Sample Theology Essay Paper on Religion in the News

1. Clinton, Not Trump, Narrowly Won the Catholic Vote in 2016



Contrary to figures portrayed by early exit polls for the 2016 elections, Hillary Clinton got more
votes from the Catholic masses – compared to her opponent Donald Trump. The early polls had
indicated that Trump got more support from Catholics. Data released by the American National
Studies put the statics of Clinton’s votes from Catholic at 48 percent, compared to Trump’s 45
percent. Among other derivatives, these findings portray the inaccuracies of exit polls, especially
in the analysis of demographic patterns of the voters. In the overall analysis of the distribution of
Catholic votes, however, the figures are skewed towards an almost equal distribution of votes
between the two candidates, albeit Hillary Clinton getting significantly more votes from that
particular voting bloc.


Catholics are believed to be traditionally Democratic supporters based on the 2008 and 2012
elections, and the 2016 exit polls’ indication of a different turn did not stand the test of time, at
least according to the American Election Studies. The distribution of the votes between the two
candidates was pegged on their positions on sensitive moral concerns among Catholics,
including abortion. It is important to distinguish, also, the division of Catholics into liberal and

conservative Catholics, and the influence of these standpoints in the voting patterns displayed.
For instance, although liberal Catholics are against abortion, they are not willing to outlaw it.
Liberal Catholics are the minority, but hold significant influence on their contemporaries. Further
analysis of the Catholic votes indicates that whereas younger Catholics – millennials — favored
Hillary Clinton, older Catholics voted for Donald Trump. This pattern is not a contradiction of
religious views, but a reflection of worldview perceptions based on age, the religiosity of the
voters notwithstanding.

The older generation might have lived at a time that America was ‘great’, and perhaps resonated
with Trump’s slogan of “make America great again.” Young Catholics, on the contrary, who are
have grown up in an increasingly globalizing world, cannot fathom anti-globalizing sentiments
such as building of territorial walls and putting strict regulations on immigrants. Similar patterns
are demonstrated when analyzing voting patterns of different races within Catholics. A majority
of White Catholics voted for Trump, and Hillary Clinton got the larger share of votes from the
other minority races. In my opinion, the Catholic vote was distinctly a tossup, and could be a
determining factor in case of a re-run between the two candidates in the next election. In essence,
each candidate might attempt to convince the Catholic masses, considering the total votes in
2016 indicates almost equal distribution of Catholics into Democrats and Republicans factions –
based on the small margins portrayed.

2. Trump Can’t Reverse the Decline of White Christian America



President Donald Trump, among many driving factors, won the elections on the belief that he
will resurrect America’s declining White Christina America. During his campaigns, Trump
explained how, if a different president – Democrat – is elected; more immigrants will be allowed
into the country and allowed to vote over time. This sequence will eventually lead to the demise
of the predominant White Christian America. Trump proclaimed himself to Americans as their
‘last’ chance to restore the country. This call appealed to the White Christian masses that turned
up to vote in large numbers.


The idea of voting Donald Trump on the platform of ‘savior’ of White Christians is not only
perplexing, but may be construed to represent the standard moral compass of the American
populace. Of course, this is not a representation of the facts. At the very least, it might represent
America’s lack of eligible Christian politicians with the optimum moral authority to lead
Christians, Whites and non-Whites. The White Christian America, identified as ‘value voters’,
ended up supporting a candidates surrounded by controversies, mostly touching on his moral
standards. As protectors of the marriage institution, White Christians supported a man who has
been married three times. In addition, White Christians supported a man who owns casinos, has
appeared on the cover of playboy magazine, used curse words during campaigns, and was caught

on tape bragging about touching women’s genitals without their consent. The candidate, from the
very beginning, did not have the makings of a man who can reverse the decline of White
Christian America.

