Former RNC chairman Michael Steele has some advice for President Trump’s evangelical backers: “Shut the hell up.”
Speak for yourself there, Michael.
Steele delivered his admonition to Evangelicals while on a panel with MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Tuesday. The topic of discussion centered on allegations of Trump’s past philandering, including recent claims of his paying off porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their affair.
After playing a clip from Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, explaining that Evangelicals supported Trump based on his policy promises and the people he promoted, Matthews asked his panel if this somehow unravels their moral authority. Needless to say, they were all in agreement.
“They’re giving up all the moral authority here,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.
Matthews then attempted to frame Evangelicals as hypocrites for never giving former President Barack Obama credit for being a good father and being faithful to his wife, as if that would somehow overshadow the man’s unwavering support for abortion and his empowering sexual impropriety through Planned Parenthood.
The former Republican National Committee chairman had harsher words for Evangelicals.
“I have a very simple admonition at this point,” Steele said. “Just shut the hell up and don’t ever preach to me about anything ever again. I don’t want to hear it.”
Steele added, “After telling me how to live my life, who to love, what to believe, what not to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter? The grabbing the you-know-what doesn’t matter? The outright behavior and lies don’t matter? Just shut up.”
Nobody on the panel seemed aware of, much less cared for, the Christian concepts of grace and the hierarchy of moral imperatives. As Jimmy Carter and Obama showed, living an alleged morally principled life privately does not absolve someone of the sins they commit publicly. A man may be a good husband and good father, but if he treats his subordinates at work like trash, promotes objectively evil policies like abortion, assaults religious institutions with the secular arm of the government, then his being a good father and husband (if that is indeed true) is rendered void by the magnitude of their public life.
Evangelicals judge Trump by what he does in the now, not what he did in the past. Unless Trump plans to use the Oval Office as his own private brothel — like a certain someone two presidents ago — or to use his position to assault religious institutions or continue the war against unborn children, then his past means nothing to Evangelicals, at least in the Christian understanding of grace, which is what Michael Steele seems to take issue with.