The Growing Hypocrisy Crisis Between Trump And Christians By Steven Phillips
The Growing Hypocrisy Crisis Between Trump And Christians By Steven Phillips
The definition of Hypocrisy is…”the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform…”
Everyone knows that the first problem with taking any moral stand is that it means you have to follow through with what you say you believe with your own words and actions. The second problem is even more obvious. If you fail to live up to those standards that you have said you believe, then you become a hypocrite… and nobody listens to you anymore.
Today… I mean by that, right now… this is the unfortunate position of “being caught between the horns of the bull” that conservative Christianity finds itself in America. It is not something Christians can simply wave a magic wand and wish away. And, the actions of the next few days will determine the outcome of what may prove to be a historic miscalculation which could determine whether or not increasing numbers of Americans simply decides to disregard Christian beliefs. Why? Because of blatant, unabashed, hypocrisy.
What am I talking about? Donald Trump has put ProLife Christianity on the horns of that proverbial bull, and the bull is warming up to take them for a ride.
I am speaking specifically about the irreconcilable position that ProLife Christians now find themselves in due to this election cycle. Multiple sources are now beginning to confirm that there is a growing credibility crisis which stems the ProLife’s almost universal support for Donald Trump’s candidacy for President. Polls show that as many as 90% of them have allied themselves with Mr. Trump. The problem is Mr. Trump’s long standing, history of making demeaning comments about women and the recently disclosed remarks he has made in which he openly brags about his multiple sexual assaults on women. To the majority of women in America, these two positions are not only incompatible – they are outright hypocrisy.
Women feel that they are being disenfranchised by the right. They correctly argue that you cannot say to women that it is morally wrong for them to have an abortion while at the same time you say that it is okay for men to have a cavalier attitude about sexually assaults. If Donald Trump’s attitude and behavior is not enough to be a “game changer” that will keep you from voting for him, how can you say that you also firmly believe that even women who have been sexually assaulted and become pregnant must still carry the fetus full term.
Now wait a minute… wait a minute!
Before you simply brush that conundrum aside if you care about the future of Christianity in America. You should at least consider the long term effects that you are risking when it comes to your religion. There is one abortion statistic that virtually all studies agree upon.
The single group of pregnant women who are most likely to seek an abortion are women who have been sexually assaulted. The percentage of women who consider an abortion in these types of situations is nearly 100%, and recent studies indicate these women represent the highest percentage of any group who subsequently have an abortion performed. Studies that track women who have made that decision show one single belief that they shared in common – nearly all of them said that they chose an abortion because they feared every time they looked at the child who would have been born, they would remember their sexual assault incident. The second most common concern that caused these women to seek an abortion was they feared they would have to re-live the sexual assault trauma while going through childbirth.
Keep in mind, a delivery is a daunting challenge to any woman to begin with. The prospect of having to remember the most traumatic experience of their life at the same time is an understandable nightmare prospect. And, that decision is one that, frankly, men should have nothing to say about!
Women find it equally hypocritical when they hear ProLifers in this election try to excuse such hypocrisy by saying, “I can’t help that these are the only two choices that the political parties have given me!”
Yes, you can… and, yes you could have.
It is, perhaps, even more hypocritical for ProLife Christians to try to hide their inactivity or unsuccessful participation in the political process as an excuse to say they had no choice except Mr. Trump. Remember, the women who have gone through a sexual assault and a subsequent abortion felt they had no other choice either.
Moreover, those who are involved with this issue are beginning to confront the fact that the ProLife stand is no longer the majority opinion in America, and this gap is widening. More women are beginning to see that the ProLife Christian position is becoming more and more out of touch with the problems they face in their daily lives. That reality is also widening the gap on other issues that increasingly concern women, as well – things like child care, maternity leave, discrimination against women in the marketplace, wage inequalities, and sexual harassment in the workplace. ProLife Christians have traditionally been aligned with non-religious conservative Republicans as a voting group, in a sort of unspoken, but shaky coalition in an effort to give each other additional voting power. For that reason they supported each other back and forth on the ProLife stand and other conservative agenda issues and that marriage lasted so long as the nominee seemed to be a moral, upright individual and would agree to support the ProLife stand.
The problem is… along comes Mr. Trump.
