“I love the evangelicals. Why do they love me? You’ll have to ask them — but they do.” — Donald Trump
Like with many things Trump, his support from evangelicals may not be as solid as he’d like you to think. Max Lucado’s blog post voicing grave disapproval of Trump is the latest indicator.
Dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today and “America’s Best Preacher” by Reader’s Digest, Lucado’s writing has reached people in more than 54 languages via more than 120 million individual products, including 92 million books.
This week, his blog post voicing disapproval for Trump and rejecting the idea that Trump would be a good choice for evangelicals has received so much traffic that his server crashed more than half a dozen times.
You can read Lucado’s post “Decency for President” here (if his server is up at the moment), but here are highlights:
The leading candidate to be the next leader of the free world would not pass my decency interview. I’d send him away. I’d tell my daughter to stay home. I wouldn’t entrust her to his care.
I don’t know Mr. Trump. But I’ve been chagrined at his antics. He ridiculed a war hero. He made mockery of a reporter’s menstrual cycle. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to the former first lady, Barbara Bush as “mommy,” and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people “stupid,” “loser,” and “dummy.” These were not off-line, backstage, overheard, not-to-be-repeated comments. They were publicly and intentionally tweeted, recorded, and presented.
Such insensitivities wouldn’t even be acceptable even for a middle school student body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith? I’m bewildered, both by his behavior and the public’s support of it.
Lucado isn’t the only evangelical asking questions about Trump.
What concerned me was the cloaking of Trump in spiritual garb, saying that he has as Jesus taught us, borne fruit. If character matters, as evangelicals have been saying for fifty years, then character matters. This is a man who has broken up two households, who had made money off of breakup families and exploiting the poor in the casino gambling industry, and has used racially-charged slurs against various people and groups.”
Moore added that “Trump says he has nothing for which to seek forgiveness” despite these actions against Christian values.
Alumni of Jerry Fallwell’s Liberty University expressed “surprise, dismay, and even embarrassment,” too.
And it’s worth noting, despite his apparent success with religious voters in the South Carolina Republican primary, a closer look tells a different story:
In exit polls, large numbers of Republican voters identify themselves as “evangelical or born again.” In South Carolina, 70 percent of Republican voters identified as evangelical, according to a report in the National Review. But if you look more closely at the numbers, the National Review’s analysis indicates that Cruz performed better in counties in South Carolina where voters reported they went to church more often. Trump, meanwhile, did better in counties where voters went to church less frequently.
Maybe there is not so much love after all.