When Fox comes out with a new poll every month it’s always a special treat because Fox tends to ask some off the wall questions and include self-identified white evangelicals in the crosstabs. The results are sometimes hilarious and almost always depressing. This month’s poll is a doozy.
Here are some of the questions that stood out to me, along with the results among self-described white evangelicals:
Do you think Donald Trump respects racial minorities?
Do you think Confederate monuments and statues should be taken down or stay up?
Be taken down 10%
Stay up 82%
In general, how do you think things work in the United States today?
Whites are favored over minorities 21%
Minorities are favored over whites 40%
No group is favored 27%
Don’t know 11%
Do you approve or disapprove of how President Trump responded to the events in Charlottesville?
Who do you think poses a greater threat to the United States — white supremacists or the news media?
White supremacists 23%
News media 63%
The usual caveats apply. It may not mean much for a person to self-identify as a white evangelical. But even if these poll results don’t reveal the true state of white evangelical opinion, they do tell us something else: the evangelical label is not toxic to racists. Put aside the question of whether most of these poll respondents are truly practicing Christians. Millions of people are associating their racism and ignorance with the evangelical label. Why would they want to do that if evangelicalism was known for its anti-racist commitment? People have an intuitive sense of where they belong, of who the in-group is, of where their affinities rest. So it’s telling that racists feel so at home under the evangelical banner.