As the Stormy Daniels affair and cover-up scandal swirls through the media and the White House, Trump’s evangelical allies have come under pressure for supporting a thrice-married admitted adulterer. While they’re not showing signs of breaking from their partner in crime anytime soon, their defenses of the Philanderer In Chief are important to bear witness to as markers of their rank hypocrisy.
Fox News aired a segment featuring Pastor Robert Jeffress, a member of the Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board and staunch ally of the president, inviting him defend very reasonable accusations of hypocrisy:
Host Sandra Smith kicked things off by inviting the pastor to play the victim, asking, “What do you make of evangelicals being called hypocrites in the wake of these allegations?” And Jeffress didn’t waste any time debasing himself to defend Trump:
“Evangelicals know they’re not compromising their beliefs in order to support this great president, and let’s be clear: Evangelicals still believe in the commandment ‘Thou shalt not have sex with a porn star.’ Ok? We’re still agreed on that. However, whether the president violated that commandment or not is totally irrelevant to our support of him for two quick reasons. First of all, evangelicals knew they weren’t voting for an altar boy when they voted for Donald Trump. We supported him because of his policies and his strong leadership and tonight you saw another example, a result of that strong leadership in the announcement from North Korea.”
Sure, the “strong leadership” thing! In reality, North Korea has been trying to get a one-on-one meeting with a sitting United States president for decades, offering to sit down with both Clinton and Bush. Acknowledgement of the legitimacy of North Korean leadership is a huge diplomatic victory for Kim Jong Un. While the wisdom of sitting down to negotiate with Kim Jong Un can be debated, this isn’t an unprecedented offer. What’s unprecedented is the United States accepting it.
And the second reason?
“Evangelicals understand the concept of sin and forgiveness. We are all sinners, we all need forgiveness, that forgiveness is available through Christ for anyone who asks. And whether the president needs forgiveness for this particular allegation—whether he’s asked for it—is between him, his family, and his God.”
Unfortunately, Trump has admitted in the past that he’s never asked God for forgiveness, which is kind of an important pre-condition for the whole “repentance” thing. His continued efforts to silence Daniels, through his lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen, don’t really scream “I’m sorry” either. Also, as co-host Juan Williams pointed out, this isn’t just a private matter between Trump & company, it also involves the Federal Elections Committee and potential serious violations of campaign finance laws.
As Right Wing Watch noted, this is a pretty big dose of hypocrisy from Jeffress, who lambasted evangelical leaders who supported Mormon candidate Mitt Romney in the 2008 GOP presidential primary:
“Christians need to remember that the kingdom of God is not going to come riding in on Air Force One,” Jeffress said. “The danger in all of this discussion is that Christians sometimes are willing to sacrifice the temporal for the eternal, that in order to get their candidate elected, to enact those laws that they feel are crucial, somehow we fool ourselves into thinking we are going to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth. We are not going to do that. I’m not willing to trade people’s eternal destiny for some temporary change in the law.”
Jeffress also called Mormonism a cult and claimed Romney wasn’t a Christian, saying, “I believe we should always support a Christian over a non-Christian.” Of course, given the choice between the “Mormon cult” member and Christian Democrat Barack Obama, Jeffress had a change of heart, endorsing Romney in 2012.
Unable to sell Romney to his followers based on the GOP candidate’s faith, Jeffress instead launched an insane attack on Obama:
I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes. President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.
Considering Trump is the current leader of the free world, maybe he was right?