According to a report in Politico, evangelical Christians who turned out in force for Donald Trump in 2016 are growing increasingly dismayed by his language during his raucous rallies and may turn away from him when the 2020 election rolls around..
As Trump has ramped up his rhetoric during his unscripted rants before adoring fans at his rallies, he has increasingly begun to use more profanity which has some Christians — who have accepted his adultery and un-Christian treatment of immigrants — deeply upset.
Of note was a West Virginia lawmaker who called out the president after Trump told a recent rally crowd, “They’ll be hit so goddamn hard,” while boasting about bombing Islamic State militants.
According to Paul Hardesty, that was a bridge too far and he heard from constituents complaining about Trump “using the Lord’s name in vain.”
“The third phone call is when I actually went and watched his speech because each of them sounded distraught,” explained Hardesty.
At the voter level, Trump’s profanity is beginning to turn his Christian base off.
“The issue has recently hit a nerve among those who have become some of the president’s most reliable supporters: white evangelicals — who comprise much of Hardesty’s district,” Politico reports. “The group was key to Trump’s 2016 win, helping bolster his standing in critical swing states, and Trump likely needs to maintain that support if he wants to win a second term. But some are growing fatigued with the irreverent language that often seeps into Trump’s rallies and official events.”
“I’ve had people come to me and say, ‘You know I voted for [Trump], but if he doesn’t tone down the rhetoric, I might just stay home this time,’” Hardesty told Politico.
Trump-supporting Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has come to the president’s defense and claimed it’s not that big of a deal.
“We all wish he would be a little more careful with his language, but it’s not anything that’s a dealbreaker and it’s not something we’re going to get morally indignant about,” he asserted.
However, as Politico reports, “For evangelicals, however, Trump’s indelicate language has frustrated religious fans who have otherwise been true blue supporters of his agenda. They agree with his social policies, praise his appointment of conservative judges and extol his commitment to Israel — often tolerating Trump’s character flaws for the continued advancement of all three. But when it comes to ‘using the Lord’s name in vain,’ as Hardesty put it, ‘the president’s evangelical base might be far less forgiving.'”