (Nov. 6 CBS News report).  However others in the Jewish community believe that Trump will be a stronger supporter of Israel, or at least of Israel's current government policies. (Op Ed Nov. 7 from The Forward).  Also it has not gone unnoticed by the Jewish community that both Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump are married to Jewish husbands. (Ivanka has converted to Judaism). (Oct. 2 JTA article).
  5. Conservative Catholics were offended by an e-mail exchange between Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, his Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and supporter John Halpin. The e-mail was disclosed by Wikileaks. (Oct. 18 Op-Ed from UPDATE: However many see broader remarks by Pope Francis as being anti-Trump. (Irish Central, Nov. 7).