American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump by Tim Alberta:
The third and most significant reason for Trump's survival: the unflinching support of the Christian right. Where many evangelical leaders had once expressed an open contempt for the primary candidate, they became his staunchest, most faithful allies during the general election campaign--including in the aftermath of Access Hollywood. There were notable exceptions. On the evening of the tape's release, Russell Moore, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's political arm, tweeted in response to his high-profile peers, "What a disgrace. What a scandal to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the integrity of our witness . . . The political Religious Right Establishment wonders why the evangelical next generation rejects their way. Today illustrates why." The next day, after Trump defended his transgression as "just words," Moore tweeted: "No contrition. 'Just words.' How any Christian leader is still standing behind this is just genuinely beyond my comprehension."
But Moore was an outlier. In case after case, over the final five weeks of the election, prominent Christian leaders rallied around the Republican nominee. "The crude comments made by Donald J. Trump more than eleven years ago cannot be defended," Franklin Graham, son of the famed evangelist Billy Graham, wrote on his Facebook page. "But the godless progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton likewise cannot be defended." Added Jerry Falwell Jr., the other spiritual dynasty scion, "We're never going to have a perfect candidate until Jesus Christ reigns forever on the throne."
Their principal rationale in standing by Trump: the Supreme Court.
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