A whopping 73% of white evangelicals approve of the job Donald Trump has been doing as President, according to a recent Marist poll. However, there appears to be just one sticking point that many evangelicals can’t tolerate, which is Trump’s fondness for throwing some R-rated words into the cauldron of hate that he stirs up at his rallies.
West Virginia State Sen. Paul Hardesty wrote Trump a letter after some of his evangelical constituents complained about profanity at a recent rally in Greenville, North Carolina, according to Politico. Hardesty began his letter by describing himself as a “very conservative Democrat” and a longtime Trump supporter, offering praise and affirming his allegiance. With that out of the way, Hardesty proceeded to scold Trump for his potty mouth: “I am, however, appalled by the fact that you chose to use the Lord’s name in vain on two separate occasions when you went off the prompter during your speech. There is NO place in society—anywhere, anyplace or anytime—where that type of language should be used or handled.”
It is no surprise that evangelicals would not like hearing Trump say that Islamic State militants will “be hit so goddamn hard” and warn that “if you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.” Many people who are not evangelical also prefer that politicians keep it clean. But as Hardesty’s letter attests, his evangelical constituents seem not to be too bothered by anything else Trump says or does.
When Trump mocks people with a disability or shames their looks, that is apparently fine. When Trump tears apart innocent young children from their asylum-seeking parents and holding them in cramped, filthy conditions, that’s also okay. Trump’s credible accusations of violent sexual assault, adulterous affairs, rampant misogyny, pathological lying and knee-jerk coverups are, evidently, no big deal either. As long as Trump politely refrains from uttering certain objectionable words, it seems he can confidently rely on evangelical support—while gleefully carrying on with his evil ways.