..."And Trump himself has largely frozen the Catholic prelates out of his inner circle thanks to his co-dependent relationship with evangelicals. As the Rev. Katharine Henderson noted recently in RNS, the only voices of faith Trump hears are a “narrow echo chamber consisting exclusively of conservative Christian evangelicals.”
In the short run, however, the bishops have already gotten exactly what they wanted from Trump: an exemption for anyone who wants it for “religious” or “moral” reasons from the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act. This wasn’t due to their lobbying or political prowess, but because Trump was smart enough to latch on to the “religious liberty” issue as a powerful lever with the religious right.
As Hugh Hewitt recently noted in the Washington Post, Trump’s “enduring support among evangelical Christians and Mass-attending Catholics” is due to one thing and one thing only: “religious liberty remains the overarching issue of the day, the alpha and omega of whether Trump gets a nod of approval or at least a pass.”