What does it look like when a white evangelical pastor with a large conservative following goes on FOX News to defend Donald Trump against the possibility that his former personal lawyer has tapes in which they discussed the hush money they would give a woman he had an affair with shortly after getting married to his third wife?
Naturally, Pastor Robert Jeffress talked about how none of that matters because the Supreme Court will soon force many women to give birth against their will and that will make the Baby Jesus smile. Or something like that.
Jeffress said white evangelicals’ support of Trump isn’t an anomaly because a president’s personal life never matters; it’s the same reason they supported “known womanizer” Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter in 1980.
We’ve been here before. Back in 1980, evangelicals chose to support a twice-married Hollywood actor who was a known womanizer in Hollywood. His name was Ronald Reagan. They chose to support him over Jimmy Carter, with a born-again Baptist Sunday school teacher who had been faithfully married to one woman. The reason we supported President Reagan was not because we supporting womanizing or divorce. We supported his policies.
Trump doesn’t have policies. Or rather, he has just one: if liberals think it’s a good idea, he’ll oppose it.
Later in the interview, Jeffress admits the obvious: As long as Trump keeps appointing conservative judges, white evangelicals will have his back.
He says that like it’s a good thing. Really, it reveals the moral shallowness that is white evangelicalism. They care so much for unborn babies, it’s okay for everyone else to suffer.
And it goes without saying that these same evangelicals would’ve burned the country down if President Obama committed even a fraction of Trump’s moral sins. They had no problem reaching back into Bill Clinton‘s past when there were political stakes on the table. (Jesus died for your sins… but only if you’re a Republican who pretends to save Christmas.)
That’s what we mean when we point out the right-wing hypocrisy on all this. Jeffress says white evangelicals aren’t supporting sin with their support of Trump — but by looking the other way, they’re saying those sins can be ignored as long as Trump follows their political bidding.
They’ll keep giving him cover on his myriad scandals for the price of a Supreme Court justice and other federal judges to be named later.