Christianity Today, a leading evangelical magazine, published an editorial on Monday denouncing Trump and criticizing Christians for supporting a man’s whose life has been marked by “idolatry, greed, and sexual immorality.”
“The revelations of the past week of his vile and crude boasting about sexual conquest — indeed, sexual assault — might have been shocking, but they should have surprised no one,” wrote editorial director Andy Crouch, referring to the release of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” audio recording.
In the recording, Trump claimed he tried to have sex with a married woman and boasted he can grab women “by the pussy” because he is a celebrity. Trump was already married to his current wife, Melania, who was likely pregnant at the time of the recording.
Crouch referred to Trump as an “idolater” for indulging in “sexual immorality” and attacked him for repeatedly failing to repent for his actions. He also accused Trump’s Christian supporters of looking past the Republican nominee’s moral failings at the expense of their religious integrity.
“Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord,” wrote the Christianity Today editor. “They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us.”
Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord." Christianity Today
Nearly two-thirds of white evangelical voters in the U.S. are standing behind Trump, even after the video’s release. But that percentage has declined significantly in recent months ― and it may continue plummeting as more Christians, evangelicals and Republicans speak out against their once-revered candidate.
Megachurch pastor James MacDonald, a member of Trump’s own evangelical advisory council, sent an email to others in the group over the weekend calling the Republican nominee “lecherous and worthless.” MacDonald, like many others, didn’t accept Trump’s excuse that his comments in the 2005 video were nothing but “locker room talk.”
On Sunday, prominent evangelical theologian and former Trump-supporter Wayne Grudem published a column condemning the nominee’s “moral character” and urging him to withdraw from the election.
Trump also lost support from his Mormon base over the weekend, as several Mormon Republican officials pulled their endorsements. Deseret News, a media outlet owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, published an editorial on Saturday calling on Trump to step down.
“In democratic elections,” the outlet’s editors wrote, “ideas have consequences, leadership matters and character counts.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.