America's Party of God doubles down on Trump
It seems like evangelical conservatives have been saying this for years, but it continues to work. In 2016, evangelicals played a key role in delivering the nation Donald Trump as president. He's their guy. More than 80 percent of white evangelicals cast their ballots supporting Trump, according to exit polling.
That very fact raises interesting questions about the status of their so-called godliness. Evangelicals (white ones, anyway) apparently felt permitted to ignore Trump's history as an admitted groper of women, along with other patent indications of personal corruption. They rationalized Trump's race-baiting birther attacks on Barack Obama's legitimacy as a U.S.-born citizen. And they've managed to convince themselves that fears of terrorism legitimize unconstitutional restraints on Muslim travelers and hordes of Mexicans and other undesirables that supposedly are swarming the border to cause mayhem.
But now Trump is descending into meltdown mode, huffing and puffing in most un-Christian terms on the world stage.
Will evangelicals continue to stand by him?
Even Chad Connelly, the head of faith outreach for the Republican National Committee, threw in the towel. He quit recently, citing an atmosphere that was "disrespectful, antagonistic and unacceptable."
Certainly, faith and has guided many fine elected officials. But a great many scoundrels have shrouded their iniquity with the cloak of faith. That may fool their coreligionists, but it doesn't fool others.
It is difficult for many Americans to understand how evangelicals can possibly believe that Trump is standing up for Christian morality and principles. It appears, rather, that he has used them just as he has used and abused so many suckers before in his reckless career.
If people of faith insist that their political favorites uphold their values and interests, that is fine. But they should not be surprised by the reaction of those whose rights and interests their faith would trample.
Nor should they be surprised when, after their candidates are found morally reprobate, the rest of us hold them accountable.
Evangelicals own Trump. Now, knowing what we all know, will they disown him?
(Mary Sanchez is an opinion-page columnist for The Kansas City Star. Readers may write to her at: Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108-1413, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)