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Phyllis Schlafly, Founder and President of the Eagle Forum, speaks at Justice Sunday II at Two Rivers Baptist Church August 14, 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo: Barry Williams / Getty Images

Michael Gerson, syndicated columnist and former top aide to George W. Bush, writes the cover story of the next issue of The Atlantic, "The Last Temptation ... How evangelicals ... became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory."

Why it matters: "It is difficult to see something you so deeply value discredited so comprehensively. Evangelical faith has shaped my life, as it has the lives of millions. Evangelical history has provided me with models of conscience. Evangelical institutions have given me gifts of learning and purpose. Evangelical friends have shared my joys and sorrows. And now the very word is brought into needless disrepute."

  • The gist: "One of the most extraordinary things about our current politics — really, one of the most extraordinary developments of recent political history — is the loyal adherence of religious conservatives to Donald Trump. The president won four-fifths of the votes of white evangelical Christians. This was a higher level of support than either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, an outspoken evangelical himself, ever received."

P.S. The N.Y. Times' second "most viewed" and "most tweeted" story this weekend was a Saturday front-pager, "A Quiet Exodus in White Evangelical Churches ... Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving," by Campbell Robertson from Fort Worth.

  • The "most viewed" and "most tweeted"? Sam Dolnick's Sunday Styles cover story from Glouster, Ohio, "The Man Who Knew Too Little: Upset by Trump's election, an Ohio man began an experiment. ... Living a liberal fantasy is complicated."

Go deeper

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.