Now that Christian Right is Following Liberals’ Advice, Liberals are Furious

Everyone knows Donald Trump’s approval numbers are in the toilet—he has an approval rating of only 37 percent according to an ABC poll taken a couple of weeks ago—but many observers are baffled about why the president still seems to be doing well among evangelicals. Sixty-one percent of them approve of the job the president is doing.

During the election, observers marveled that this voting bloc was willing to rally around a man whose personal life was hardly a model of Christian virtue. But evangelical leaders said it was more important to them to ensure a Supreme Court pick they would like, for example, than to worry about how many times Trump was married or whether he spoke respectfully about other people.

A PRRI poll taken during the election found, “More than six in ten (61%) Americans say immoral personal behavior does not preclude public officials from carrying out their public or professional duties with honesty and integrity.” And researchers also noted that “no group has shifted their position more dramatically than white evangelical Protestants. More than seven in ten (72%) white evangelical Protestants say an elected official can behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal life—a 42-point jump from 2011.”

Some might say this is simply political expediency. And I wrote a piece during the election comparing what I saw as the more principled reaction of Mormons to the Trump candidacy compared to evangelicals. But it is odd that Trump’s liberal opponents would take evangelicals to task for the divide between their views on a person’s personal behavior and public life.

After all, this is what liberals have been advocating for generations—that evangelicals should be able to separate these things. From the moment it was decided that prayer no longer belonged in public classrooms, the liberal message to traditional Christians has been that they should keep their beliefs to themselves. That message extended to abortion, where Christians were told that “choice” was the name of the game. Sure, you have your beliefs, but you can’t impose them on others. The same was true for gay marriage and just about every other culture war issue of the past several decades. Most recently, evangelicals have been told to put aside any personal objections they have to transgender rights and accommodate people of either sex into their bathrooms and locker rooms.

One would think the left would be celebrating the fact that evangelicals are finally acknowledging that politicians shouldn’t be judged by their personal actions (as Democrats argued ad nauseam during President Bill Clinton’s years in the White House).

It’s odd, then, that at the same time liberals have tried to wrest conservative Christians away from their notion that personal beliefs must determine views about public policy, liberals have come to enthusiastically embrace the idea that the personal is political. It’s not simply that being a woman now means you have to advocate a feminist agenda that includes abortion on demand. It’s that being a racial minority means you should be pushing for less police intervention in low-income neighborhoods and opposition to school choice, among other issues. Abandonment of these policy views is seen as a betrayal of one’s personal commitments (not to mention one’s race or sex).

Does this mean that liberals will leave evangelicals alone if they return to their roots fighting the culture wars both personally and politically? Not likely. Because if there’s anything we’ve learned from the sanctimonious efforts at “resistance” coming from the left these days, it’s that the personal is political only so long as your politics conform to theirs.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12
  •  

newsletter-signup
  • bilahn

    Oh spare me. Your logic is pretty convoluted. Trump’s personal behavior far exceeds anything we have ever experienced. It is so serious, so beyond the pale that NO ONE should accept it.

    The religious right has accepted it because they truly believe Trump is some kind of Messiah, and “God works his way through sinners”. In other words, they are nuts .

    Trump is truly a dangerous man, not some kind of man who merely cheats on his wife. Anyone who supports him is enabling illiberal democracy and even quasi dictatorship.

    • As an evangelical, my position is that IF … IF … Trump is God’s instrument, he might be one more along the lines of the Persian King Cyrus in the Old Testament, than any sort of Messiah … a man who nominally acknowledged God, but acted in the interests of His people.

      There is but one moral code that a President must concern himself with as part of his job … it can be found hanging in the National Archives and starts with the words “we hold these truths to be self-evident”. Respect liberty in accordance with that code, and the rest of morality can be debated among ourselves as neighbors, outside of government … including our spiritual worldviews.

      Right now, we have a Ruling Class that believes that they are better than you and I, and therefore in the name of the “common good” should be allowed to go far outside the respect for liberty called for in the above code, and rule us in a modern serfdom … even though they lack the omniscience and infallibility required to do that and not pose a threat to that liberty.

      One of the things that Ruling Class has been doing, is marginalizing people whose faith lies in something (or Someone) beyond what they see in their mirrors … even as said Ruling Class does not acknowledge their OWN tenets of faith (i.e. anything not backed up with deductive reason and conclusively-proven fact) as such, but instead see their package of beliefs as The One and Only True Way for “reasonable” people to follow.

      They currently get a pass on the Establishment Clause and therefore have EXCLUSIVE access to our public institutions to impose that One and Only True Way with coercive force … even though much of it is based in a faith far more blind than those they oppose: faith in their own omniscience and infallibility.

      Trump’s is our Al Czervik … the over-the-top character played by Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack, whose antics exposed the arrogance and condescension of Judge Elihu Smails for the rot that it was. Trump is there to expose the inflated egos and overreach of our Ruling Class for the liberty-robbing rot that it is.

      And Trump, for all his faults, is not trying to lord it over us as our “better”

      His opponents, are.

      Therein lies the difference that invalidates your position.

      • bilahn

        really? I did not waste my time even trying to read it.

        • Then you lack the discernment to be considered credible.

        • SheRa

          It didn’t take that long to read. Because it is a differing opinion and you don’t want to deal with it, is this your version of “la la la not listening?”

          • bilahn

            No because I have better things to do with my time than to read from you right wing nuts. And this weekend made that more clear than ever. I wouldn’t give you the time of day.

          • SheRa

            My issue is not that you don’t agree with the opinions presented and think that conservatives are nuts (I won’t even address the fact that you’re painting a very large brushstroke there), it is that you threw your own comments out there and now play the “not worth my time” card because Ritchie took the time to present his own thoughts and opinions.

            If you don’t want to give a respondent the time of day, then stop trolling conservative articles and message boards. It’s pretty easy to ignore people when you don’t try to engage them in the first place.

          • bilahn

            I couldn’t care less what you think “SheRa”. If you want to know my position, read the Washington Post, specifically Jennifer Rubin who states what is going on with perfect clarity, and I see no need to improve on what she says. So, there’s a reference for you.

            But you are too ignorant to read anything but your right wing propaganda.

            I write these notes in the hopes that one – just one person – will wake up to the catastrophe that is happening in this country. And this weekend shows this with utter clarity.

            You are free to ignore me – you Trump supporters have sold your souls to right wing fascism – the same way the Left – yes the LEFT did so with communism. You are two sides to the same morally bankrupt coin. I have nothing but contempt for you.

          • BooBooBaby

            Wonderful post! 🙂

            Bilahn is just Pathetically Trolling!
            Typical for Trolls/Libt4rds to blindly be Brainwashed Followers.

            Unfortunately, I was just there and like that only a few years ago. I am totally embarrassed about it. I then started searching and seeing/hearing/reading things that opened my eyes. It is amazing how much people just don’t know…or want to know.

  • “Some might say this is simply political expediency.”

    I would be among those who say that. And I would say exactly the same thing about the liberal hypocrites who defended Clinton but condemn Trump. Expediency.

  • BooBooBaby

    I hear about all these So-called Polls the Left keeps spewing about. But myself and everyone I know have Never taken any of these Polls or even been asked to.

    So I do not believe the President’s Poll numbers are in the toilet!