Suddenly, everything is up for grabs. Here’s a man who has a questionable past on moral issues and who had a VERY high public profile. Moreover he was not aligned with either the ProLife side or the non-religious, conservative Republicans. But he was familiar with making a sales pitch. He was completely off the grid and off the beam when it came to outrageous behavior. Donald knew he would have to agree to the ProLife Christian view in order to get any of their support, and he knew that he would have to appease the non-religious Republican conservatives, as well – a difficult sale’s job, to say the least. So, Mr. Trump made his pitch on the basis of one factor that he had correctly read within the Republican electorate – ANGER. He saw that people were angry about the war, about the economy, about spending, about national debt, about the inability to break the gridlock in Washington, about the changing face of the American ethnic profile, about… you name it. In art he also had noted that the Tea Party movement had originally come into the American political scene by tapping into that anger.
The difference is Mr. Trump refuses to play by the unspoken rules that have traditionally bound the Republican coalition together. While that tact seemed, at first, to propel him to take over the Republican Party, it soon became obvious that his moral standards and unwillingness to play by any rules literally tore apart the inside of the party. So called, “Down Ballot Candidates” soon found it was a dangerous mistake to tie themselves to a candidate that offended their moral minded constituents. They also found that Donald’s angry supporters were impossible to manage, and Mr. Trump not only didn’t help the party leaders to manage those angry supporters – he encouraged their anger to new, unexpected levels.
But the ProLife Christians had not calculated where that would take them. Because they so wanted to win this election due to the fact that they believe the alternative would be a Supreme Court which would virtually put an end to their single issue, they made their bed with the Devil. When Donald Trump became the candidate that had gotten where he was because of the support of the ProLife Christians, their fate was sealed. Now they had to support him, regardless of the fact that his lifestyle and standards are at direct odds with the Christian side of their beliefs. This has… and even more, will bring the validity of Christian beliefs into question. Their simple and ancient warning made by Jesus Christ, himself, “You cannot serve Man and Money” should have been enough of a deterrent. But that’s the problem with dogma when it’s combined with fear and anger – it can blind your judgement and cause you to sacrifice precious beliefs – in this case, perhaps even the most precious beliefs they have promoted throughout their history.
This being viewed as a “sellout” offered by ProLife Christians to those who are outside of their ranks. The reason the magnitude of that sellout hasn’t yet dawned upon these Christians yet is because they are listening to only their own kind right now. It is a huge mistake to take only the council of your peers – especially when your mission is to preach your gospel to the whole world. That kind of thinking can be the seed of your own demise.
And, nowhere has the effects of that miscalculation been more evident than it is among women. It begs the question, “If you were so determined that unborn life was sacred, then why aren’t you advocating for the causes that would make life easier for women who have and raise children? And, if you really believe in moral standards concerning women, why would you nominate someone who is everything I hate in the workplace, in nightclubs, on the streets… everywhere?” As a result, women feel their concerns are being abandoned by the ProLife Christians all together.
Nowhere have these disconnects been more obvious between women and ProLife Christians than this election. Because we now have a Presidential candidate openly supported by the ProLife movement who is blatantly offensive to women. Even if there was no supporting evidence that Mr. Trump has participated in sexual assaults on women, you still have to deal with what he has incontrovertibly said. The Access Hollywood tape speaks for itself. Most women aren’t buying the position that Donald Trump’s predatory behavior was, after all, “Just words.” More than a dozen women have now come forward to dispute that point – and they did so under threat of a lawsuit from one of the richest people in America. It makes one wonder how many other women were too frightened or too embarrassed to risk coming forward to face the public lawsuit threats and caustic accusations of Mr. Trump’s media circus.
Furthermore, by saying to women, “We are willing to overlook Mr. Trump’s indiscretions” you have to accept the fact that you are also telling millions of women, “We are willing to pick and choose between your life changingsexual assault trauma and the ‘more important’ issues at stake in this election.” Why wouldn’t women feel marginalized and sexual targets?
It is becoming increasingly difficult for conservative Christians and ProLife Catholics to maintain that they actually are “pro-life”. Their failure to look at issues which affect the lives of everyone is NOT helping to make their case that they believe all life is sacred. If you truly believed that, you would have shown it in your actions by not allowing Mr. Trump to become your nominee! I’m sorry, but in the light of history, you will someday most likely be looking back at statistical data that will show a marked decline in the numbers of people who are willing to define themselves as Christians – beginning with this election year. Don’t take my word for it. That is also the assessment of Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. He is seeing dramatic statistical trends among women within their organization who are beginning to break with their religious leaders specifically due to their support of Mr. Trump. Keep in mind, that is coming from women within their organization. If that is true, can we even imagine how much this issue is affecting women outside of conservative religious organizations.
