- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Evangelicals have been taking quite a hit in the media for standing by President Donald Trump.

But why should they?

Simply put: Putting those of faith in a box and expecting they only support the candidates who meet the moral codes and standards imposed by the media — the morally adrift media — means they’d never vote.

And very likely, that’s exactly where the media like to see those of faith — cowering in corners, afraid to be called hypocritical for daring to stand by a politico who’s been accused of impropriety.

But the campaign’s not working.

To this day, evangelicals are still supporting Trump.

Gallup wrote just this week of the “continuing support of President Donald Trump by evangelicals despite news report indicating that Trump’s personal lifestyle, morals and presentation of self are not in sync with what one associates with highly religious people.”

Well, truth be told, few politicians are possessed of those lifestyles, morals and presentations of self.

But apparently, this is an argument that can’t be made enough — the one that says that Christians aren’t surprised when politicians falter, fail and sin. The one that prods that Christians aren’t seeking politicians who are perfect. The one that reminds that Christians already have a perfect leader — and His name is Christ. Anyone by a different name is already regarded, always regarded, in the Christian view, anyway, as imperfect and sin-filled.

So stories, say, of Stormy and affairs with the president don’t bring any storm that shakes the Christian foundation — because the Christian foundation is not, was not and never will be built on any politician.

Leftists, atheists, anti-Trumpers and elitists within the Republican Party — not to mention those with little understanding of the Christian faith — may call evangelicals’ continuing support of the president hypocritical. But it’s not.

Fact is, Christians can support a presidential platform same as the next guy, same as the atheist down the street. As Gallup notes: “Trump is in jeopardy of losing support from highly religious white Protestants if his policy stances and approach to politics begin to move away from a focus on traditional family structure, conservative norms governing sexual relations, pregnancy and marriage, keeping the government from infringing on perceived religious liberties, support for Israel and the de-emphasis of government regulations. His personal lifestyle and moral values positions are well known (and were well known when he was elected) and new revelations on that front most likely will not change evangelicals’ approval of the job he is doing.”

Well put.

Christians are hardly hypocritical by standing by Trump. And they’re hardly stupid, blinding following a president they pretend is perfect.

Rather, they’re thinking voters with moral compasses that seek out Christ, and fleshly bodies and minds that live in this imperfect world, deal with this imperfect government. In other words: Evangelicals are definitely in this world, but not of it.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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