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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Trump and evangelicals: Birds of an immoral feather

Why do evangelicals ignore the immorality and misdeeds of Donald Trump? Maybe it's because they are just as immoral and criminal.
Trump: “When I want a woman in bed, I just grab her…”

There’s no end to the lies that Donald John Trump or his band of clueless followers utter in his claim that he deserves to be president of the United States.

“The people chose Trump,” claims long-haul truck driver Rob Muldrow of New Jersey. “It is God that raises someone into power for His own purposes. And it is God, in His own divine wisdom, that takes an individual out of power for his own purposes.”

Say what? The people did not choose Trump in the 2016 presidential election. He lost the popular vote by more than three million votes — the largest margin of defeat ever for a presidential candidate who won in the electoral college vote because of political gerrymandering, not the will of “the people.”

I’ve watched the brain-dead bastion of Trumpites treat him like the personal choice of God and wonder what happened to pure old common sense. Maybe Hillary Clinton was right when she called the Trumpinistas “deplorable.”

Trump lies as a matter of course. He claims his victory was an electoral “landslide.” It wasn’t. He claims he is the greatest president this nation has ever seen. There’s little doubt he will go down in history as one of the worst.

Evangelicals flock to him even though he is a thrice-married self-admitted adulterer charged with sexual harassment by dozens of women, rape by an underage teenager and bragged that all he had to do to have sex with a woman was “grab their pussies.” He paid hush money to a porn star to keep her quiet about an affair and laughed when shock-jock Howard Stern called daughter Ivanka Trump a “great piece of ass.”

Those who claim to be religious look the other way when he laces his speech with obscenity, including invectives like “Goddamn.” There is, I remember, a commandment about not taking “the Lord’s name in vain” but that now is apparently OK by the Bible-thumpers who genuflect before him.

His first lady is a Slovenian immigrant who got into this country by lying on her immigration visa application and stripped down naked to pose for wiling photographers, one of those jobs with Trump’s plane. Ivanka also had no problem showing her hooters during her brief modeling career.

Peter Wehner, a conservative columnist and author who writes about religion and who worked as a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, says a recent editorial in Christianity Today probably won’t move the hard-core evangelical right-wing that flocks to Trump but said some with the evangelical community need to take a second look.

“That’s the significance of what Christianity Today did,” Mr. Wehner tells the New York Times. “They stood up and they said: ‘No, that’s not right. We can’t continue with this charade, this moral freak show anymore.’”

Reports The Times:

The editorial is also a reminder that the evangelical movement is not monolithic and includes people who may appreciate some of the president’s actions, like the appointment of conservative judges, but are repelled by his inflammatory rhetoric on issues like race and immigration and his denigration of political opponents.

That sentiment was clearly expressed in the Christianity Today editorial by Mark Galli, the magazine’s editor in chief, who wrote that Mr. Trump “has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration.’’

“His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders — is a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused,’’ Mr. Galli wrote.

But hardcore Trump supporters like Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, who founded Christianity Today, or Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, say they will support Trump “no matter what.”

We might expect that from Falwell. As Slate reported:

Reuters reported in May that former Trump lawyer (and current federal prisoner) Michael Cohen had helped Falwell deal with the fallout from some scandalous photos. The Miami Herald confirmed in June that the photos existed, and that some of them featured his wife, Becki. And according to Politico, Liberty officials said Falwell showed or sent male friends and associates, including at least one Liberty employee, photos of Becki “in provocative and sexual poses.”

Writes Brandon Ambrosino on Politico:

At Liberty, Falwell is “very, very vocal” about his “sex life,” in the words of one Liberty official—a characterization multiple current and former university officials and employees interviewed for this story support. In a car ride about a decade ago with a senior university official who has since left Liberty, “all he wanted to talk about was how he would nail his wife, how she couldn’t handle [his penis size], and stuff of that sort,” this former official recalled.

Sounds like just the kind of evangelical who supports the likes of Donald Trump.


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