President-elect Donald Trump's victory lifted the hearts of evangelical conservatives, who saw it as a victory for their beliefs, The Washington Post reports.
"You're judged for your beliefs," Rose Aller, a substitute teacher in Virginia who hid her support for Trump from her colleagues, told the Post. "Our media branded you a racist, a bigot, a homophobe if you were Republican."
Going to her church on Wednesday, Aller found hundreds who shared her elation at Trump's election.
"Let's take a moment," said Pastor Gary Hamrick to roughly 500 congregants at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Va., on Wednesday night, "to pray for our President-elect Donald Trump."
"Every church is going to be influenced by the culture," Hamrick continued, according to the Post. "The issue becomes, will the church rise up and become an influencer of the culture?"
According to the Post's exit polls, white evangelicals overwhelmingly supported Trump at 81 percent.
"Their deepest desires may be enacted into laws — or hated laws repealed. Their prayers were answered — by electing a rude, crude and morally unacceptable nonbeliever," Scott Thumma, who studies megachurches and nondenominational evangelical churches at Hartford Seminary, wrote the Post in an email. "I have interacted with a few evangelicals since the election … and every one of them were proud and happy to have had a part in Trump's election — not exactly because of who Trump is, but what he stood for."
"I've got real concerns with him as an individual," Hamrick said of Trump. "But that said, I still have to look at the bigger picture."
The bigger picture includes Trump's running mate Gov. Mike Pence, a self-declared evangelical Catholic, and the future of the Supreme Court.
"Hopefully, now we can see some progress for some evangelical causes in our country," Hamrick added. "I feel like we actually have an advocate now in the White House."
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