‘Shut the H*ll Up’ – Ex-RNC Boss Explodes at Evangelical Leaders Over Trump’s Morality ‘Mulligan’
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council (a conservative and religious policy and lobby organization) had a word for President Donald Trump on Tuesday. That word was “mulligan.” And no, it had nothing to do with Trump’s love of playing golf.
Perkins made the rounds on Tuesday conveying absolution on the 45th President. On “OutFront With Erin Burnett,” Perkins said Trump gets a “mulligan” for his alleged affair with porn starlet Stormy Daniels because “it was 10 years ago” and “evangelicals understand what a second chance means.”
Christian leader Tony Perkins: Trump gets a "mulligan" on alleged affair because it was 10 years ago and "evangelicals understand what a second chance means" https://t.co/57AZQHdAEU
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) January 24, 2018
Perkins repeated the blanket forgiveness from the right on Politico’s “Off Message” podcast, saying, “We kind of gave him–‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here.'” The podcast host (Isaac Dovere) hit back, “A mulligan for 70 years of his life?” That full interview can be found here. The Cliffs Notes version? Perkins effectively said evangelicals no longer care about morality, only about legislative and judicial victories.
“Hey, look, the guy committed, this is what he’s committed to. And as long as he commits to that and continues on that, he will have the support of evangelicals.”
With that, not content to deliver absolution and call it a night, Perkins transitioned from defense to offense.
“Evangelicals did not vote for Donald trump based on his moral qualifications, but based upon what he was going to do and who he was going to surround himself with.”
He followed that with an even stronger statement.
“Evangelical Christians were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists. And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully.”
Dovere thought that statement lacked one of the foundations of Biblical teaching, and asked Perkins, “What happened to turning the other cheek?” Perkins was blunt in his response.
“You know, you only have two cheeks. Look, Christianity is not all about being a welcome mat which people can just stomp their feet on.”
Over on MSNBC, Chris Matthews paraphrased Perkins’ comments for the assembled panel, and solicited their opinions.
“When it comes down to giving Trump a pass, some top evangelical leaders are turning a blind eye to his past indiscretions and came to his defense following recent reports about his alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels.”
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele listened while the other panelists weighed-in, clearly seething, waiting for his turn to speak. And when his turn came, Steele unloaded on Perkins and the evangelical wing of the Republican Party.
“I have very simple admonition: just shut the hell up and don’t preach to me about anything ever again.”
“After telling me who to love, what 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!”
“They have no voice of authority anymore for me.”
The truth is right there in Perkins own words. The religious right no longer weighs character and morality when endorsing candidates. Evangelicals will just keep forgiving President Trump. Trump does not need to admit wrongdoing. He does not need to apologize. He does not even need to promise he will not do it again. All that is needed for absolute absolution from the evangelicals is a promise, and a promise from a habitual liar at that, to appoint anti-abortion rights Justices to the Supreme Court and pursue a radical, religion-based political ideology.
The evangelicals have made a deal with the devil, and this particular devil fancies himself the master of the deal. They should get their Bibles out and refresh their memories. This never ends well.
Featured image by Alex Wong/Getty Images.
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Dave Weaver is a freelance political journalist and author. Born in Pennsylvania, which was home most of his life, Dave has called Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, and Maine home over the last decade. All the wandering has allowed Dave to experience America (and Americans) from a variety of perspectives. For a political junkie, the insights gained from this exposure are invaluable.