Some of my more conservative friends wonder how I, as a charismatic/Pentecostal Christian, can despise Donald Trump as much as I do. It’s simple. Trump could not be a worse role model for our nation, especially our children. Here is a man who plastered a private cell phone number on social media, mocked the disabled, condoned violence from his rallies, and reveled in degrading women.
But none of that mattered to the religious right. After all, all that mattered to the nation’s so-called moral guardians was that Trump made clucking noises they liked on social issues. This trend has continued since Trump took office. He has had few qualms about continuing to degrade women, shared hateful and degrading memes about his rivals on Twitter, and knowingly spewed racial slurs at lawmakers of color.
When you point these out to any religious right leader, their response is usually something along the lines of “But, but, but–he stands for the sanctity of life! He defends the sanctity of marriage! He’s putting conservative judges on the courts! And he’s making America great and Christian again!” So all of that is worth tolerating behavior that would never be tolerated from the rest of us? Got it.
Well, yesterday, one of the religious right’s more rabid radio hosts displayed this hypocrisy for all to see. He let it be known he is all-in for Trump while suggesting that one major Democratic candidate won’t be a good role model because–horrors!–he’s gay.
Results from Monday night’s Iowa caucuses have been dribbling out slower than expected, due to glitches with the app used to report results and pro-Trump Internet trolls clogging up the backup phone lines that were set up in case of such glitches. However, the most recent results as of Thursday morning show former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg turning in a surprisingly strong showing. Buttigieg presently has the support of just over 26 percent of delegates, essentially tied with Senator Bernie Sanders.
Once it became apparent that Buttigieg was holding onto his lead as more results trickled in, it was only a matter of time before someone would wring his hands at an openly gay man cementing his status as a credible candidate for a major-party nomination. That hand-wringing came on Wednesday from a predictable source–American Family Radio afternoon drive-time host Bryan Fischer.
As Fischer started the second hour of his show, “Focal Point,” Fischer updated his listeners on the latest results from Iowa–and used Buttigieg’s rise to engage in a classic gay-bashing rant. Watch here.
Fischer described Buttigieg as “an open, unrepentant, unapologetic homosexual.” Recalling that George Washington once had two gay soldiers drummed out of the Continental Army, Fischer blanched at the thought that the Democrats could potentially make a gay man their nominee for president.
To Fischer’s mind, the silence from his fellow fundies on this prospect was deafening. He thought that his compatriots thought calling this out was a “third rail.” However, he believed it was time to speak about it. He believed that Americans, and evangelicals in particular, should ask a simple question.
Do we as the American people, do we want somebody who engages in that kind of sexual conduct to serve as a role model for the rest of the country–to serve as a role model for America’s children? I vote no.
So let’s see if we’ve got this right, Bryan. You wail about a gay man not being a proper role model, while you beat the drum for a man who openly called women “dog” and “horseface” on Twitter. You complain about Buttigeg not being a good example for our kids, while you openly worship a man who knowingly called two Jews, two blacks, an Arab, and a Latina “savages,” and who later knowingly called one of those Jews “human scum.” You wonder why your fellow fundies aren’t calling this out, when you support a man who has told over 15,000 lies since taking office. Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.
Perhaps the rest of the religious right knows that if they try to make Buttigeg’s sexual orientation a campaign issue, they’re going to have to explain why they’re ridiculously loyal to a man who runs this country like a mob boss. And deep down, they probably know they have no explanation–at least, not one that will hold water outside the fundie bubble.
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