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The Hypocrisy of Evangelicals in the 2016 Presidential Election

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-02-2016


Today’s guest post is from a woman named Rachel. She asked me to keep her identity anonymous since she fears any backlash for her views. Rachel is an evangelical Christian. She’s married, has two children, and she’s in her early 30s. She and her family attend a Baptist church and are involved in the church’s community life.

I’m an avid Facebook user. It’s partly a hobby when my children are taking naps. I pay attention to my feed. Not once, not twice, but three times, some of my fellow-evangelical friends (yes, I’m an evangelical) published updates trashing one of the Republican candidates. They pointed out that he’s had infidelities in his marriage and has talked about his promiscuous life-style in the past on old radio shows. Also that he uses profanity.

They went on to argue that such a man is not qualified to be president, and haughtily accused any evangelical of supporting the person as being clueless or unspiritual and perhaps not even saved.

What they don’t realize is that this stance and mode of arguing is hypocritical.

It is so for the following reasons:

  1. These same people supported Ronald Reagan. It’s been well documented that President Reagan had both adultery and divorce in his past. He also had premarital sex in his past (Nancy was pregnant when they married). All of this has been documented and isn’t disputed.
  2. Many of the other candidates have been caught lying and engaging in slander. The Bible condemns lying and slander with as much vigor as it does infidelity and premarital sex. Playing the “this sin is greater than that sin” is a problem evangelicals have had for a long time and that’s why so many lost people aren’t interested in the faith. Double standards are unappealing and unbiblical. They smell of hypocrisy.
  3. The candidate some of my evangelical friends so vehemently despise has put people to work, has a proven record of negotiating great deals, has proven leadership skills, speaks the truth to power, and his family life today is impeccable. His adult children are impressive, and this cannot be said about some of the other candidates.

The main point here is that if a person is going to use the personal morality of someone’s past to determine if they are qualified to be president, then ALL the candidates are not qualified.

Lying is a moral issue. Slander is a moral issue. Bumming off of other people is a moral issue. Filing inaccuracies on your taxes is a moral issue. Mishandling confidential emails is a moral issue. Playing dirty politics in the Iowa caucus is a moral issue. Mismanaging your money is a moral issue (we are to be good stewards). Some evangelicals would argue that taking out large loans is a moral issue. Some of the other candidates claim to be Christians, but they believe in what many evangelicals would say are false doctrines (Seventh Day Adventism and Catholicism).

Each of the other candidates has at least one of these morality problems in their past and even in their present.

I personally don’t condone immorality of any kind. But I’m not voting for someone based on their morality. All the candidates fail if we compare their personal morality according to biblical standards. All of them.

But if we are going to base our vote on who can lead the country the best, then that’s another story.

Remember this too. If you’re going to condemn someone about something they did or said in their past, you’re condemning yourself. No one has a perfect past. All have sinned and come short of God’s glory, that includes every person reading this article. I personally liked Ronald Reagan but his past had many of the same problems that Bill Clinton’s past did (not identical but similar).

Perhaps someday evangelicals will not be viewed as the hypocritical, self-righteous, judgmental, double-standard flame throwers that the world sees them as today. I think it begins with throwing out the double standards, don’t you?

Written by Rachel