Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Hypocrisy and Moral Bankruptcy of the American Evangelical Right

In 1998 James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, told his supporters that marital infidelity and lying should disqualify Bill Clinton from serving as president: 
"What has alarmed me throughout this episode has been the willingness of my fellow citizens to rationalize the President's behavior even after they suspected, and later knew, that he was lying. ... As it turns out, character DOES matter. You can't run a family, let alone a country, without it. How foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world! Nevertheless, our people continue to say that the President is doing a good job even if they don't respect him personally. Those two positions are fundamentally incompatible. In the Book of James the question is posed, 'Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?' (James 3:11, NIV). The answer is no." - James Dobson, as quoted by John Fea here and here.

Two decades later James Dobson not only endorsed but continues to support Donald Trump as president because he offers "relief from judicial tyranny."

For more detail, and a response to American Evangelical reasons for supporting Trump, see John Fea's Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018).

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