Like it or not, the willingness to dismiss virtually any behavior of a candidate who, in so many ways flies in the face of everything else that you say you believe in, is a “step too far” in society’s eyes. The majority of those on the outside of your somewhat cloistered, little group will be far more judgemental (and therefore, dismissive) of any cracks in your “moral high ground” wall compared to those who are within. Dr. Moore believes the effects of this miscalculation during this election cycle will harm the Christian message even more than the moral failures which were exposed among Televangelists in recent past decades.
Finally, don’t try to hide behind the idea that, “Rape victims represent a small percentage of total abortions.” You know, it’s a dangerous thing to reduce the lives of people down to a mere percentage number. It risks ignoring the true tragedy that even small percentages of data may represent. The simple fact is, among women who have considered an abortion, who were willing to admit that sexual assault was the reason they were interested in having an abortion in the first place, the percentages of that group jumps to nearly 100%! Many researchers feel that figure is far lower than the reality because it ignores those who couldn’t bring themselves to actually admit that they were seeking an abortion for that reason. It also ignores the fact that many women suffered sexual assault within the context of their marriages. “No” is still “No” regardless of the circumstances.Sometimes married women have endured often violent sexual encounters within the relationship of marriage – and those women are even less likely to open up about their experiences than those who have been attacked by someone other than their husband.
You cannot try to scrub the undeniable effects of sexual assault and sexual predatory behavior from our society without consequences. And, any actions that may be interpreted as attempts to do so will be seen as hypocritical for a very good reason… because it IS hypocritical!
There are simply too many women in our society who have experienced the tragic results of this barely hidden “societal cancer” – which many are seemingly willing to overlook at this point in our election. This is not an isolated problem we are talking about. As a counselor, I can tell you that nearly 100% of the number of women I have spoken with in a counseling environment have admitted that they have been subjected to some form of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual predatory behavior! This has left emotional scars for each of them to deal with. The same has been the experience that has been shared among virtually all of my fellow colleagues.
Keep in mind that public perception against Christian beliefs has already been brutally scarred by the horrifying discoveries of sexual abuse within the Catholic church. In the face of that fact, the effects of issues surrounding Mr. Trump has to be almost unimaginable, and we won’t truly understand the full extent of that effect for some time yet. Victims of abuse are classically known to be very private about their experiences. Watching Christians who are willing to excuse and ignore Trumps behavior is telling ALL of these people, “IF THEY WON’T REJECT A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR DOING THIS, THEN THERE IS NO ONE WHO CARES ENOUGH TO STOP SEXUAL ASSAULTS FROM HAPPENING!!! ESPECIALLY THE CHURCH!!!”
Understand, literally millions of sexual assault victims are watching! Failure to recognize this hypocrisy for what it is will not go unnoticed.
It isn’t even a question of whether or not Mr. Trump actually crossed the line between speaking about sexual assault and actually participating in such behavior. The simple facts are people heard him talk about participating in such actions and then they watched as numerous women came forward and openly spoke about him doing exactly what he said he didn’t do! Do you not see how this story is likely to end?
Consider for a final moment what the effect will be if even more women come forward after the election with the same claims. Moreover, consider what the effect will be if these cases are brought to court in a lawsuit against Mr. Trump as happened to Bill Clinton. Then any of the existing tapes that exist of such behavior which have not been released will be subject to subpoena as a part of any such case. How beneficial will it be to have Mr. Trump’s record even more thoroughly investigated? How hypocritical will conservative Christians look then? But that isn’t even the greatest risk that is out there. Consider the effect that all of this will have if this behavior is repeated while he is in office, if this is actually is endemic to his nature.
I’m not a betting man but I’d be willing to take a bet on that scenario happening against almost any odds – if, for no other reason, because there will be so many possibilities for any of his detractors to set him up for that sort of failure to take place. The White House is a proverbial glass house of epic fame.
I am not trying to say who you should be voting for. What I am saying is you cannot hypocritically hide behind, “I had to make that choice because I had no other choice.” First of all, you do. There are four presidential candidates on virtually all ballots this year. Secondly, no one is forcing you to vote for any one of those candidates. Ignoring those two truths, the message that is being sent to society is this, “We will compromise our ethics even though we adamantly proclaim we will never compromise on this issue.”
Not smart. For people who proclaim that they always stand up for the lives of people, the victims of sexual abuse are already the inevitable one’s who lose in such a scenario.
No… that’s not right… in that picture… ALL of us will be the losers.
I am Steven Phillips. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Permission to share this blog is granted so long as copyright is acknowledged to this blog