|The religious right have traded Jesus for this guy.|
However, one thing about the controversy which should've received front page press but didn't was how religious right groups and leaders failed to give Trump any type of moral guidance. Instead, in their responses, they have him excuses and back-up.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.breaks down it all down:
Many Americans were repulsed by Trump’s comments, but not the Religious Right. Its leaders responded to his comments in a number of ways, none of which involved criticizing the president or noting his appalling moral failure – as they certainly would have done had a progressive president behaved this way.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council issued a statement echoing Trump’s offensive “both sides” rhetoric. Perkins couldn’t manage to muster the courage to denounce Nazis, but he did find a way to point out – twice – that a Bernie Sanders supporter shot U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.
Prominent evangelist Franklin Graham chose to blame the victims of neo-Nazi violence, asserting that this all started because some people advocated removing a statue of Robert E. Lee from a public park. (For good measure, he blamed Satan as well.) The clear implication is that they should have known better.
Richard Land, the former lobbyist for the Southern Baptist Convention and now president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, issued a rambling statement asserting, “We have a responsibility as Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation to speak out against every form of racism and bigotry as unconditionally and straightforwardly as possible.” Nice words – but they contain not one mention of Trump’s inability to clear this bar.
The American Family Association had a different spin, issuing a story through OneNewsNow, its fake news site, asserting that “the left” is using words like “nationalist” and “white supremacist” to smear conservatives. (Isn’t it interesting that in the Religious Right’s world, no matter how badly Trump bungles something, no matter how inept he is at day-to-day governing, no matter how reckless he is with his Twitter account, no matter how far into his mouth he shoves his own foot, what follows always manages, somehow, to be the fault of liberals?)
Perhaps the most offensive response came from Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, who tweeted support for Trump’s comments, saluted him as a strong leader and drooled about his greatness as president.
In spite of all of the claptrap they talk about "telling the truth with love in their hearts" (a phrase which the LGBTQ community have heard too many times from these folks) not one of them could muster up a single condemnation of Trump's words.
Was it cowardice? Were Perkins, Graham, or the rest so afraid of being a target of a future Trump twitter response that they gave up moral ground on this matter? Of course not. To give up moral ground, one must own it in the first place.
Charlottesville and Trump's tenure in office thus far has exposed groups like the Family Research Council and individuals like Franklin Graham for the grubby handed panderers they are, eager to exploit their undeserved status as religious leaders as an entree into the world of politics, power, and creation of policies. Charlottesville is the second time they turned their backs on their self-appointed duties of being moral guardians.
The first time was when many of them either stood silent on the sidelines as the GOP was trying to repeal Obamacare (and thus take healthcare away from millions of Americans) or cheer leaded the effort in hopes that Planned Parenthood would be eliminated.
As long as Trump makes them feel that they are needed and dishes out promises to them, they will be there to receive them . . . and provide cover for any of his mistakes.
There is a story in the Bible in which Jesus told the rich man to give away all of his possessions and follow Him. Somehow,Perkins, Graham, and the rest got the entire thing wrong.
They seem to think that Jesus said "with one hand, keep what you got and with the other, grab more. But with your lips, proclaim me. If you speak loud enough, people won't pay attention to what your hands are doing."