By H. Peter Johnson
The release of a video tape featuring Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging about seducing married women and “grabbing them by the pussy” has caused a bitter divide among Evangelical Christians.
Some of them are ready to bail on Trump, claiming his actions don’t represent Christian values. But Trump still has his staunch defenders. One of them is former televangelist Jim Bakker.
“Trump has made some mistakes in the past, but who hasn’t?” said Bakker on his television show. “He recently accepted Jesus into his life, so that washes away any past sins. Anyway, the Bible is full of flawed men, look at King David? At least Trump didn’t send his mistress’ husband off to war.”
Ralph Reed, a conservative activist, said he was still backing Trump because there were more important issues at stake.
“I’ve listened to the tape, my view is that people of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, create jobs, and oppose the Iran nuclear deal,” said Reed in a statement.
However, several Christian leaders condemned Trump’s actions. More than 100 Evangelicals signed a Change.org letter criticising the reality star’s behavior.
“Donald Trump’s campaign is the most recent and extreme version of a history of racialized politics that has been pursued and about which white evangelicals, in particular, have been silent. The silence in previous times has set the environment for what we now see,” said the letter.
The Change.org petition currently has more than 15,000 signatures.