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

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.