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Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  80 reviews
A stunning feat of reportage that explains one of the central mysteries of the Trump era: the unholy marriage of Trump and the Evangelicals, as officiated by the alt-right.

Why did so many Evangelicals turn out to vote for Donald Trump, a serial philanderer with questionable conservative credentials who seems to defy Christian values with his every utterance? To a reporter
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Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published May 26th 2020 by Random House Audio
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Manny
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to know what the Christian Right is about
- Good morning, Mr Zucker. Please sit down.

- Good morning doctor. Thank you for making time for me. Like I said, I haven't been feeling too great recently--

- You're welcome, Mr Zucker. Now I've got some good news and some bad news. What would you like first?

- Uh, I don't know, I guess the good news?

- Well, Mr Zucker, the good news is that Jesus loves you. Whatever bad thing you might have done, no matter how dreadful it may be, if you truly repent then Jesus will forgive you and welcome you back
...more
Jenna
'On the surface, the Christian right is saturated with rhetoric about “faith” and “values.” Its real driving force, though, [is] not religion but grievances over school desegregation, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, affirmative action, and more.'

When 83% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, many mainstream Christians and others were surprised.  How can they support and idolize a man who has cheated on all three of his wives, routinely steals and conducts shady business deals, lies and spe
...more
David Wineberg
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the Christian right, Trump is no ordinary politician and no ordinary president. He is anointed, chosen by God “and sanctified by the movement, as a divine leader sent to save America.” Trump has manipulated the Christian right into supporting him despite everything, because he gives them everything they want. He gives their pastors direct access to the White House and the Oval Office, and they dutifully inform their flocks of how wonderful he is and how influential they are. In Sarah Posner’ ...more
Marilyn
This book is scary. But first! I have never been able to figure out how a supposedly group who believes in God, could endorse DJT. It turns out they have been waiting for him, or someone like him, for years. His well known background (multiple wives,mistresses, sexual accusations, casino owner etc.etc.) are not seen as a hindrance but considered as part of his ability to fight for their causes. No immigration, no black or brown people, no abortion, money for only their needs. We know the drill. ...more
Grace
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I know a lot of very serious Christians who scoff at the mention of Trump's name.

But that's not unusual -- he's a thrice-married serial philanderer, liar, and cheater from the seamy world of porn stars, casinos, and reality TV. What could be more off-putting to a group of people who have continually rejected even the blandest candidates for the fatal crimes of being not committed and not Christian enough?

What is unusual is that I know a LOT MORE very serious Christians who voted for him, and co
...more
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Trump is a monster. Those who enable him are monsters. The alt-right and the Christian supremist are his base, his support, and enablers and they are to blame for the monster that they have created because he is one of them and they are him. This book taught me the phrase ‘Christian supremist’, I like it.

This nightmare didn’t happen in a vacuum. There is a nexus between the mean, bitter, racist people who make up the alt-right and the Christian supremist. They each take as a given that equality
...more
Lynn
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good overview on why the White Christian Right want Trump and are devoted to Nahum. He is a strong man who is willing to ignore laws and norms to help them set up a Christian Autocracy government that roles back civil rights for minorities of all types as he rules with with kleptocracy. Scary stuff I especially found it interesting that he studied televangelists to form his behavior and he mirrors them in many ways. Upsetting but needed.
Anna
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, bu ...more
Lynn Derks
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not read the Kindle Edition. I read advance uncorrected proofs. Posner reports on events as late as November 2019; I finished reading the proofs March 17, 2020. I am a white evangelical. I do not worship at the altar of Donald Trump: I am a registered Democrat. I have served as a Precinct Committee Person for the Democratic Party. I was an Obama delegate. I voted for Hillary. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT BOOK! I'm certain that most evangelicals are not aware of the goings-on of many of the evangel ...more
Artur Olczyk
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feels like I've just read a book on contemporary Poland. ...more
Nadine Dajani
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale is the fictionalized portrayal of a Christian authoritarian nightmare state, then Unholy is the play-by-play of how the Right in the US is fighting to bring this vision to life.

It’s horrifying and goes much deeper than the title would suggest, as the “religious” portion of “religious right” is a cover for deep-seated racism that is part of America’s foundational myth.

There are racist people everywhere, and here have been deeply racist movements throughout h
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Miguel
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The group of grifters, hypocrites, sycophants, liars, snake-oil-salesmen, under-educated noobs, greedy right wing racists, and bible thumpers collectively known as evangelical Christians (and some, I assume, are fine people) are unfortunately a major political force in the US. Unholy traces their roots and shows their strong links to the current dysfunctional ruling party and anointed guardian. Just how these frauds could hitch their wagon to the most immoral person to hold the presidency is dis ...more
Becki
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book shares information so startling that I'd prefer to believe it's not true, but it's so impeccably researched and annotated that I have to believe that it is.

Based on the Trump supporters that I know (including *many* on the evangelical right), I have believed up until now that most were simply ignorant... unable to check or believe Snopes, unwilling to watch an news source besides Fox News, etc. This book presents an even worse possibility- that many of Trump's supporters know exactly
...more
Tweedledum
Shocking historical review of how the white Christian Evangelical right have used their considerable influence to support and maintain Trump in power for their own far from Christ-like agenda Portraying him as God’s chosen warrior against the powers of darkness while getting into bed with those very powers themselves.

