Those of us involved or working actively in politics in the 1990’s will never forget the multitude of evangelical Christian leaders who took strong a stand against Bill Clinton, his sexual indiscretions as well as his political malfeasance. Much of what they said about President Clinton was in their eyes, vindicated when the truth was finally revealed about Clinton’s affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
The chorus of scorn heaped upon Bill Clinton during that time came from the loudest voices of leaders in the evangelical movement. Christian leaders who were not afraid to mix conservative politics with faith, denounced Bill Clinton time and time again throughout the 90’s and used that righteousness to urge people to go to the polls and vote, without actually saying it, for Republicans. Among Clinton’s biggest critics were the late Jerry Falwell and Focus on The Family and Family Research Council founder, Dr. James Dobson.
Falwell’s disdain for President Clinton was so strong, he appeared in and helped distribute a 1994 film called ‘The Clinton Chronicles: An Investigation into the Alleged Criminal Activities of Bill Clinton.’ The film is an absurd attempt to link Bill Clinton to various crimes including, murder. The film spawned the infamous ‘Clinton Body Count’ – a list of associates Clinton purportedly had murdered for various reasons.
Dobson was also one of Clinton’s loudest critics. In 1998, James Dobson wrote a long, detailed letter outlining his dismay over Clinton and the country’s supposedly moral failings for having elected him, twice and attempting to separate his personal issues from his job as President. The entire letter can be found here, but this paragraph deserves to be highlighted:
How did our beloved nation find itself in this sorry mess? I believe it began not with the Lewinsky affair, but many years earlier. There was plenty of evidence during the first Presidential election that Bill Clinton had a moral problem. His affair with Gennifer Flowers, which he now admits to having lied about, was rationalized by the American people. He lied about dodging the draft, and then concocted an incredulous explanation that changed his story. He visited the Soviet Union and other hostile countries during the Vietnam War, claiming that he was only an “observer.” Numerous sources reported that he organized and participated in anti-war rallies in the United States, Great Britain, and Norway. Clinton evaded questions about whether he had used marijuana, and then finally offered his now-infamous “I didn’t inhale” response. There were other indications that Bill Clinton was untruthful and immoral.Why, then, did the American people ignore so many red flags? Because, and I want to give the greatest emphasis to this point, the mainstream media became enamored with Bill Clinton in 1992 and sought to convince the American people that “character doesn’t matter.”
James Dobson is now a member of Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board. Jerry Falwell died in 2007, but his son Jerry Falwell, Jr. has become one of Trump’s biggest evangelical boosters.
So what has changed? Why would Dobson and Falwell, align themselves politically with somebody we know:
- Brazenly lies
- Is on his third marriage (And anybody who lived in the NY metropolitan area in the early 90’s knows Trump was having an affair with Marla Maples before he divorced Ivana Trump)
- Rips people off with bogus “university” teachings
- Fails to pay contractors who work for him
- Engages in the worst kind of gossip mongering and slander
- Has the temperament of a 5 year old child
The bulk of it still has to do with Bill Clinton. The irrational hatred some people still have for this man is beyond comprehension. It’s been nearly 20 years since Clinton was in office, yet they still seethe about it. That hatred has manifested itself into new hatred for Hillary Clinton who was Bill Clinton’s “enabler.” Granted, this is largely true. Hillary was happy to join in the smears of Clinton accusers we know were telling the truth including Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones.
Still, that’s not enough to sway me to support Donald Trump and it especially should not sway evangelical leaders. It’s rather pathetic to see men like Falwell and Dobson trip over themselves to explain their political affection for a man who is every bit as “morally corrupt” as Bill Clinton and perhaps more so.
Outside of the Clinton hate, is the belief Donald Trump has truly changed and become this bedrock conservative he claims to in just a few short years. Nothing explains this mindset more than this post from some idiot in California who refers to the #NeverTrump movement as “pharisees.” In it, he criticizes Max Lucado, a leader and lone figure in the evangelical movement who has spoken out against evangelical support for Trump. Here is a snippet:
The #NeverTrump movement is defined by this Pharisee spirit. It is chock full of it. Texas pastor Max Lucado is a great example. Max leads what he calls a “red state” church, but Max has a maxim: ”I don’t want anybody to know how I vote.” Max does this to make sure the Democratic voters in his church, the ones who support abortion on demand, Islamo-pandering, and class warfare are not made to feel uncomfortable.
You should read all of it because he’d have seals impressed with the way he jumps through hoops to justify Trump’s behavior in order to support him. He finishes off with this nonsense:
Donald Trump is more righteous than you think. He wants to protect you from Islamic zealots. He wants to protect your right to defend your families with firearms. He even wants to exempt your pulpits from IRS tyranny. He wants to end the death tax, so you can pass on your farms and your family business to your children. He wants to lower your taxes. He wants to protect the lives of unborn children and appoint Constitutional judges.
But you and Max Lucado don’t like his style.
Your priorities are all mixed up, just like the people who killed Christ.
Wow. And people like this guy probably sit around and wonder why people, especially millennials, are leaving the evangelical church.
People are free to vote for Donald Trump if they so choose. But this moral preening is, in a word, bull****. If Donald Trump was the Democratic nominee running against Ted Cruz, Dobson and Falwell would be out leading the charge against a “morally bankrupt” Donald Trump.
This is all about partisan politics, nothing more. Dobson and Falwell would be better off admitting that, instead of looking like hypocritical fools, beating their bibles for Donald Trump.