CNN host Chris Cuomo argued on Friday that President Donald Trump is “making a mockery” of Christianity and chastised evangelicals for supporting the chief executive.
Cuomo introduced the segment, during which he debated with Christian talk show host Eric Metaxas, by saying during the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, faith leaders argued that character counts, but most evangelicals now seem willing to give Trump a pass on his moral shortcomings.
Clinton had been sued for sexually harassing former state government employee Paula Jones when he was Arkansas governor and then lying under oath during the litigation about an affair he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky
Clinton admitted he perjured himself, which is a felony, and ended up losing his license to practice law and paying an $850,000 settlement to Jones, though he never admitted to harassing her.
He ultimately was impeached by the House, but the Senate did not convict him.
Cuomo pressed Metaxas about how he and other evangelicals can back Trump now in light of their condemnation of Clinton then.
Metaxas answered that 2016 offered such a “dramatic choice” between the two candidates — Trump and Hillary Clinton — and the Democratic Party as a whole has become too liberal in recent decades.
“Something happened to the Democratic Party over the last 30 years,” the Christian thinker said.
“It’s not the party that we grew up with, it’s not the party that it was in FDR’s day,” he continued. “It has gone so far Left that, in a way, if you want somebody who let’s say respects the Constitution and is going to appoint originalist judges — not conservative judges — originalist judges who will call balls and strikes, at that point, your only hope is to have a president with the GOP. Now that’s a serious issue.”
The two went on to spar on the subject of religious liberty, which Trump has given special attention to promoting since taking office.
“I care about the concept of religious liberty, and I care about everyone’s religious liberty,” Metaxas said.
Cuomo countered that what Metaxas was really saying is evangelicals want to exclude LGBT people because they “don’t like them.”
“Religious liberty meant ‘I’m a Christian. I don’t want to bake your cake. I don’t want to look at you. I don’t want to sell to you,” Cuomo stated, in a reference to Christian bakers being sued after declining to make custom wedding cakes for same-sex marriages.
Metaxas argued that Christian bakers should not be forced by the state to make cakes that violate their religious conscience any more than Muslim bakers should be compelled to make cakes promoting Zionism.
The conversation shifted to the topic of abortion and Metaxas pointed out that many in the Democratic Party, including Cuomo’s own brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, have taken the position that an unborn child can be killed in the womb right up to the time of birth.
“The unborn in America are now a marginalized group, and we say it’s legal in America to kill them,” Metaxas said.
Cuomo responded saying Republicans could chose someone else beside Trump who supports life.
“You have a choice of a lot of candidates who believe what you believe when it comes to reproductive rights. Why get behind a man who makes a mockery of your faith?” he asked.
“I certainly don’t think, most people that I know do not think he makes a mockery of our faith,” Metaxas responded.
He then turned the question back on Cuomo: “Let’s talk about your faith. You’re a Roman Catholic. Does he make a mockery of the Catholic faith?”
“If he says he were Catholic, then yeah, he does,” the host answered. “He does not practice humanity, he does not practice decency, he does not love mercy, he is intentionally unkind, he is mean to opponents, he puts himself before the collective, and he doesn’t honor his oath. These all matter to us, don’t they?”
Metaxas appeared to be trying to highlight Cuomo’s hypocrisy in his line of questioning.
One the one hand, the CNN personality was willing to criticize evangelicals for supporting Trump even though he does not always live up to the ideals of the Christian ethic, yet Cuomo backs Democrat candidates who positions stand in direct opposition to some of the core positions taken by the Catholic Church.
Metaxas tweeted over the weekend, “I’m still baffled how a ‘Catholic’ like @ChrisCuomo supports candidates who DO make a mockery of RC faith by supporting late-term abortion & the willful destruction of a pro-family sexual ethic.”
I’m still baffled how a “Catholic” like @ChrisCuomo supports candidates who DO make a mockery of RC faith by supporting late-term abortion & the willful destruction of a pro-family sexual ethic. Isn’t THAT the question?Why focus on evangelicals?#redherring https://t.co/ZNr2ie0s8o
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) December 22, 2019
“Isn’t THAT the question? Why focus on evangelicals?” the Christian thinker wondered.
He labeled Cuomo’s argument a red herring, and it is.
Evangelicals know why they support Trump: Because he fights for the ideals they believe in: life, religious liberty, support of Israel, originalist judges and individual freedom among them.
Cuomo is the one with the hypocrisy problem — failing to align his faith with the candidates he supports.
Evangelicals don’t have to love everything the president says or does — in fact, they shouldn’t — but they stand on solid ground in backing Trump.
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