Evangelical theologian and preacher Russell Moore compared the ascendance of Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race to "reality television moral sewage" – and decried conservatives who have not denounced it.
In an appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation,"
the head of the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention said a key tenant of conservatism "is that character matters" and that "virtue has an important role to play."
"What we have in the Donald Trump phenomenum … is an embrace of the very kind of moral and cultural decadence that conservatives have been saying for a long time is the problem," he said.
Yet those same conservatives, he added, "now are not willing to say anything when we have this reality television moral sewage coming through all over our culture."
"And conservatives who previously said we have too much awful cultural rot on television now want to put it on C-span for the next four years …with either [Trump or Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton]. That isn't what we believe in."
Moore said he believes those most perplexed by this year's race are evangelicals under 50 who believe they "cannot in good conscience vote for either candidate."
"Some conservative evangelicals will vote for Trump," Moore conceded. "Many others simply won't vote, or find a third party candidate or write in someone."
He said these disappointed voters "believe there is something more than politics: a good conscience."
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