AP Photo/Gerry Broome
- White evangelicals are apparently upset over President Donald Trump’s use of profanity, according to a POLITICO report.
- Trump recently said at a rally "they’ll be hit so goddamn hard," when talking about bombing Islamic State militants, and noted, while giving a warning to wealthy businessmen, "if you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor."
- According to a recent Marist poll, 73% of white evangelicals approve of Trump’s job as president, making up some of his most reliable supporters.
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White evangelicals are apparently taking issue with President Donald Trump’s speech last month in Greenville, North Carolina, which included the crowd chanting "Send her back!" in reference to Dem. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
But, unlike the majority of the country, it wasn’t the chant directed at Omar, an American citizen born in Somalia, that provoked ire among evangelicals. Rather, according to POLITICO, they were upset that Trump was "using the Lord’s name in vain."
Specifically, the president told the crowd "they’ll be hit so goddamn hard," when talking about bombing Islamic State militants, and noted, while giving a warning to wealthy businessmen, "if you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor."
The president has a track record of separating migrant families, restricting people from Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, attacking the rights of the LGBTQ community, and referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as "shithole countries," — among a slew of other actions chastising minority and vulnerable populations. On Monday, the White House also rolled out a policy to reject green cards for immigrants who are using, or likely to use, public assistance.
But, according to a recent Marist poll, 73% of white evangelicals approve of Trump’s job as president. Per a Pew Research Center survey, "white evangelicals make up a staunchly and increasing Republican group that generally backs Trump and his policies… white evangelical Protestants who regularly attend church (that is, once a week or more) approve of Trump at rates matching or exceeding those of white evangelicals who attend church less often."
A pro-Trump figure with connections to the evangelical world, who spoke to the Atlantic on the condition of anonymity, explained to the publication: "I have never witnessed the kind of excitement and enthusiasm for a political figure in my life. I honestly couldn’t believe the unwavering support they have."
It seems, though, that Trump’s use of profanity may have finally hit a nerve among this community.
After some of his local constituents complained about the Greenville rally, Paul Hardesty, a West Virginia lawmaker who describes himself as a "very conservative Democrat," sent a letter to the president chastising his language choices.
"I was a Trump supporter in 2016, and I continue to be a supporter today. I have a real appreciation of your support for the coal industry," Hardesty first acknowledged in the letter, before adding, "I am, however, appalled by the fact that you chose to use the Lord’s name in vain on two separate occasions when you went off the prompter during your speech. There is NO place in society — anywhere, anyplace or anytime — where that type of language should be used or handled."
In an interview with POLITICO, Hardesty said that "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."
It’s a sentiment that seems to be shared across the president’s evangelical base. Two pro-Trump pastors told POLITICO "they’ve winced and cringed their way through some of the president’s more provocative speeches," with one of the pastors explaining that such behavior "does raise questions about the president’s respect for people of faith."
For others in the community, like Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., a notable evangelical leader and staunch Trump supporter, the president’s profanity isn’t a cause for concern.
"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 told POLITICO.
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