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On May 4, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that allows churches and religious leaders to explicitly endorse or oppose a political candidate without penalty to their nonprofit, tax-exempt status. Responses from white conservative evangelicals showed that this wasn’t what they were looking for.What they wanted, it seems, was legal protection for religious institutions and business owners to deny services to samesex couples and transgender persons.
I am a sociologist studying contemporary evangelicalism and sexuality, and my research shows that the political beliefs of white evangelicals have deftly shifted from the bully pulpits of the Moral Majority in the 1980s to cultural messages that appear hip and modern. In particular, Christian sex advice caught my attention because it showcases how evangelicals can hold beliefs that are simultaneously pro- and anti-sex.