A massive 81 percent of White Evangelical Christians voted for Trump, in the hopes of
preventing the decline of White Christianity. On the contrary, religion in the age of Trump might
face further decline. Many of the President’s advisers and supporters have abandoned him. In
addition, a significant number of key government officials have resigned, under his
administration. The only group that still holds significant support of the President is the
Evangelical Christians, despite a contrast between the religious group’s convictions and the
President’s statements and behaviors. Granted, the reversal of the declining White Christianity
did not require a Pope or a holy Messiah as President, but a level-headed politician with the
moral authority to lead. President Trump’s successful reversal of the decline should not be
assessed on his moral standards, but on his ability to maintain the White majority by enforcing
strict immigrant laws and deportation of illegal immigrants – Mostly non-White.

3. Faith on the Hill



Despite the decline of Christianity in America, it is safe to say that the country is in good hands,
based on the composition of Congress. 91 percent of members of Congress describe themselves
as Christians. Among the 293 Republicans in Congress, only two of them do not identify as
Christians. 80 percent of the Democrats describe themselves as Christians. Despite this

increasingly overrepresentation of Christians, there is a marked decline of Protestants in the
Congress, and an accompanied increased of Catholics. These interdenominational changes
notwithstanding, the significant number of Christians in Congress has important implications in
the overall legislations and running of government.


The United States Congress plays important roles in the country that include representation of
the people, educating the public, performing oversight, and legislation. The structure and powers
of Congress bestowed upon it by the constitution makes it one of the most important and
powerful institutions in the country. It is important, therefore, that the people handling these
powers are people of integrity and guided by moral principles. By one describing himself/herself
as a Christian, an assumption is made on the things they can do – and the things they cannot,
based on their moral conscious. President Trump’s executive’s checks and balances are overseen
by Congress, through their oversight role.

Although religion in the age of Trump is believed to undergo significant decline, there is hope in
the potential of restoring religious beliefs as guiding principles in governance, as evidenced by
the overwhelming numbers of Christians in Congress. Legislations and policies that promote
growth of Christianity and its moral principles are likely to find favor among members of
Congress. Furthermore, the election of this high number of Christians as members of Congress is
also a representation of the strong belief among the American people on people who subscribe to
religious principles.

4. The Muslim American Experience in the Trump Era

The relationship between the Trump administration and a majority of the Muslim community
seems weak. The Muslims view the Trump and the Republican government as unfriendly,
making them worried about their future in the American society. Most Muslims, especially
women and blacks believe in increased discrimination boosted by the anti-Muslim campaigns
across the United States. The discrimination occurs in terms of negative media coverage, and the
recent order by Trump to restrict and depot immigrants from countries with Muslim-majority. A
few Muslims remain hopeful on Trump’s vision. To conclude, Muslims generally feel
dissatisfied and ignored under the Trump administration.
Islam is the third largest religion in the United States, after Christianity and Judaism, with over
3.5 million Muslims living across the country. The number of Muslims in the United States
increases rapidly, from births, conversion and immigration, therefore forming an important
religion in the American society. Muslims also participate in the societal and political activities
in America and hold different political views. In the 2016 political election and earlier elections,
most Muslims voted and support the democratic party. The Muslims hold liberal views, with
constant improvement overtime, making it one of the fastest growing religions in the United
States. The conflict between president Donald Trump and Muslims weakened further during his

2016 presidential campaigns when he frequently gave sentiments against Islam, contributing to
its widespread discrimination and extremism.
With the statistics on number and political participation of the Muslims, it is important for
Trump and Republican government to ensure inclusivity and cater for the needs of all religions.
The discrimination witnessed and felt among Muslims makes them feel a lesser community in
the society. The Muslims begun facing discrimination and extremism challenges since the 9/11
attacks and due to rising terrorism, usually related to Islam. Trump’s immigration and travel bans
against some Arabic countries, with Muslim majority, occurred as a strategy to secure America.
The bans and some sentiments against Muslims makes them believe the government does not
support Islam, making them feel abandoned and viewing Trump as unfriendly. The connection
between Islam and terrorism leads to societal neglect and evils like arresting and deportation of
Muslims from the United States.

