As Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said in 1150, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,”. Or in the age of Trump, the road to hell is paved with selling out every one of your core beliefs in the name of banning abortion and sticking it to liberals. White, evangelical Christians are still overwhelmingly supportive of Donald Trump even in the face of some of the most sordid, un-Christian scandals the US presidency has ever seen. From Vox:
The leader of the conservative evangelical organization Family Research Council said that evangelicals were happy to give President Donald Trump a “do-over” after a previously unpublished 2011 interview with adult film actress Stormy Daniels revealed that she may have been paid to remain silent about an extramarital affair with Trump in 2006.
Speaking to Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere about the Daniels incident, Tony Perkins said evangelicals “kind of gave him — ‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,’” using a golfing term that refers to a free stroke given to a player after a poor shot.
Perkins argued that the good Trump could do for evangelicals made up for his un-biblical behavior and warranted a free pass. He told Dovere that evangelicals “were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists. And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully.”
The “bully” Perkins is talking about is a baptized, practicing Christian who married one women, raised two lovely young girls, has never been caught in a scandal, and spent a lifetime organizing for the poor and serving the public. The hero Perkins describes “willing to punch the bully” is a man who has spent his life cheating people in business deals, denigrating and assaulting women, and chasing material wealth at all costs.
When one calls oneself a ‘Christian’, this invariably means that you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. While all human beings are flawed, there are degrees of bad behavior that simply cannot be justified while claiming to be a practicing Christian. Donald Trump’s history of violently assaulting and insulting women, rampant infidelity, and brazen greed are not compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ, even if he pretends to be pro-life. For an evangelical Christian to give Trump a freebie over sleeping with a porn star while his (third) wife tended to their newborn child because he bashes liberals is beyond hypocritical. Perkins is not a Christian in any meaningful sense of the word — he is a bigoted, racist, homophobe who cannot claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The same goes for the majority of evangelical Christians in America who think it is ok to vote for someone like Trump because he furthers their decidedly non-Christian agenda in office. One could have some sympathy for their pro-life position if they were not complicit in wrecking the environment, destroying public education, defunding the Affordable Care Act and making the lives of poor people even more miserable than it already is.
Just like their president, the Family Research Council and the evangelical movement in America are rotting carcasses flailing at their enemies with their last dying breaths. White, evangelical Christianity is dying in America, and now we know why. People like Tony Perkins are unwittingly ushering in their own demise — thankfully faster than decent people could ever hope for.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.