There is no question that Donald Trump struggles when it comes to winning women’s support. His egotistical persona and seemingly endless list of demeaning comments about women have made him a no-go candidate for most women.
However, up until recently, the fact that he was a Republican, and thus his platform appealed to the religious right, meant that he could still count on winning a larger percentage of evangelical Christian women’s votes.
That is, until the audio of him bragging about grabbing women by the “p***y” was released. Now, Christian women are facing an election dilemma, and for many, supporting Trump after his comments about sexual assault is a bridge too far.
After Trump’s comments came to light, over 700 Christian women leaders signed a letter condemning his “toxic” language and spoke out against the “sin of misogyny.”
“Christian leaders cannot condone such violent speech about women as a minor mistake or an innocent attempt to be ‘macho.’ These excuses teach our young people that such language is acceptable and do further harm to those who have been abused.”
For Trump’s supporters, it might be easy to dismiss these women as Trump’s detractors masquerading as Christians. However, it became much harder to ignore when mainstream Christian women leaders started speaking out against Trump’s comments.
Women like Christian author Jen Hatmaker; author and speaker Beth Moore; and Kay Warren, an author and mental health advocate.
In an Instagram post, Hatmaker called Trump and his comments a “travesty,” writing, “I could not be more sorry and furious that we now have a presidential candidate not only degrading women but normalizing sexual assault. What a travesty. What a tragedy. What a national disgrace.”
Hello, friends. A few words about Trump's disqualifying and disgraceful comments leaked last week: First off, for every woman that has been "grabbed by the p*ssy" or "kissed without asking" or "moved on like a b*tch" by a man who held power over you, a man that saw you as an object for his own lust and ego, I could not be more sorry and furious that we now have a presidential candidate not only degrading women but normalizing sexual assault. What a travesty. What a tragedy. What a national disgrace. Second, I am furious that Trump dared to categorize this as "locker room talk." The hell it is. My husband and sons don't talk like this. My dad doesn't talk like this. My father-in-law doesn't talk like this. My friends don't talk like this. This wasn't "guy banter" – this was a description of terrifying, habitual, sexually abusive behavior toward women. "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything." No, Donald Trump. You cannot do anything. You cannot kiss, grope, grab, and move on women without their permission. You cannot shrug off this behavior as locker room antics. This is not funny, cute, harmless, or normal. You are building and sustaining the sexual abuse culture in which millions of women have been victimized then laughed off. God forbid you have any influence over my sons and daughters, and everyone's sons and daughters. Women, don't believe it. Don't listen. You are not just a sexual object. You are not subject to men in power simply because they want something. You are not just body parts to be leered at or touched or taken. Men, don't believe it. Don't listen. You are not depraved, sexual deviants caught up in disgraceful talk. You are good men, good husbands and sons and fathers. You are not a part of the lowest common denominator. Good voters, I want to remind you that you are not stuck or without options on election day. There are four names on the presidential ballot. You can vote your conscience.
Warren also shared her thoughts. In a now-deleted tweet, she wrote, “As a victim of sexual assault, I tell you firsthand of devastation wreaked on women & girls by predatory men & boys who think women ‘like it.’”
While it may be easier to dismiss Hatmaker, because she has always had and given strong political opinions, and Kay Warren because of her husband, Rick Warren, who once hosted President Obama at his church, the one voice that is hard to dismiss is Moore.
Moore, a bestselling author, whose Bible studies are widely used across all factions of the church, has never been vocal about political issues – until now.
In a series of tweets, Moore spoke out against Trump’s comments and stood up for survivors of sexual assault.
Moore’s tweets were met with criticism and had her followers asking how she could vote for someone like Hillary Clinton, whose views are completely out of line with their beliefs, to which Moore responded, “How indeed?”
Moore later clarified her earlier tweets, making it clear that she neither endorses or supports either candidate, writing, “My tweets on 10/9/16 had 1 purpose: to speak up for sexually abused women who feel voiceless. I do not endorse/support either candidate.”
However, her comments prove that, even though many Christian women won’t support Clinton, they are now also refusing to support Trump.