6. President Donald Trump Full Speech at the Value Voters Summit

President Donald Trump expressed his support and dedication to upholding values. At the
Summit, Trump admitted that religion in the American Society drastically changed and no longer
played a significant role in the society. The Americans drifted away from the religious roots,
became more liberal on certain practices, leading to erosion of morality and rise of evil. The
President argued for protection of religious freedom, cherishing of religious values and
condemnation of certain immoral practices in society, including homosexuality and abortion.

Trump promised to weaken the Johnston Amendment that limited involvement of religious
groups in politics and government, and vowed to strengthen religion in the United States.
Religion existed in the United States since independence, with several religions developing and
spreading across the country. Drastic social change and societal development, over time led to
erosion of religious traditions and heritage. People became more liberal than conservative. This
led to the rise of many groups, like atheism and paganism, many insisting on spirituality. The
American society experiences increased legislation and civil support of birth control, abortion
and homosexuality increased and the role morality faced a great decline in the United States.
Crime rates also increased in the society. Despite the diversity and religiousness of the
Americans, religious groups play a limited role in addressing immorality and lack of moral
values among people. Such concerns led to formation of groups like Value Voters that seek to
promote religion and morality in the United States.
President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address the Value Voters Summit.
This showed his commitment to promoting religious sanity in the American society. Flashing
back to 2015, a treaty introduced by George Washington and passed by a senate stated clearly
that “The Government of the United States is not based on Christian Beliefs.” This showed that
the government remained liberal and did not allow religion to influence its operation, therefore
the limits imposed on religious groups involvement in government and political endorsements.
Donald Trump’s speech at the Summit brings back hope to the rise of a moral society. His
commitment to protecting the rights of religious groups and weakening development of immoral
practices introduces a new dimension of morality in the American society.

4. Is There an Evangelical Crisis?

Evangelism thrives well in the American society, favored by liberalism and religious freedom.
Christian Smith, a religious sociologist described the post-1960s Christian evangelism in the
United States. Smith observed a great decline in the mainstream Catholic and Protestant
churches, and an increase in evangelical Christianity. Evangelism remains stable and fits well in
the advanced and modern society. However, concerns arise over the survival of the evangelism
in the Trump era, the future of young evangelists and relationship between religious tradition and
morality. In the 2016 presidential elections, Trump seemed to gain more support from the
evangelists, whose vision aligned with prosperity teachings of the evangelists.
Evangelism in the modern society faces many challenges and dilemmas. Since the 1960s,
evangelists often integrate modernity and social changes in their teachings. Unlike conservatives
who preserve religious traditions, character and practices, evangelicals seem more
accommodating of change. They focus their teachings on prosperity and addressing current
problems and religious needs. Evangelical Christianity gains a lot of followers and members,
especially those shifting from mainstream churches. The evangelists place less focus on religious
traditions, like character and insist on spirituality and personal conviction. The nationalism
characteristic of evangelicals gained Trump favor among the evangelists. However, the
evangelists, who include religious reformists, tend to differ in their teachings. The older

evangelists also seem to blame the younger evangelists as they seem more reformed and aligned
to social change than religious teachings.
The crisis likely to face that evangelical Christianity, especially in the Trump era involves the
evidence of some evangelists supporting Trump administration and some opposing it. The kind
of trend attracts interest on evangelists being more partisan, than focusing on the basic spiritual
role. Trump also engages well with evangelists, frequently stating his strong believe in God and
prayer. Evangelists like Russel Moore engages in advocating for increased integration of biblical
teachings in Christianity, as opposed to the modern trend of money and prosperity. The leaders
of evangelical movements therefore face the challenge of remaining united, when some support
and others oppose it. The political factor may lead to major divisions that may disrupt the
stability of Evangelism in the United States. Therefore, the evangelists need to focus on their
religious and spiritual duties, upholding morality and condemning social evils.