Ahead of Saturday night’s GOP debate, a social-issues-focused forum hosted by two conservative Christian groups, one of the groups’ directors announced that Herman Cain would not be asked about allegations from four women that he sexually assaulted them. “Every person in every press outlet that I’m aware of wants to get to Herman Cain on these questions about sexual harassment from years ago and they’re having ample opportunity to do that,” said Tom Minnery, the executive director of CitizenLink, the political arm of Focus on the Family.

Sure enough, the allegations weren’t mentioned. And in keeping with the event’s insistence on overlooking past sexual and moral behavior, Newt Gingrich delivered righteous lectures on conservative values without being asked about his hypocritical business deals, cheating on two of his wives, or the fact that he’s been married three times.

To anyone outside the evangelical conservative bubble—and probably even a few inside it—this was a jarring contradiction. How could the forum’s self-described “pro-family” organizers, who grilled the candidates on exactly how they plan to dismantle abortion and gay marriage, have so little interest in these unsettling episodes in their candidates’ backgrounds? How could they be content with vague questions about “what you’ve learned from your mistakes,” and with equally vague responses that evaded the questions on everyone’s minds?

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About The Author

David Sessions

David Sessions is the founding editor of Patrol, and is currently a doctoral student in modern European history at Boston College. His writing has appeared in The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Jacobin, Slate and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter here.

0 Responses to Why Evangelicals Forgive (Republican) Sex Scandals

  1. David SWPLsions says:

    the same reason Democrats can get in trouble for “private business” and be A-OK with feminists as long as they support unrestricted abortion. it is what it is and i don’t find it especially surprising from either side, though i give more points to conservatives because they don’t turn their personal moral failings into an official List of What Modern Society Must Affirm and Accept.

  2. jenksym says:

    Hate to disagree but legislating what happens within the womb and who can marry whom would be the same as making a List of What Modern Society Must Affirm and Accept!

  3. JDE says:

    They forgive it because the Republicans tell them what they want to hear – that God wants them to be rich, and that he dislikes all the people they do.

  4. Tim says:

    Um, Evangelicals forgive people like Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain (if he committed the act), and others cause the bible commands us to. Why do you lump evangelicals in one big group that’s unforgiving towards Bill Clinton. You owe an apology to everyone who’s an evangelical who forgave Bill Clinton. Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Now, we should never back people up blindly, and we shouldn’t simply ignore faults, but we have to forgive. Just by reading the title “Why Evangelicals Forgive (Republican) Sex Scandals” I’m thinking “Good for them, they’re obeying the bible, did you forgive them?” As to forgiving Clinton how do you know that every Evangelical is unforgiving? I’d consider the scriptures if I was you. Oh wait a second, don’t have to when you throw the authority of the Bible under the bus. http://www.patrolmag.com/2011/11/01/kenneth-sheppard/beyond-biblicism/#comment-6073 At least you guys are consistent. I should complain on why patrol magazine doesn’t forgive the Republican Sex Scandals and every single evangelical for forgiving them for those scandals.

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