February 22, 2017

THE AMORAL MINORITY:

Milo Yiannopoulos and the Church of Winning (BEN HOWE,  FEB 21, 2017, The Atlantic)

After a dozen women came forward to claim that they had all personally interacted with the version of Trump heard in that recording, Trump offered no indication he was not the man they accused him of being. He issued some threats about lawsuits, pointed to the behavior of Bill Clinton, and hid behind the evangelical support he enjoyed as proof that the criticisms were moot. The message: He could grab a woman by her--wherever--in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose their votes.

In spite of this, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Jeffress and others continued to provide the spiritual security that their religious followers needed to feel okay with their vote. They went on TV, tweeted support, wrote articles, met with the president, and came out emphasizing that Hillary Clinton was worse.

Some went so far as to interpret biblical passages to accommodate their newly flexible worldview, a stark contrast to the principled stand many of them (or the fathers on whose credibility they trade) took in the 1990s when a Democrat was the president.

Evangelical leaders of this stripe seemed to indicate that such petty and insignificant things as "moral depravity" were irrelevant now that the questions were raised by a Republican.

White evangelicals voted for Trump by a wide margin; eighty percent supported him, according to exit polls. But the election didn't resolve the questions; a month into his presidency, Trump supporters are still defending the indefensible.

Yiannopoulos is simply an extension of the moral ambiguity that evangelical leadership has helped to solidify on the right. Instead of certitude or clarity, many of the national leaders who are responsible for helping to guide millions of Christians trying to navigate the muddy waters of life in American politics have opted for moral relativism. They gave Trump a pass. Will evangelicals now give Trump's surrogates and spokespersons a pass as well?

Posted by at February 22, 2017 5:18 AM

  

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