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Religious right leaders finally criticize Trump – over ‘immoral’ budget

Trump evangelical Christians
Pastor Joshua Nink, right, prays for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as his wife, Melania, watches after a Sunday service at First Christian Church, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in January 2016.Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

You would think credible allegations of an affair with an adult firm actress might cause conservative evangelical leaders to reprimand Donald Trump. And, indeed, after giving the president endless passes, a group of leaders has finally blasted Trump for something “immoral.”

The U.S. budget.

A letter circulated among religious right leaders takes Trump to task for “a moment of weakness for an administration marked by the strength of its rhetoric and action.” The problem: the budget includes funding for Planned Parenthood, adds to the national debt and fails to protect Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

The Planned Parenthood funding in particular “constitutes an immoral betrayal by the leadership of the Republican Party,” the letter charges. At the same time, though, the leaders are quick to pull their punches against Trump, laying almost all the blame at the feet of Congressional Republicans.

Related: Religious right group will publish a hit list of ‘anti-Christian’ LGBTQ groups & leaders

As for other events in Washington–say, for example, those including stories of the president having sex with an adult movie actress–well, that’s not a cause of moral finger-wagging.

“Evangelicals believe in the grace principle; they’re willing to allow him grace,” said David Brody, White House correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network and co-author of “The Faith of Donald Trump” 

So at least we now know that there is something that would cause the religious right leadership to criticize the President for, even in the mildest terms. It just has nothing to do with the family values that they have been telling us for years is their primary concern.

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