Politics Magazine

Those In The Religious Right Have Trashed Their Moral Authority By Supporting Donald Trump

Posted on the 19 March 2017 by Jobsanger
Those In The Religious Right Have Trashed Their Moral Authority By Supporting Donald Trump (The image above is from inthesetimes.com.)
The following article is a few months old, but still very relevant (especially considering the policies Trump is pushing). It was written by Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe. He writes:
IT WILL TAKE a long time to assess the full extent of the damage wrought by Donald Trump on the Republican Party and American conservatism. But this much is already clear: Buried under the post-election wreckage will be the moral credibility of the religious right. Hypocrisy and politics have gone hand in hand since time immemorial. But the embrace of Trump by influential religious conservatives — who have always insisted that they, like Hebrew National, answer to a higher authority — is orders of magnitude worse than the customary flip-flopping and sail-trimming of a presidential campaign. For decades, Christian (and some Jewish) conservative spokesmen portrayed their involvement in partisan battles as an aspect of their faith’s witness. Judeo-Christian ethics and the inculcation of moral standards in public life were not just talking points to the organized religious right; they were the reason the movement existed in the first place. Jerry Falwell, who launched the Moral Majority in 1979, explained that its purpose was “to turn back the flood tide of moral permissiveness, family breakdown, and general capitulation to evil” that he feared was inundating American life. You didn’t have to sympathize with the Christian right’s political platform to understand why so many evangelical leaders were appalled by the sexual scandals that trailed Bill Clinton into the White House. It was no mystery, for example, why Ralph Reed, an early leader of the Christian Coalition, would insist vehemently, in 1998, as pressure was growing for Clinton’s impeachment, that “we care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.” Or why the formidable televangelist Pat Robertson would blast Clinton as a “debauched, debased, and defamed” politician who turned the Oval Office into a “playpen for the sexual freedom of . . . the 1960s.” That isn’t how they talk about Trump. Far from leading the opposition to the GOP’s grotesque nominee, Reed chairs his religious advisory board. Nothing in Trump’s long record of lecherous and disreputable behavior has shaken Reed’s support — not even the video in which he boasts explicitly of groping women. “People of faith” have more important concerns, Reed told CNN on Monday. “I think a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a TV talk show host ranks pretty low on their hierarchy of concerns.” Robertson, who has said that Trump “inspire[s] us all,” isn’t backing away either. The Donald’s talk of grabbing women by the crotch, Robertson indulgently explained to his TV audience, was just his way of “trying to look like he’s macho.” Falwell died in 2007, but his son — Jerry Falwell Jr., the current president of Liberty University — fulsomely endorsed Trump in January. “Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught,” Falwell the Younger gushed. He, too, sees no reason to walk back his blessing. “We’re all sinners, every one of us,” Falwell says now. “I don’t think the American people want this country to go down the toilet because Donald Trump made some dumb comments on a videotape 11 years ago.” Christian conservatives had no patience for such rationalizations when they were invoked to defend Bill Clinton. William Bennett — a serious Catholic, public intellectual, and Reagan-era Cabinet secretary — published a book in 1998 debunking the arguments made then by Clinton’s supporters, and now by Trump’s. In “The Death of Outrage,” Bennett showed the absurdity of tolerating grossly immoral behavior on the grounds that everyone sins.  The Gospel’s injunction to “judge not, lest ye be judged” is a warning against hypocrisy and self-righteousness, he wrote. “It is not — it cannot be — a call to withhold all judgment or never to express a critical opinion of another.” After all, both Old and New Testaments repeatedly condemn immoral behavior. Christians are not called upon to overlook sin, Bennett pointed out, but to resist it. There is nothing admirable about refusing to “make reasonable judgments based on moral principles” — particularly in weighing the actions of democratic leaders. Equally intolerable is the willingness to ignore a candidate’s brazen moral offenses because you like his stands on public policy. Such ends-justify-the-means arguments are “Nixonian,” said Bennett. “Moral precepts are real; they are not like warm candle wax, easily shaped to fit the ends of this or that president, or this or that cause.” When Trump backers downplay their candidate’s scandalous conduct on the grounds that Supreme Court appointments matter more, they are as bad as Clinton backers who downplayed the president’s Oval Office debauchery because they liked his position on abortion rights. Yet Bennett now exemplifies the phenomenon he excoriated. When it came to Clinton’s depravity, Bennett was unsparing. Trump’s depravity he doesn’t mind so much. In August, Bennett accusedanti-Trump conservatives of “put[ting] their own vanity and taste above the interest of the country.”  Not everyone on the religious right has sacrificed their principles for Trump’s sake. A coalition of Liberty University students issued an eloquent statement Wednesday rebuking Falwell for endorsing the GOP nominee. “Donald Trump does not represent our values and we want nothing to do with him,” they wrote. Albert Mohler, a deeply respected Baptist theologian, remains as steadfast in opposing Trump as he was in opposing Bill Clinton.  But they and other honorable exceptions will not undo the damage caused by the pro-Trump leaders of the evangelical right. What started as Christian witness ended in hypocritical partisanship. Religious conservatives shed their principles, and thereby dismantled their influence.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • 6 Ways To Be A Business Leader As Well As A Developer

    Ways Business Leader Well Developer

    Almost every entrepreneur starts their journey by developing a solution, based on their idea of a new technology or required service. These idea and developer... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • Salone 2018 & Milan - Impressions

    Salone 2018 Milan Impressions

    A glimpse to the atmosphere and my impressions. Central Station Milan Beautiful details Along with the centuries old architectural beauties it is also the... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Trendoffice
    HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN
  • Songs from '78: "King Tut"

    Songs from '78: "King Tut"

    Yes, my focus here is on all the great pop and rock that laid foundation for my radio addiction, 40 years ago. But why not include a joke song like Steve... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Russellarbenfox
    SOCIETY
  • Do i Need a Visa for Dubai?

    Do I need a visa for Dubai?. This is a question you should answer. Moving to Dubai with our detailed guide for expatriates. With years of experience in the... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Dubai City Company
    CAREER
  • Indulgeo Essentials Rose Gold Oil Vs TS Cosmetics 24K Gold Elixir

    Indulgeo Essentials Rose Gold Cosmetics Elixir

    | REVIEW COMPARISON Hello my lovely people out there !!! So after a long wait, I am finally sitting down to review and compare the two most famous gold... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Khadija Beauty
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE
  • A Parable

    Parable

    Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a holiday known as Earth Day. Now, Earth Day was a poor holiday. She didn’t prostitute herself to... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Steveawiggins
    POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Here We Go Again!

    Here Again!

    Despite a not-so-good garden last year (deer, bunnies, blight, and bugs,) I found myself at it again yesterday, setting out parsley and thyme, kale and... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY

Magazines