As a lifelong Christian I am appalled at the way the gospel has been twisted to suit their own agenda, using the simulcram of Pentecostalism to add “proof” to their claims,

‘What i
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Donna Hines
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I had to take a DNF on this one because this book ventured into territory that went off topic too much.
I was hoping for more about why Evangelicals went off the cliff to worship DT who considers himself far superior with his grandiose ego and narcissistic charm.
Instead, there was too much of everything else and I lost interest completely in the first 50-100 pages.
I dislike leaving negative books and I'm not a DT fan so I was hoping this would offer up some additional avenues not yet explored in
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Richard Luck
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and utterly, utterly depressing. Jesus Christ, who will save America from white evangelicals and their new object of affection?
Ietrio
Jun 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
The book is pretty much as the title: Posner is offended by Trump, so he is ready to offend others in hopes of forcing them to vote with someone else.
Dan Graser
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This makes a fine companion volume to "The Power Worshippers," released earlier this year, from Katherine Stewart, in that both volumes chronicle the rise of the modern religious right and their ever increasing role in American politics. Truth be told, I am not nearly as shocked as most that the so-called values voters and evangelical wing of this radical sect of bronze age superstition could throw their support behind someone who is the opposite of everything they have been demanding of society ...more
Becki
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, arc, politics
This book shares information so startling that I'd prefer to believe it's not true, but it's so impeccably researched and annotated that I have to believe that it is.

Based on the Trump supporters that I know (including *many* on the evangelical right), I have believed up until now that most were simply ignorant... unable to check or believe Snopes, unwilling to watch an news source besides Fox News, etc. This book presents an even worse possibility- that many of Trump's supporters know exactly
...more
Jill  M Caldwell
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting explanation on why some people choose a leader who is the antithesis of what they say they believe.
Bruce clark
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Posner succeeds in proving the subtitle of her book. She clearly shows why white evangelicals continue to support Trump in the face of Trump's attempts to dismantle US democracy. In reponse to white evangelical support, Trump has promoted "religious rights" over "civil rights," allowing religious exemptions to persons and corporations to discriminate against abortion and LGBTQ rights if it goes against their "traditional religious views." Thus Trump is facilitating a massive roll back in the cul ...more
Mannie Liscum
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though the subtitle of Sarah Posner’s “Unholy” (White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Fonakd Trump) is not likely to draw many Trump supporters in to take a chance, the book is a masterpiece delivered with surprisingly little judgement or snideness. The book is much less about President Trump than the subtitle might predict. Instead it really an exploration of the question of ‘why do evangelicals form the core of Trumps most vociferous support base, especially given that he’s a vulgar, thri ...more
Laurie
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Excellent research and reporting, and well-written. Reading was slow going for me because the topic was too inflammatory. I was hoping to better understand my mother in law, because she is a far right Catholic voting Republican without regards to their policies or experience. I'm still sorry I couldn't finish it but it was too much right now. ...more
Steven Kaminski
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know when I lived in the deep South I knew a lot of friends were very very religious most of them were either 7 day Adventist or Evangelical christians and for the life of me I could not understand and wrap my head around their support for President Donald Trump.
And these people were very religious they knew their Bible up-and-down and I could not understand for the life of me why they would support a man who cheated on his 3 wives was married 3 times barely mentioned his children was absol
...more
Jonathon
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meticulously researched, and intriguing look at how white evangelical religion fueled the rise of Trump. The author gives particular attention to the charismatic, prosperity gospel evangelical leaders who stoked flames of enthusiasm and helped drive the vote. As someone raised partly in the evangelical charismatic tradition, many of the names and ideologies were uncomfortably familiar. I was also really impressed with a section of the book devoted to the historical influence of evangelical relig ...more
Jules Hunter
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too surprised. Having grown up in an evangelical household, I was never really one to buy into the conspiracy theories but they are totally real. Anytime a young person stepped "out-of-line" there was always some story exemplifying how God will smite you down. however, I really wanted to understand what the attraction was between people who present themselves as Godly (mostly, its just Godlier than thou) and this absolute imposter. Come to find out, they are all imposters. What is it about e ...more
Laura
Maybe I will try again when we get out of this nightmare, but I need to take a break from this depressing book for now.
Rachel Phillips
Had nothing new to offer. Most references were CNN articles.
Kaitlyn Joy
I received a reviewer copy of Unholy by Sarah Posner from the publisher Random House from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What It’s About: This book explores why Evangelicals support Trump in such an unconditional way despite the fact that he is an adulterer, rapist, and white supremacist. This book gives a history of the founding of the Christian right and also traces Donald Trump's rise to the Presidency. However, it also covers international politics and the influence the Christian
...more
Jenni
An exhaustively researched and immensely detailed account of the rise of Trump and the concerted forces of "fringe" right movements that placed him there. Posner has put a ton of work into this account, and it's incredibly dense. I found myself only able to read a few pages at a time as it's so packed with information on different right figures, movements, events, and histories. Incredibly disconcerting and depressing, Posner weaves together what seems like separate incidents and movements to il ...more
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Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
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“And so an untold number of Trump’s evangelical supporters believe that God has anointed him, God will protect him, and God will smite his enemies. However his presidency ends, the fundamental damage it has inflicted on our democracy will not be healed overnight. His “base” is not an accident of his unconventional foray into politics, or a quirk of this particular political moment. The vast majority of white evangelicals are all in with Trump because he has given them political power and allowed them to carry out a Christian supremacist agenda, inextricably intertwined with his administration’s white nationalist agenda. Conspiracy theories and lies about the core of our democracy—separation of powers, a free and independent press, and the dedication of public servants—run rampant through their print and social media, podcasts, and television programs. The depth and durability of their fervor have disproven the mantra “the religious right is dead” again and again—and their ability to sustain a presidency in the face of unprecedented scandal is the most compelling evidence against that mantra yet.” 1 likes
“The facile explanation for this apparently improbable union between the proponents of “faith,” “values,” and “family” and the profoundly impious real estate huckster and serial philanderer is that the Christian right hypocritically sacrificed its principles in exchange for raw political power.” 0 likes
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