Trump — and politics — won't be Christianity's savior in America, religion experts say

Last Updated Apr 16, 2017 12:52 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- Christians have placed too much faith in politics in recent decades, and President Donald Trump — or anyone else — will not be Christianity’s savior in America, religion experts said in a panel during the week of Easter and Passover. 

“I think that a lot of people voted for Trump with a heavy heart, a lot of Christians, thinking that, at least, Trump would not be aggressive going after religious institutions as the Democrats were,” conservative author and Orthodox Christian Rod Dreher said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “And I think, maybe, we’ll be happy with that. I hope so. But Trump is not going to be the ultimate savior of Christianity in America.”

Dreher said Christians “made an enormous mistake, over the past 30 years, in placing too many eggs in the political basket.” 

Father James Martin said politicians have forced religious leaders to “take sides, politically,” which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“But the church really needs to transcend that,” Martin said. “Because if we align ourselves too much with one party, we are disappointed.”

Russell Moore, who is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and has been an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump’s candidacy and presidency despite Mr. Trump’s broad support among many Evangelicals, spoke along similar lines. 

“Most of our lives is about building up, through the teaching of the gospel, the kind of communities that are then going to be able to live out their lives in various ways,” Moore said. “And so one of the primary messages we have is to say -- politics is an important discussion. But it’s not an ultimate discussion. And so anyone, no matter where they are on the spectrum, from right to left, who puts ultimate hope there is going to be, ultimately, disappointed.”

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.