Watching the evangelical movement at work in the electoral arena is, I must admit, a bit confusing. These are people of deep faith and strong convictions; they are solid members of the community and law-abiding citizens with strong family values. Yet when it comes to electoral politics their behavior defies logic and raises the specter of unbridled hypocrisy.
First off many of the evangelicals have a big problem with Mormonism and therefore with Mitt Romney. Some evangelical pastors describe Mormonism as a cult and see Mitt, a member of this so-called cult, as a dangerous threat to the Presidency and the country. This position is of course ridiculous as Mormons are people of great faith in God and live their lives in the Christian tradition.
But because Mormonism is outside the evangelical mainstream, Mitt has become persona non grata even though he has been married to one woman, gives more than 10% of his wealth to the church and has raised a fine family. This is the logic problem.
Then there is Newt Gingrich who has become the darling of the evangelical right. Of course Newt is a serial adulterer who has broken the 7th commandment so many times that it is difficult to count. Newt is now a Catholic, not an evangelical, but he nonetheless states that he has found redemption for his past sins.
Yet despite his confidence that he is on the right track to heaven, the record clearly shows that he is ethically challenged, a questionable family man, a spinner of the truth, and a nasty politician. And despite all this the evangelicals can’t say enough about Newt and how he would save the country from that evil Obama.
This is where the hypocrisy comes in. When a candidate is supported by a group of religious people despite abundant evidence that the person has lived his life in a way totally against the values of these religious people, then we are talking hypocrisy.
If the evangelical movement ignores its core values when it comes to Newt Gingrich, then it seems that they should engage in a long session of soul searching and perhaps look up the definition of hypocrisy.