With Clinton and Trump emerging as the likely presidential nominees, neither presidential candidate is ideal for the evangelical vote.
Donald Trump's decisive victory in the Indiana primaries on May 3 hopefully settled the Republican presidential nomination race. However, the victory brought into sharp focus the division that exists between evangelical Christians and conservatives when it came to the the Donald candidacy.
Many evangelicals are utterly confused by the Trump win. They had pinned their hopes on Ted Cruz, the former presidential nominee candidate, and who was believed to be morally upright. The senator gave all correct answers to the relevant issues- gay marriage, religious discrimination, transgender issues and abortion. Not only that, he was also a sincere Christian who clearly espoused the values taught by Christ.
"The evangelical vote was for Trump," Trump says
— Michael Tackett (@tackettdc) May 4, 2016
Donald Trump, real estate billionaire, and presumably the presidential nominee from the Republican Party, to the chagrin of evangelicals, is not a single one of these things. He has questionable religious commitment, follows questionable sexual ethics and is an extremely late entry into pro-life camp. He also uses vulgar and profane words, all characteristics unpalatable for evangelicals.
— Boris Epshteyn (@BorisEP) May 4, 2016
Clinton, however, holds no charm for them either. To them, Hillary Clinton is the wife of Bill Clinton, who was linked with the Monica Lewinsky affair. Republicans have also attacked her on the subject of Benghazi killings in 2012, when Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador died. The hardest issue to digest for evangelicals was Hillary's support for the maintenance of abortion rights. Her support of Planned Parenthood also posed a blimp to the pious radar. She is portrayed as unlikeable and untrustworthy.
Young evangelical mom: “I want to cry. I disagree with Hillary Clinton on almost every single thing – but I will vote for her before Trump"
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) May 5, 2016
The president of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of Southern Baptist Convention, Russell Moore, is a known Trump critic. He is also known for his criticism of religious leaders who have backed the billionaire. He tweeted that he would rather write and include a candidate but not vote for the Donald. Bryan Fischer, a host of American Family Radio echoed similar views. Michael Brown, an anti-LGBT pastor from North Carolina, has also lamented that Trump's rise is a sign that God has made a judgment. According to him, Trump's victory is the product of a generation who was brought up on a consistent diet of immoral and amoral reality television. He further said that Trump is the candidate for National Enquirer for the Jerry Springer generation. Brown also added that there could be a chance of an apocalypse if Trump wins the presidential election.
I am conservative, and an evangelical pastor. I will vote neither republican nor democrat this round. And no, I don’t have to choose.
— Matt Heerema (@mheerema) May 4, 2016
I don't understand HOW trump won the Hispanic vote AND the evangelical vote AND woman's vote … pic.twitter.com/zPe0Kf34ze
— Jinette (@netnet809) May 4, 2016
A tearful Cruz supporter told me she's disappointed but if God tells her to vote Trump, she will. Cruz base largely evangelical @BBCNewsUS
— Suzanne Kianpour (@KianpourWorld) May 4, 2016