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Do Evangelical Leaders Who Endorse Trump Owe Bill Clinton an Apology?

Why were some evangelical leaders unwilling to offer forgiveness to Bill Clinton after he asked for it, but they freely offer it to a Republican who doesn’t want it?

That’s the question at the heart of a recent article in The Atlantic by Jonathan Merritt. And it’s a question worth asking.

In our current political climate, many evangelical leaders like Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell Jr., Wayne Grudem and Dr. Dobson are coming out to support Donald Trump, but these are also many of the same leaders who condemned Bill Clinton, calling for his impeachment over character issues.

Let’s be honest, we’re all more forgiving to those who hold similar views to our own and much less forgiving to leaders on the other side of the fence. Donald Trump is perhaps the greatest example of that truth.

Jonathan Merritt explains:

Trump has paraded his affairs down Broadway for decades. In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump actually bragged about bedding multiple married women. He’s slept with so many women that he called his ability to avoid STDs “my personal Vietnam.” He’s objectified or insulted the women he hasn’t married, divorced or slept with, labeling those he finds unattractive with terms like “fat pig,” “dog” or “slob.” In numerous interviews with Howard Stern, he talked in graphic detail about his sexual exploits and discussed which female celebrities are worth a “bang.” How exactly do evangelicals reconcile this behavior with claims that they value respect for women?

In the article, a quote by Al Mohler stands out and calls us to reason, “If I were to support, much less endorse, Donald Trump for president, I would actually have to go back and apologize to former President Bill Clinton.”


This is not to say we shouldn’t vote for a candidate who has character flaws because they all do, but it is a healthy reminder that we should give critical thought to our reasoning/logic for that support.

But let’s be honest, if godly character is our touchstone for supporting a presidential candidate—we’re in a very tough spot during this election.

So, support the candidate of your choice, but let’s all be cautious about turning a blind eye to the sins in our own camp.

No matter which side you’re on.

Do you agree or disagree with Jonathan Merritt’s argument about an evangelical double-standard? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, but please, keep it civil.

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Brian is a writer and editor from Ohio. He works with creative and innovative people to discover the top stories, resources and trends to equip and inspire the Church.