Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas perhaps offers the clearest explanation as to why he and other evangelical Christians support Donald Trump for president.
In a recent interview with NPR, Jeffress responds to NPR host Audie Cornish’s questions. She asks, “So faith is no longer the absolute litmus test in terms of casting that ballot.” He replied:
“It wasn’t in 1980, and Americans at that time had a choice between two candidates. One was a sincerely born-again Christian who taught Sunday school in his Baptist Church and was married faithfully to one woman. His name was Jimmy Carter. The other choice was a twice-married Hollywood actor who as governor of California had signed the most liberal abortion bill in California history and whose wife practiced astrology. His name was Ronald Reagan. Christians overwhelmingly chose Ronald Reagan not because he was the most religious candidate but because he had the quality people thought was most necessary at the time, and that is leadership.”
“I think in a strange way, that same-sex marriage ruling actually made evangelicals more open to a secular candidate like Donald Trump and here’s why. I think many evangelicals have come to the conclusion we can no longer depend upon government to uphold traditional biblical values. Let’s just let government solve practical problems like immigration, the economy and national security. And if that’s all we’re looking for government to do, then we don’t need a spiritual giant in the White House. We need a strong leader and a problem solver, hence many Christians are open to a secular candidate like Donald Trump.”
Listen to the full interview on NPR.
Rather than create division, Jeffress explains the duplicity of voter preference by simply stating the facts.