Somebody Had to Say It: Iowa Evangelical Leader Says Trump Must Model Higher Standard

Somebody Had to Say It: Iowa Evangelical Leader Says Trump Must Model Higher Standard
Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, points as he arrives during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

And this is the kind of evangelical voice we need. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been paying attention.

And it may be a case of closing the barn door after the horse has made it into an entirely different zip code.

Bob Vander Plaats is the Iowa-based president of the conservative Family Leader group. He initially endorsed Ted Cruz, but like so many other evangelicals, lost the will to fight and choked out an endorsement for Donald Trump before the election (Please see update).

It seems he has found his voice again, and spoke out this week against Anthony Scaramucci, after the new communications director’s vile tirade from the New Yorker made the rounds.

Silence equals assent.

Not consent, where you just agree to allow something, but assent –  approval or acceptance.

I’ve already covered it here, but the word that has come forth since Scaramucci proved himself to be little more than a New York sewer rat in an expensive suit is that Trump very much approved of the outburst against Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus.

It amuses Trump to see blood drawn by those clamoring to present themselves his most loyal toady. Priebus proved himself unworthy because his failure to fling globs of fecal matter back at Scaramucci didn’t provide the tense drama that makes for good reality TV.

Vander Plaats went further in a post to his website:

“Mr. President, it is time to look in the mirror, accept responsibility, apologize to the American people, and declare an end to this behavior immediately,” he wrote. “While what I’m urging may not be the “Trump” brand, it is the brand of a leader. We need a leader. You must lead!”

“I suggest you lead by first washing out Mr. Scaramucci’s mouth with a bar of soap,” he continued. “After a thorough rinsing, strip his credentials and escort him personally off the White House grounds.”

As long as the Mooch is willing to wallow in the mud for an opportunity to get next to the president, you’re not likely to see that happen.

I actually checked to see if any of the other evangelical “leaders” who backed Trump had spoken out against Scaramucci being part of the administration after last week.

Silence. Not even a passing mention from any I’d checked.

Vander Plaats made a valiant effort at calling for leadership in this matter, but he’s directing his calls to a man who has spent more time Twitter-raging, golfing, and plotting turmoil among his staff to do much leading in any area.

Vander Plaats may be seeing what some of us knew was coming.

Trump has failed to do his job. He’s passed no meaningful legislation. He has done nothing to draw a coalition together, in order to work through a repeal bill and make it happen. North Korea and Iran become bolder and more brazen, each day.

All this, and the man is playing his staff like puppets.

And as Newt Gingrich pointed out, Scaramucci makes Trump happy, because they’re the same kind of person.

A model who was once stuck at a table with Trump said during an interview later that he was the most vulgar man she’d ever known. If that’s true, Scaramucci’s behavior and Trump’s approval shouldn’t be a shock.

For some of us, it is not.

New York values, and all.

Still, I applaud Vander Plaats for the effort. He’s already done more than so many others.

We are at a crisis point in our nation. The Body of Christ needs to rise up and lead, because our politicians will not do it. They can’t. They’re too busy jockeying for position and power.

Other evangelical leaders need to speak. Christians who supported Trump and those who did not need to stress how the atmosphere Trump and his new clinger are creating is not representative of us or our nation.

It most certainly should not be allowed to stand as representative of the kind of behavior Christians tolerate or accept.

Party needs to be put aside. This isn’t a political issue, any longer. This is a test of heart.

Silence equals assent.


I recently heard from Drew Zahn, communications director for Bob Vander Plaats organization, the Family Leader.

Mr. Zahn wanted to make it clear that Mr. Vander Plaats did not, at any time, endorse Donald Trump.

I apologize for the confusion and applaud Mr. Vander Plaats all the more, now.




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