In a deep dive into how Evangelical Christians are able to reconcile their deeply held beliefs with their support for President Donald Trump, the Washington Post discovered a considerable amount of compromise along with a belief that he may be part of God's plan despite his un-Christian life.
As the Post reports, "It was summer, and all over the Bible Belt, support for President Trump was rising among voters who had traditionally proclaimed the importance of Christian character in leaders and warned of the slippery slope of moral compromise. In Crenshaw County, where Luverne is located, Trump had won 72 percent of the vote."
"Recent national polls showed the president’s approval among white evangelical Christians at a high of 77 percent," the report added. "One survey indicated that his support among Southern Baptists was even higher, surpassing 80 percent, and these were the people arriving on Sunday morning to hear what their pastor had to say."
Interviews with Christian congregants in the Alabama community revealed a stubbornness to attack Trump for his faults, with one member of the First Baptist church remarking Trump is God's chosen one.
According to Jewell Killough, 82, "Oh, I feel like the Lord heard our prayers and gave us a second chance before the end times,”
The retiree went on to defend the President from the slings and arrows of national reportage on his missteps and history of womanizing, saying, "I think they are trying to frame him.”
According to Brett Green, 33, he was directed to vote for Trump by the "Holy Spirit."
"That’s why we have the Holy Spirit,” Green explained. Saying his support of the president is “like a gut feeling” despite Trump's failings.
Green went so far as to defend Trump's Un-Christain comments about taking strangers in, referring to when the president reportedly asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries coming here?”
“Jesus Christ was born in Nazareth, and Nazareth was a shithole at that time,” Green rationalized. “Someone might say, ‘How could anything good come out of a place like that?’ Well, Jesus came out of a place like that.”
Green's wife, Misty, a 32-year-old federal worker, expressed displeasure with Trump's habit of insulting people, such as calling them "stupid" or "loser, " but she wasn't ready to condemn him.
“A lot of his actions I don’t agree with,” she stated. “But we are not to judge.”
Fellow congregant Jack Jones, admitted that he has struggled with reports of Trump's infidelities, stating, "We stick strictly to the Bible that a divorced man is not able to be a deacon,” while pointedly mentioning allegations that the President had an affair with an adult film start and a Playboy Playmate.
“It’s difficult, that’s for sure,” He stated, with his wife, Linda, chiming, in, “George Washington had a mistress. Thomas Jefferson did, too. Roosevelt had a mistress with him when he died. Eisenhower. Kennedy.”
"None of the are lily-white," her husband agreed.
Like many members of the church, Terry Drew said that abortion is front and center when it comes to support for Trump and that he is willing to look the other way because he believes Trump is anti-choice.
“I hate it,” he explained. “My wife and I talk about it all the time. We rationalize the immoral things away. We don’t like it, but we look at the alternative, and think it could be worse than this.”
The alternative, in their view was Hillary Clinton, who they described as "Of Satan."
“She hates me,” Drew confided . “She has contempt for people like me, and [First Baptist Pastor Clay Crum], and people who love God and believe in the Second Amendment. I think if she had her way it would be a dangerous country for the likes of me.”
You can read the rest of their comments here.