By Colin Taylor
Although the Republican Party views itself as traditionally conservative, its recent actions have revealed a departure from their Christian values.
Republicans have a very strong set of values shared throughout the party, typically aligning with Christianity. The party is staunchly pro-life, and members have resisted LGBT rights on every front. Red states have fought to keep prayer in schools despite the fact that religious participation is not mandatory in this country, pushing the boundary of the separation of church and state.
Conservatives dragged Barack Obama’s name through the mud for the entirety of his presidency, accusing him of being a Muslim and a foreigner despite a lack of facts. However, as Donald Trump has become the face of the Republican Party, the legal and moral concerns of the party that drove their criticisms have collapsed.
One major weakness of the Democratic Party is the diversity of its values and beliefs. With so many different religions, races and morals represented, Democrats often trip over themselves while pushing their own agenda.
This has not been a problem in the Republican Party. It has always held a very clear set of beliefs and morals, and it has always been supportive of traditional, Christian candidates.
While we may have questioned the qualifications, intelligence and ability of some Republican presidential candidates, we have not questioned whether these men represented Republican ideologies.
However, Trump has somehow ascended to the presidency while raising a giant middle finger to the Christian values of Republicans.
Trump has never been very public with his religious alignment. He has said he is a Presbyterian. He refutes claims that he is not religious, but he lacks evidence of being a spiritual person.
At a speech delivered at Liberty University, an evangelical university, he quoted from the biblical book “two Corinthians” instead of “second Corinthians.” This is an easy slip for someone not devoted to the writings, but less forgiving for a man quoting it in order to gain favor from a religious institution.
He has gone on record saying his favorite verse is “an eye for an eye.”
He infamously said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot someone and not lose any voters.” This is also the same man who said, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.”
The man who is the face of the religious-based, conservative Republican Party is so desensitized as a celebrity that he brags about sexually harassing women and having the ability to get away with murder.
Something doesn’t add up.
At some point the Republicans became so obsessed with gaining control of the Oval Office that they abandoned the very foundation their party was built on to go with a candidate who was popular for all the wrong reasons.
Trump resonated with middle America – low and middle class, predominantly white citizens who have felt slighted by the government – by promising jobs and education. These citizens feel that since they have worked hard for generations, they deserve these jobs instead of the undocumented immigrants.
They cheered for the man who said he would bring jobs back to the U.S. and send the Mexicans who stole the jobs back home, erecting a wall that the Mexican government would pay for in their wake.
They celebrated when Trump pledged to command-Z the last eight years and undo everything the Obama administration did to “ruin” this country.
While it is understandable that this class of citizenry followed his words, the steadfast Christians of the Republican Party should have stepped in to put an end to his campaign. These same faithful Republicans, who refuse to remove (Christian) prayer in school, who have forced the boundary of the separation of church and state, sat back and followed Trump as he bulldozed his way to the White House. It has been shocking to watch the party crumble.
Some did speak out against his message, claiming he does not represent them.
Instead of uniting under the banner of good morals, his supporters cast off those who opposed him.
The identity of the Republican Party has changed, and it was baffling to see Roy Moore get as close as he did to winning the Alabama U.S. Senate seat.
Although Moore was accused by nine different women of sexual harassment, Trump endorsed him multiple times in the week leading up to the election.
Following the president, the Republican National Committee and National Republican Senate Committee reinstated their support of Moore.
The greed of the Republican Party overcame its traditionally strong stance against subjects such as sexual harassment. This new “Republican Jesus” has compromised the integrity of the party and left many wondering how strong its moral foundation is.
Republicans, both the politicians and the voting citizens, need to decide whether upholding the Christian values of the party or following Trump’s new controversial direction for the party is the correct path.
— Colin Taylor is a journalism major and a reporter