Many white evangelicals are expressing their disillusionment with the presidential candidates this election.
Writing for GetReligion.org, Bobby Ross Jr. points to a recent New York Times article that tells the story of Betty and Dick Odgaard from Iowa.
“Betty and Dick Odgaard used to own the tiny church next door to their home. They had built it over 13 years into an art gallery, bistro, flower shop and framing service. They even rented out the chapel, with its bright stained glass windows, for social events,” the Times article begins.
“But three years ago, the Odgaards refused to rent the quaint site to two gay men for a wedding, saying it would violate their religious beliefs about marriage. The men filed a civil rights complaint, and the Odgaards settled, paying a penalty because it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. After the controversy, regular customers stopped coming. Friends and family members stopped speaking to them. The Odgaards were vilified as bigots and haters,” it continues.
Texas Sen. and former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz voiced his support for the Odgaards and even filmed a sympathetic documentary of their story.
But now that they face a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Odgaards, and many other staunchly conservative voters, aren’t sure where to turn and feel let down by the political system.
“Now, a year later, the Odgaards and other conservative evangelicals interviewed in central Iowa say they feel as though they have been abandoned. Many say that they have no genuine champion in the presidential race and that the country has turned its back on them,” the Times article states.
During the recent presidential debate, many conservatives pointed out the lack of discussion on important issues such as abortion and religious freedom. Some even lamented that the Religious Right appears to be dead.
Am I right that not one word was spoken about abortion, same-sex marriage, or any other culture war issue? The relig right really is dead.— Damon Linker (@DamonLinker) September 27, 2016
Ross notes that the disillusionment the Odgaards feel is shared by many who believe Trump does not have consistent conservative views any more than does Clinton.
Publication date: October 5, 2016