Are Evangelical Men Betraying Women by Supporting Trump?
The Religious Right has broken into civil war. Many influential evangelicals had backed Republican Donald Trump for the presidency, and then came the 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape and more sex scandals. Now, conservative Christian women who rarely mention politics are calling for the Republican's head, and some of those who endorsed Trump most wholeheartedly are now withdrawing their support. Many are accusing the movement of political idolatry.
"It's time for conservative women to rise up and defend the hearth, like Deborah and Jael," wrote Luma Simms in The Federalist. For those unaware, Simms explained "the former led men into battle, and the latter drove a tent peg into the temple of the wicked Sisera."
It is utterly unacceptable to support Trump after this, in Simms' eyes. She wrote, "There are scenarios in life where men can honorably disagree. This is not one of them. There is a right and a wrong course of action in this situation. It really is simple. But the idols of your heart have ensnared you."
This is not a small thing. "Conservatives don't usually engage in identity politics," Simms added. "Conservative women don't ask for special privileges, nor for the most part do they draw attention to themselves as women. Because we believe we should be judged on our merits, rarely will you find a conservative woman playing the woman card." But now is the time.
Simms did not hold back in excoriating Trump: "This man's very life instantiates the antithesis of virtuous and honorable limited-government federalism, instead exemplifying the post-Christian, logical positivist, secular humanist, egomaniacal, authoritarian ubsermenschen [sic] we have seen rise to (and fall from) power far from our own nation for at least a century now."
Boiled down, this intellectual word salad means that Trump is the exact opposite of what Christian conservatives and the Moral Majority claim to represent. He is a prideful, power-hungry adulterer who lives as though Christianity were false. Simms is far from alone in coming out and saying so.
Bestselling Christian author Beth Moore broke her silence on the 2016 election declaring, "I'm one among many women sexually abused, misused, stared down, heckled, talked naughty to. Like we liked it. We didn't. We're tired of it." The timing of these comments led some to believe Moore was endorsing Clinton, something she explicitly denied on Thursday.
"When Christian women like Beth Moore choose to publicly speak about their own experience with sexual assault, it signals to me that they do not feel heard or understood by fellow Christian leaders who continue to support Trump," Katelyn Beaty, former print managing editor of Christianity Today and author of A Woman's Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World, told The Daily Beast.
Sara Groves, a Dove Award-nominated Christian singer/songwriter, agreed with Beaty. "Someone like Beth can go a long way in helping Evangelicals recognize these major blind spots," she told The Daily Beast.
Christian blogger Nish Weiseth said that, when it comes to Christian men still supporting Trump, "disappointed seems like too soft a word. It's devastating."
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, explained why he has heard from so many evangelical women horrified by Trump's remarks. These women leaders have "spent their entire life teaching girls to find their identity in Christ and not in an American culture that sexualizes and objectifies them." Now, they find Christian men supporting a man who embodies that very culture.
The Reverend Lisa Sharon Harper, chief church engagement officer at the liberal Christian group Sojourners, explained that "Trump's offense is not only against a gender. His assaults on women are direct assaults against the image of God on earth."
Next Page: It isn't just women — even Wayne Grudem has withdrawn his support for Trump.