Evangelical Christians are far more willing to excuse the immoral behavior of President Donald Trump than they were when it came to former President Bill Clinton. The news that Trump reportedly had an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels following Melania Trump giving birth to their son, Baron, has not caused a dent in Evangelical support for the president.
Why? Because unlike Clinton, Trump is championing Evangelical issues.
Trump addressed the March for Life earlier this month and leaders of the administration’s Department of Health and Human Services reworked rules that allowed health care workers opposed to abortion to refuse participation in the procedures for religious reasons. The department is also expected to declare that life begins at conception, a key issue for evangelicals and anti-choice advocates.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said Evangelicals were willing to give Trump a do-over, because his misdeeds predate his presidency:
"Yes, evangelicals, conservatives, they gave him a mulligan,” Perkins told CNN last week. “They let him have a do-over. They said we'll start afresh with you and we'll give you a second chance."
In the midst of Clinton's scandal, Ralph Reed, who founded the Christian Coalition with conservative Pat Robertson, said America was in need of more moral leadership:
''Character matters and the American people are hungry for that message,'' Reed said at the time. ''We care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.''
But today immoral leaders are okay by the Evangelical community, it would seem, so long as they pursue a conservative Christian agenda. The bulk are still supporting Trump even in the face of blatant disregard for Christian family values.
An ABC News/Washington Post survey released last week showed that 68 percent of white evangelical Protestants approve of Trump's work in office, even following the accusation that his lawyer paid off Daniels during the 2016 campaign to keep quiet about an alleged affair. The poll was conducted between January 15 and 18, only days after The Wall Street Journal first reported on the alleged $130,000 payout.