Roughly half of weekly churchgoers in the United States believe President Trump was “anointed by God,” according to a new survey that also shows many weekly churchgoers also believe “all presidents” are anointed by God.
The survey by Paul A. Djupe of Denison University and Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University shows an increase from 2019 among white Protestant churchgoers who believe Trump was “anointed by God to become president of the United States.”
Last year, 29.6 percent of white Protestants who attend church weekly affirmed the statement, while this year, 49.5 percent of the same group said they believe Trump was anointed by God.
But this belief isn’t confined to white Protestants. A total of 49.1 percent of weekly churchgoers who are not white Protestants in this year’s survey said they believe Trump was anointed by God. The survey was conducted in March.
“White Protestants are NOT distinctive in their beliefs in Trump’s anointing,” Djupe and Burge wrote in a May 11 blog. “… The religious significance of the presidency is swelling across the board for the religious, indicating further polarization along religious and partisan lines is continuing.”
Still, many churchgoers apply this belief to all presidents – not just Trump. Although 49.5 percent of white Protestants who attend church weekly believe Trump was anointed by God, 34 percent of weekly churchgoing white Protestants believe “all presidents” are anointed by God. This is similar to the belief of former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who was widely panned last year for saying Trump was the “chosen one” but told Fox News he applied the teaching to all presidents.
“None of us got here by accident,” Perry said. “I’m a big believer that the God of our universe is still very active in the details of the day-to-day lives of government. Barack Obama didn’t get to be the president of the United States without being ordained by God, [and] neither did Donald Trump.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.