Even Some Evangelicals Begin to See the Light (Not Necessarily Their GA Component)
For days, the nation has been enthralled by the revelations of the gross sexual misconduct of Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Alabama, most of it directed at young females, including teenagers. The revelations of the horrendous acts finally became numerous and credible enough to force most Republican Congressional leaders to abandon their usual tolerance for gross immorality (i.e., Donald Trump) and call for Moore to withdraw from the race and threaten to oust him if he is elected.
Most of Moore’s Alabama supporters, however, remain firmly in his corner, hiding behind the excuse that the acts have not been proven. Once more, Americans confront the reality of the Republican base, the approximately 33 percent minority that proudly proclaims its support for Donald Trump and his extremist policies, even as his approval rating drops to record lows.
These Republicans are unequivocal: they know as well as the rest of us despicable and wrongful words and deeds Trump has committed since assuming office. They just do not care. This attitude reached its current apogee when these Republicans unabashedly declared that even if the sex charges are true, they will still vote for Moore.
America’s evangelical Christians have been a key component of this base. The Roy Moore scandal, however, has caused even some of them to distance themselves from Moore—and Trump.
William S. Brewbaker III—saying he is an “evangelical Christian, an Alabamian and a Republican”—wrote in Roy Moore and the Sorry State of Evangelical Politics:
- “I’m ashamed of Roy Moore and upset that so many people are determined to defend him against sexual assault allegations, no matter what. I’m even more bothered, however, by what Mr. Moore’s popularity says about the sorry state of evangelical Christianity.”
- “It is thus wrong to attack one’s critics, as Mr. Moore did recently on Twitter, as ‘the forces of evil’ and attribute their questions about serious allegations to ‘a spiritual battle.’ ”
- “It is wrong to excuse one’s own moral failings while rushing to judgment over the sins of others, as he also did. We are to love and forgive our enemies, as God has loved and forgiven us.”
Mr. Brewbaker went on to discuss how this misrepresentation of Christianity is magnified when it is used to defend specific Republican policies:
- “Why would someone who believed that rebellion against God was the fundamental obstacle to human flourishing also believe that all would be well if we could just ‘turn markets loose’ or interpret our Constitution in line with its original meaning?”
- “Why would someone who believes that God will win in the end and that we are all accountable to him stoop to reprehensible political tactics and vilify his opponents instead of loving them?”
- “Why would someone who believes that sexual relations should be limited to the context of traditional marriage make excuses for aggressive sexual advances against teenage girls?”
“Trumpist Republicans have replaced slaveowners, segregationists, and McCarthyites as misguided Americans who must be exorcised from our body politic. There is no room for compromise. The survival of the America of our forefathers is at stake.”
Another commentator broadened his concerns to include the broader Christian community, not just right-wing Christianity. David von Drehle on Wednesday published an article “Christians: Our Silence on Roy Moore Isn’t Enough,” a scorching critique of mainstream Christians for the damage being done to the Christian religion by their silence as radical voices like Roy Moore become louder and more prominent.
- “Religious freedom does not require thoughtful Christians of goodwill to sit silently while charlatans, hustlers and theological bumpkins try to press the imprimatur of our faith on the sacrilege of accused child molester Roy Moore…It’s a travesty that Moore and his sanctimonious ilk have been allowed to hijack ‘conservative Christianity.’ ”
These critical voices within their own ranks, of course, are unlikely to change the minds of the die-hard Trump—and Moore—supporters. Georgia Senator David Perdue seems to be in their ranks.
But we average Americans should take heart that even some elements of the Trump coalition are beginning to rebel and know that our cause is just as we redouble our efforts to rid our body politic of these denizens.