Yesterday, Donald Trump was indicted for having paid over a hundred thousand dollars to the porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their sexual encounter shortly after his wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to the crime, calling it a “sex scandal of biblical proportions” and admitting that it was done on Trump’s orders.
Trump also accidentally admitted to the crime in 2018, but has since denied it. He is really bad at playing innocent – he recently threatened “death and destruction” if he is charged. Several of his supporters call it persecution and communism that he is being charged – they do not care that Trump himself has already admitted to it.
The millions of (white) evangelical Christians who still support Trump also do not seem to care about his infidelity with porn stars and other women. In fact, after the infamous video where Trump boasted about committing sexual assault (“grab them by the pussy”) and sleeping with married women was released, he became more popular among white evangelicals.
This is largely due to the fact that many white evangelicals value traditional patriarchal masculinity, as historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez shows in her book Jesus and John Wayne. While they verbally condemn sexual assault and infidelity, it is something many evangelical men engage in themselves and are quite impressed by, and women are taught to accept sexual assault and rape in popular evangelical books about marriage and relationships. The book The Great Sex Rescue goes through this in detail and shows that evangelicals who have a so-called “complementarian” view of women and men have significantly worse marriages that often lead to divorce.
These statistics show beyond any reasonable doubt that the white evangelical endorsement of Trump has radically changed their values. In 2011, over 60 percent of them said that an elected official who commits an immoral act in their private life cannot behave ethically in their public life. In the Trump era, this conviction remains among less than 20 percent. Falwell Jr. and other evangelical leaders have convinced millions of Christians that a good character simply isn’t relevant when it comes to leadership, despite there being hundreds of verses in the Scriptures that suggest otherwise.Continue reading Trump’s Pornstar Infidelity Highlights the Evangelical Hypocrisy in America