Remember that "lesser of two evils" theme in some of the coverage of Donald Trump's run for the White House?
The whole idea was that there were quite a few religious believers -- evangelicals and Catholics alike -- who were not impressed with The Donald, to say the least. However, they faced a painful, hellish decision in voting booths because the only mainstream alternative to this bizarre GOP candidate was Hillary Rodham Clinton, someone whose record on religious liberty, right-to-life issues, etc., etc., was truly horrifying.
Thus, that lesser-of-two-evils equation or, as a prophetic Christianity Today piece put it: "Most Evangelicals Will Vote Trump, But Not For Trump." Here at GetReligion, I addressed this pre-election trend here: "Listen to the silence: It does appear that most evangelicals will reluctantly vote Trump."
Now, ever since, I have urged journalists to look for the old cracks inside the evangelical and Catholic support for Trump. Yes, lots of white evangelicals were part of Trump's early base during the primaries. But just as many voted for him on election day while holding their noses (or while carrying a barf bag). At some point, I have argued, journalists could look for these cracks and find important stories.
This brings me to that New York Times headline the other day: "Conservative Religious Leaders Are Denouncing Trump Immigration Policies."
Conservative religious leaders who have long preached about the sanctity of the family are now issuing sharp rebukes of the Trump administration for immigration policies that tear families apart or leave them in danger.
The criticism came after recent moves by the administration to separate children from their parents at the border, and to deny asylum on a routine basis to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence.
Some of the religious leaders are the same evangelicals and Roman Catholics who helped President Trump to build his base and who have otherwise applauded his moves to limit abortion and champion the rights of religious believers.