Michael Gerson nails it in his column about evangelical support for Donald Trump in yesterday’s Washington Post.
He reports that 500 evangelical “leaders” will meet with Trump on June 21 and berates them because he assumes they have sold out. It certainly looks that way to me.
I think evangelical leaders have a lot to lose by supporting Trump. Gerson asserts that they take on the mark of Trump by their support. They risk selling their souls for a nasty political stew. I already don’t follow or respect most of them because they have been doing it for years. In this case, Trump has no redeeming qualities as a potential president and many obvious detriments. Evangelicals who jump on board will lose more than an election.
One bright spot in the article Gerson cited:
On the other hand, NewSpring Church Senior Pastor Perry Noble is not too eager to attend the said event. He wrote on his website last week that he’s one of those exclusively invited but called the event a “hypocrisy.”
Perry added that Trump has already spent enough time “proving himself.”
Southern Baptist president Ronnie Floyd wants to get to know Trump. Noble correctly says Trump has already let everybody know who he is. What will a 5 minute handshake and a meeting with 500 people tell you about Trump that he hasn’t already said and done?
FRC’s head Tony Perkins told Time that the purpose is to get to know Trump.
The invitation-only event is scheduled on June 21 in New York City and will be attended by the top names in the evangelical and conservative groups. President of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins told Time that the goal for the event is for them to get to know Trump and his state policies further.
I can just hear Perkins doing his Bing Crosby imitation.
Gettin’ to know all about you.
Gettin’ to like you,
Gettin’ to hope you like me.
Putting it my way but nicely.
You are precisely,
My cup of tea.
I honestly think that conservative Christians will look back on this embrace of Trump (by some) as one of the most disturbing and embarrassing periods in their history of public engagement. Many evangelicals I know now regard Falwell and Robertson at the height of their influence in the 80s and 90s as simplistic, discrediting representatives of their ideals. That is nothing… nothing… compared to shameful spectacle of Christians contorting their convictions to accept a secularist who praises the love of money and builds resentment against minorities and the vulnerable.