One of the questions vexing the mediocre punditry of American discourse is how Donald Trump—a former star of the tabloids with a track record of scandal and little history of religious affiliation—is polling so well with evangelical Christians. Poll results vary, but Trump consistently has 20 to 30 percent support among Christian conservatives. The numbers are impressive considering his opponents include Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee. Recent reports indicate that many evangelical leaders are uncomfortable with Trump’s candidacy, but the most recent national poll has Trump at 24 percent among white evangelicals (although Cruz has recently pulled ahead of Trump in Iowa, thanks in part to the evangelical vote.)
But Trump and America’s religious right are not as different as one would think. If any corner of American Christianity encourages narcissism, it’s conservative evangelical Christianity.