Former Republican National Committee Chairman (RNC) Michael Steele says in a new book that evangelical Christians who support Donald Trump are “the biggest phonies of all,” Yahoo News reports.
Steele, who served as the Chair of the RNC from 2009-2011, spoke with journalist Tim Alberta for the latter’s recently-published book, American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump. In the book, Steele didn’t mince words about Trump, and specifically, about the support Trump gets from evangelical Christians.
Evangelical Christians make up about 20 percent of registered voters, and about 76 percent of them self-identify as Republican or right-leaning. That was evident in the 2016 election, when Trump got about 77 percent of the evangelical vote.
Steele accuses those voters of looking past Trump’s actions — which appear to contradict evangelical standards of morality and behavior — simply because Trump promised to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court. So far, this is something he’s done twice. With a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade may very well be overturned in the next few years — overturning this has always been a key goal of evangelical voters.
Steele, however, isn’t having it.
“This motherf**ker comes along defiling the White House and disrespecting God’s children at every turn, but it’s cool, because he gave them two Supreme Court justices,” he said.
He went on to say that evangelicals “got their 30 pieces of silver,” referring to the New Testament story of Jesus’ betrayer, Judas, receiving 30 pieces of silver for turning Jesus over to the authorities.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) July 16, 2019
Apart from their support of Trump, Steele has had enough with evangelicals in general, he says. Calling them “the people who spent the last forty years telling everyone how to live, who to love, what to think about morality,” Steele says he wishes they would “just shut the hell up and don’t ever preach to me about anything ever again.”
Steele is not the first person to point out what could be seen as a disconnect between evangelicals’ belief in morality and their support of Donald Trump, despite his perceived behavior. In 2019, for example, Time wrote that evangelicals support Trump not out of faith, but out of fear.
Specifically, the magazine said, evangelical leaders believe that Christianity and its influence on American values are under assault from foreign interests, from progressives, and from activist judges on federal courts. Time writer David French posited that it is because of these reasons that evangelicals are going to support Republicans, regardless of individual Republican’s shortcomings.