Several notable evangelical women leaders, some of whom have themselves experienced sexual assault, are expressing their disgust at the response of Christian leaders to Donald Trump's 2005 lascivious comments about groping women that surfaced October 7.
On Twitter, popular teacher and evangelist Beth Moore said Friday in a string of Tweets that she was one such victim.
"I'm one of many sexually abused, misused, stared down, heckled, talked naughty to. Like we liked it. We didn't. We're tired of it," Moore said.
I'm one among many women sexually abused, misused, stared down, heckled, talked naughty to. Like we liked it. We didn't. We're tired of it.— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) October 9, 2016
In two subsequent Tweets, Moore continued: "Try to absorb how acceptable the disesteem and objectifying of women has been when some Christian leaders don't think it's a big deal...Wake up, Sleepers, to what women have dealt with all along in environments of gross entitlement & power. Are we sickened? Yes. Are we surprised? NO."
Chelsen Vicari, director of the Evangelical Action Director at the Washington-based Institute on Religion, also voiced her disgust, but notes an interesting double standard at play.
"For anyone calling themselves a Christian, 'locker room talk' and 'macho talk' is no defense for degrading, abusive remarks against women," Vicari said in a statement to CP Tuesday.
While it is a good thing that countless liberal elites, Hollywood actors, comedians, and authors are condemning Trump's past objectification of women, Vicari added, she finds it a bit ironic.
"The same proponents of a godless society and blurred moral lines are actually stopping to say, wait a minute, this lewdness is not okay. As a friend pointed out, perhaps things might be different if society heeded evangelical's warnings that morality matters. For this evangelical woman, morality matters and character counts when picking a president. No matter what side of the political aisle he or she represents," Vicari said.
Meanwhile, some women contend that the church is sacrificing its witness, and it is not a price worth paying.
In a Tuesday CP opinion piece, Julie Roys of Moody Bible Institute is aghast at how many male Christian leaders are excusing Donald Trump even as she herself considers the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency "a disaster of historic proportions."
"I honestly don't know what makes me more sick," Roys wrote, "listening to Trump brag about groping women or listening to my fellow evangelicals defend him."
"Donald Trump may do less damage to the country than Hillary, but he's done far worse damage to the evangelical church than anyone in recent history," Roys continued, "And let's remember, the church — not politics — is the only real hope of reforming the character of this nation and saving it from destruction. That's why the witness of the church is simply not worth trading for a political victory."
Trillia Newbell, Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (SBC), took to her Facebook page Friday to say that she, too, once survived a sexual assault and "cried thinking that something so serious could be joked about, trivialized, and found to be acceptable by anyone."
"It's such a violation to image bearers. Please know that today isn't just about politics, it's about the dignity and love of women everywhere," Newbell said. "Trump isn't just an entertainer. It's no longer funny. It's unacceptable. It's grievous," she noted, adding that her attacker went to jail for the exact things about which Trump bragged.
Yet others are highlighting how Trump's lewd remarks are a commentary on social breakdown in the broader culture and that America needs a moral and spiritual intervention.
Author and abstinence advocate Dannah Gresh said Sunday that regardless of who one votes for, this election proves that "our country is in such a moral crisis that the very leaders we are putting up for election are so embroiled in their own moral failures that they cannot even get around to discussing the administrative needs of our people."
As CP reported, among those evangelical Christian leaders who defended Trump after reports of his lewd remarks emerged are Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, Faith and Freedom Coalition's Ralph Reed, James Dobson, who founded Focus of the Family, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr,, and CBN's Pat Robertson.