Michael Steele Is Right: It’s Time For Evangelical Leaders To Shut Up

If I asked you to rattle off 100 words to describe Donald Trump, I guarantee “virtuous” wouldn’t be one of them. While it’s not surprising that the president’s moral failings have remained on display since taking office, what is surprising is that Evangelicals have continued to back him anyway.

Though Evangelicals frequently condemn leftist politicians and non-believers for failing to exhibit family values, in the wake of news that Trump had an affair with a porn star shortly after his wife gave birth to their son, and then paid her to keep quiet during the election, Evangelicals chose to remain silent. Now, former head of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele wants them to “shut up” permanently.

Appearing on Hardball on MSNBC, Steele said the following of the religious right:

“I have a very simple admonition: just shut the hell up and don’t preach to me about anything ever again. I don’t want to hear it, because after telling me who to love, what to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter, the grabbing the you-know-what doesn’t matter, the outright behavior and lies don’t matter, just shut up! They have no voice of authority anymore for me.”

It’s fair to say that no current Republican Party leader would speak so frankly about a large portion of the conservative base, but that doesn’t invalidate his point in the slightest. Evangelicals have made a deliberate choice to set aside the values they normally preach in order to keep backing Trump.

Tony Perkins, president of the uber-conservative/religious Family Research Council said that Evangelicals have given Trump a “mulligan” when it comes to his (many) indiscretions. However, a few years ago, Perkins insisted that Barack Obama promoted “radical sexualism,” arguing, “Under the current administration, America’s top export is immorality.”

Meanwhile, Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association said Trump’s behavior is inconsequential since it happened prior to being in the White House and reminded that “all of us are sinners.” Compare that to his treatment of Obama where he said that Evangelicals who vote for Obama are “undermining the churches” and their faith, and that God would need to send an economic collapse to save the nation from Obama.

What I want to know is, if all of us are sinners, how come Evangelicals only condemn some of us? Gays are made to feel worthless, women are shamed for using birth control, and yet Trump can brag about sexual assault and cheat with a porn star and be above reproach?

Look, I wouldn’t mind if Evangelicals took a step back from their holier-than-thou attitudes and decided that a politician’s personal life was irrelevant. The problem is how unevenly they apply these standards – you know they’re going to go back on the attack the next time a political foe does something half as scandalous as Trump.

Part of the problem is that religious and conservative leaders never seem to think the rules apply to themselves. They’ll pass discriminatory laws against the LGBT community, then get caught having gay affairs. There’s a stunning hypocrisy that is easily forgiven so long as the label Republican is affixed to your name.

Steele is correct, though – the hypocrisy has become so glaring that Evangelical leaders should no longer be given any credence. The next time the religious right tries to demonize someone for not living up to their imaginary code, encourage them to shut up by pointing out the issues they’ve deemed overlookable in Trump.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

89 comments

Elaine W
Elaine W9 days ago

I agree with Michael Steele.

SEND
Danuta W
Danuta W10 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Karen H
Karen H19 days ago

Evangelicals are not Christians because they do not follow the teachings of Christ. They follow Paulianity, the teachings of Paul. They preach FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). "If you don't believe what we say, God will send you straight to hell." They cherry pick their Bible, ignoring verses that pertain to them and condemning others. One of Larry Nassar's victims was an Evangelical. She quit the church, stating that it blames the victims of sexual assault and emphasizes female submissiveness and the idea that men have final authority over women in the church, community and home. They forget verses like "Do to others as you want them to do to you" and "Love one another" and "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

SEND
Dave f
DAVID fleming19 days ago

TY

SEND
Clare O
Clare O'Beara19 days ago

So actively contributing to the extinction of species is not immoral?

SEND
Clare O
Clare O'Beara19 days ago

Oh, so exploiting foreign workers in factories abroad or exporting arms to both sides in a war is not immoral?

SEND
Clare O
Clare O'Beara19 days ago

They say under the current administration America is exporting immorality? That has been said every year since the 1950s.

SEND
Jim Ven
Jim Ven22 days ago

thank you

SEND
Jim Ven
Jim Ven22 days ago

thank you

SEND
Jerome S
Jerome S22 days ago

thanks

SEND