Conservative Christians and their leaders took to the internet in droves this week to protest the Super Bowl halftime show put on by Shakira and JLo. Millions of families, they argued, should not have been subjected to crotch shots of an extremely scantily-clad woman, nor to her provocative dancing on a stripper pole. This sexual objectification of women is the antithesis of the message we should be sending our sons and daughters, they said. We should be teaching men to respect women, and women to respect themselves.
Franklin Graham weighed in on Twitter with two tweets: “I don’t expect the world to act like the church, but our country has had a sense of moral decency on prime time TV in order to protect children. We see that disappearing before our eyes. It was demonstrated in tonight‘s @Pepsi#SuperBowl Halftime Show—w/millions of kids watching. This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay. With the exploitation of women on the rise worldwide, instead of lowering the standard, we as a society should be raising it. I’m disappointed in @Pepsi and the @NFL.”
Graham, who has been an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump, was inundated with over 20,000 replies and images. Trump on the cover of Playboy. Trump with Stormy Daniels. Melania wearing only a vest that barely covers her breasts. Trump with Jeffrey Epstein. The full, uncensored text from the infamous Access Hollywood tape. Melania topless in bed, smoking a cigarette. Trump’s “You have to treat them like s***” quote, referring to women. Trump with Jeffrey Epstein again. Melania completely naked in bed, being held by another completely naked woman. “You can grab ’em by the p****.” Trump with Epstein yet again. Melania naked, again. And again.
Honestly, what did he expect?
You can’t support a man with a long history of objectifying women and then moralize about the objectification of women. You can’t excuse a man who has sexualized his own daughters and then rail against the sexualization of women by the masses. You can’t defend a man who bragged about walking in on naked teenage girls and then bemoan the exploitation of girls in our nation. You can’t call a woman classy who has repeatedly posed entirely nude and then scold another woman who performs in a far more modest manner.
Well, I suppose you can, but you should be prepared to be called out as a hypocrite.
Middle America has no patience for lectures from Harvey Weinstein-enabling, jetsetting Hollywood multimillionaires about sexism and inequality and carbon footprints. And people who have opposed Donald Trump will not put up with lectures about morality and modesty and honoring women from people who support him.
Another blogger didn’t hold back after seeing reactions to the show on social media: “Franklin Graham and all the Christian Trump supporters who expressed outrage over the halftime show, your outrage means NOTHING, except for the fact that it once again exposes your hypocritical nature and reveals just how much politics has taken a stranglehold on your faith-based world view.”
You may argue that the circumstances are different, that you don’t support his sinful actions, just his policies…It won’t matter. To the world, that just sounds like splitting hairs. Like making excuses. Like a double standard.
Unfortunately, any Christian who has publicly supported this President had better get used to having every vile, immoral thing Donald Trump has done or said thrown back in their faces every time they weigh in on morality, from now until pretty much forever. Fair or not, that’s what’s going to happen. It’s already happening.
If principles can be set aside in pursuit of power, then they weren’t principles to begin with.
Like it or not, that’s how the world sees it.