It’s been less than two weeks since President Donald J. Trump and his administration transitioned into power, and chaos and protests over their actions have already erupted.
But one group, in particular, remains mum on criticizing the Trump administration’s words and actions: the Trump-loving Religious Right.
Trump’s executive orders that have impacted religious freedom thus far have included a seven-country Muslim ban, restricting women’s reproductive health access by reinstating the Global Gag Rule and more.
Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, and one of his senior advisers, Kellyanne Conway, have continued to spread “alternative facts” (or in other words, blatant lies) to the press about the inauguration crowd size, illegal voting, his Muslim ban and more. (Trump went so far as to pressure the director of the National Park Service to say the crowd for his inauguration was larger than it was.)
As John Fea points out in a Jan. 26 Religion News Service column, conservative evangelical Christians know that lying is a sin condemned by their faith, but their leaders are so enamored with Trump that they don’t seem to care about his whoppers.
“The last time I checked, Christians stood for things that are true,” Fea wrote. “With this in mind, why don’t I hear a massive chorus of evangelical Christians – especially the 81 percent of Christians who voted for Trump – calling the POTUS to task?”
Good question. Fea raises an important point about pro-Trump evangelicals: They’re turning a blind eye and not practicing what they preach. Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, for example, was an early Trump supporter and participated in Trump’s inauguration prayer service, and despite publicly promoting truthfulness on his website, he’s yet to criticize Trump for serially lying to the public.
When will the Trump-loving Religious Right denounce Trump's actions?
It’s not just Jeffress whose hypocritical views have kept him silent or compliant with Trump’s actions. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. and others have yet to condemn Trump on, well, anything. (Perkins has written columns practically swooning over Trump.)
Trump has lied about many things since taking the oath of office, including whether his executive order banning Muslims from seven Muslim-majority countries (more may be added) from entering the country as refugees and immigrants, is truly a “Muslim ban.” This is despite the fact that he has publicly said that he would prioritize Christian refugees fleeing terror over Muslim refugees.
Despite that, Jeffress told The Huffington Post: “President Trump’s actions are in keeping with the biblical mandate for government to protect its citizens. While Scripture commands individual Christians and churches to show mercy to those in need, the Bible never calls on government to act as a Good Samaritan.”
Essentially, Religious Right figures don’t want the sweet and soft parts of the Bible playing a factor in their preaching; they have a habit of scrutinizing that book to buttress whatever political opinion they have already adopted.
This hypocrisy has been alive and well throughout Trump’s presidential campaign. Writer Michelle Goldberg articulated it best in her Jan. 27 New York Times column in which she pointed out that Trump as president is the Religious Right’s “Trojan horse.”
“The religious right has been elevated to power without having to contest its ideas in an election,” Goldberg wrote. “Sometimes, a deal with the devil pays off, big league.”