Donald Trump has done everything he can to harness the Evangelical vote, and by and large, his efforts have paid off. The only demogrpahics he can claim as his own are those represented by white supremacists and the Religious Right, and their continued support is absolutely critical to his campaign.
Only now, that support might be wavering. Again, the cause is the toxicity of his campaign. More precisely, what is proving to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, the 2005 tape in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.
Megachurch Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, is on Trump’s own hand-picked “faith council,” but now he has turned against Trump. In a published email, MacDonald says the 2005 tape reveals Trump to be “misogynistic trash that reveals a man to be lecherous and worthless.”
Though faith council members were not required to endorse Trump as the price of admission, even their service indicates a sort of tacit approval of the candidate. Thus, the pastor’s criticism is damning.
MacDonald detailed his objections:
“Mr. Trump’s comments released yesterday — though 10 years ago (he was 60) — are not just sophomoric or locker room banter. They are truly the kind of misogynistic trash that reveals a man to be lecherous and worthless — not the guy who gets politely ignored, but the guy who gets a punch in the head from worthy men who hear him talk that way about women.”
Worthy men. Among whose number Trump does not stand. He has removed himself utterly and completely as a result of his own words and actions.
The call for Trump to repent will go unheeded, but MacDonald issued it nonetheless, saying, “I am not able to offer my time any further without an obvious “change of heart and direction” [that] true believers call repentance”:
“If Mr. Trump isn’t seeking our counsel now— 1) to be repentant 2) on how to portray that repentance, then the idea of a faith council (which has deteriorated into influence brokering anyway) is really kind of a joke right? I have spent my life helping men get free from such disgusting commentary on women—even writing my doctoral dissertation on self-disclosure of sin among men. I cannot and will not offer help to a man who believes this kind of talk a minor error.”
Donald Trump cannot afford to lose the Evangelical vote, but that is precisely what he is in the process of doing, and if his threat this morning, that the “shackles are off” was sincere, he will ensure not only that people like MacDonald refuse to return, but that others will join him in leaving.