David Barton, the Religious Right’s favorite phony historian, is trying to sell his base on voting for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. But where most of Barton’s allies have resorted to pumping up Trump by dumping on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Barton acknowledges Trump’s flaws – but says they don’t matter because Trump has been chosen by God to lead the United States.
Furthermore, Barton says, if you don’t vote for Trump, God might hold you accountable.
Barton in late June asserted that God had a hand in the GOP primaries because there were so many “God guys” in it. In a recent teleconference hosted by former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s My Faith Votes, Barton warned evangelical Christians not to stay home on Election Day just because they don’t like Trump or Clinton.
“We will stand before God one day and answer for everything we’ve said and thought and done,” Barton opined. “[God will say,] ‘I gave you your country, what did you do that with?’ ‘Well, I didn’t do anything because I didn’t like any of the candidates.’ Really? You think God is going to buy that...He’s going to say, ‘I gave you a vote. What did you do with that vote I gave you?’ ‘Well, I couldn’t use it for anybody.’”
David Barton criticized American voters who would reject King David just because he had a few flaws - like committing murder and adultery.
Barton, who raised money for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) until Cruz dropped out of the presidential race in May, apparently believes that being “God’s guy” means you can do all sorts of questionable things and still receive God’s blessing – just as some biblical figures did.
“[M]aybe God’s got a different standard than what we do,” Barton speculated. He went on to say that those who would reject Trump probably would also refuse to vote for famed biblical leaders like King David because he was a murderer who also cheated on his wife, Noah because “he had trouble with drunkenness” or Lot, who slept with his own daughter. (Thanks to Right Wing Watch for the transcript).
The average American voter probably considers it a deal breaker if a candidate has committed murder or incest. Addiction likely isn’t thought of as a favorable trait in elected officials, either. But as far as Barton is concerned, nothing of that nature should matter as long as God has “chosen” a particular politician.
This is how far the Religious Right has fallen in its pathetic attempt to come to grips with the fact that Trump, a thrice-married casino magnate who has openly bragged about all of the women (many married) he has bedded, is their standard-bearer.
Barton’s message is hardly unique. It’s essentially a more extreme version of an argument made recently by a Religious Right leader who wrote Politics According to the Bible, a 619-page tome that claims to offer a biblical take on all modern policy issues.
“I do not think that voting for Donald Trump is a morally evil choice because there is nothing morally wrong with voting for a flawed candidate if you think he will do more good for the nation than his opponent,” Wayne Grudem wrote recently. “In fact, it is the morally right thing to do.”
We haven’t seen the last of these sort of justifications, I am sure, but let’s be sure to call them what they are: hypocrisy. For a group obsessed with a very narrow view of morality, the Religious Right sure abandoned all of that quickly when it became politically convenient.