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The Myth of the Flight 93 Election

President Donald Trump waves to supporters during a rally in Pensacola, Fla., Friday, Dec. 8, 2017

We've been told over and over again these past two years that "this election is critical." Political prognosticators and Christian leaders have warned that our country—indeed, the fate of the Church—hangs in the balance. If this (or that) candidate loses, we will see the end of Christianity in America. If we don't elect Trump (or Moore or the next morally compromised candidate after Moore) the country will be plunged into a dystopian secular future where godless liberals run the government, the education system, and the military. (Never mind that we're already there.)

An anonymous essay last September argued that the 2016 election was a "Flight 93 election":

The election of 2016 is a test—in my view, the final test—of whether there is any  virtù left in what used to be the core of the American nation. If they cannot rouse themselves simply to  vote for the first candidate in a generation who pledges to advance their interests, and to vote  against the one who openly boasts that she will do the opposite (a million more Syrians, anyone?), then they are doomed. They may not deserve the fate that will befall them, but they will suffer it regardless.

Dutiful Christian conservatives, acting out of sheer terror, followed the advice of their politico-religious leaders and voted en mass for Trump (as they'll do for Moore on Tuesday) because they think the forces aligned against the church are standing at the gates. These folks sincerely believe that critical electoral victories (Pyrrhic as they may be) will buy Christianity time and stem the tide of liberalism. It's worth the moral compromises needed to secure those victories, they reason, because of the severity of the threat, one of Flight 93 proportions.