Many evangelicals "feel homeless" politically in this presidential election – unable to support either Democratic standard-bearer Hillary Clinton or GOP nominee Donald Trump, Southern Baptist leader and theologian Russell Moore said Tuesday night.
Both presidential candidates have views that are abhorrent to evangelicals – and Moore is saddened many evangelical leaders are willing to give them a pass, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."
"I've been listening to some of these evangelical leaders since I was 10 years old say 'character matters,' that the moral tenor of leadership matters, that the coarsening of a culture is bad for all of society, that the bully pulpit ought to stand up for values," he said. "We've been told, 'we ought to vote our values.'
"And what I'm hearing from many evangelicals right now, there are a lot of evangelicals who feel homeless. They can't go in the direction, obviously, of Hillary Clinton, and they also can't go in this direction [of Trump].
"And so I hear from many of them who are simply throwing up their hands right now and saying, 'What is going on?' They don't trust her with the Supreme Court or executive orders, and they don't trust him with the nuclear codes or their wives."
"Surely, we ought to have some place for character and for moral norms in American life right now," he said. "That's a really, really sad place we've come to."
Referring to Trump's sexually aggressive remarks about women that were exposed in a 2005 hot-mic videotape, Moore declared: "These are serious matters."
"Not only as it relates to this kind of toxic culture about women and sexuality that we've seen, but also the race baiting and the immigrant bashing that we've seen take place," he said. "Our African-American and hispanic American and Asian American evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ are often saying, 'where in the world are our white evangelical brothers and sisters right now?"
"How are we going to expect our young girls and women to come forward, when they see Christian leaders on television saying, 'Well, these are just words?'" he continued. "And that's especially true when what we saw from the candidate himself is not, 'I apologize' and 'I'm sorry' and 'This is how I've changed.'"
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