Christian conservatives now 'own' Trump

Donald Trump, one of the least religious and least religiously articulate men ever to run for the presidency, won the White House with what author Stephen Mansfield calls the surprising help of a vast majority of the nation’s religious conservatives.In his new book, “Choosing Donald Trump: God, Anger Hope and Why Christian Conservatives Supported him,” Mansfield both explains and critiques that support.

Like many voters, Mansfield writes, Christian conservatives were looking for a change. They were willing to overlook Trump’s behavior and believe in him “largely because he spoke of faith like a crusader, like one who understood religion as a perpetual call to arms.”

Mansfield talked with USA TODAY about that appeal, and why he thinks Christian conservatives could end up paying a steep price.[Stephen Mansfield, author of "Choosing Donald Trump;]Stephen Mansfield, author of "Choosing Donald Trump; God, Anger, Hope and Why Christian Conservatives Supported Him." (Photo: BakerBooks)

Q. You wrote books on the faith of George Bush and Barack Obama. This time, you focused instead on why Christian conservatives supported Donald Trump. Why the different approach?

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