Not all Christian women are able to forgive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his lewd comments, despite evangelical leaders telling them to do just that.
Most Republicans denounced Trump after an "Access Hollywood" tape was released, revealing the Republican candidate bragging about groping women and kissing them without consent, according to Mother Jones.
But evangelical Christian leaders have largely excused Trump's actions and comments, saying they're unimportant compared to Trump's policies.
“People of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defund Planned Parenthood, defend religious liberty and oppose the Iran nuclear deal,” said Ralph Reed, head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, according to The Daily Beast. “A 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a talk show host ranks low on their hierarchy of concerns.”
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Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club" host Pat Robertson also shrugged off Trump's comments, according to Mother Jones, saying "[Trump's] trying to look like he's macho."
Robertson added that Trump's comments make little difference because he still "speaks to adoring thousands wherever he goes.”
Some Christian women are pushing back against their leaders' nonchalance toward Trump. More than 1,000 Christian women, including a number of female clergy, have signed a letter condemning not only Trump's actions, but also their religious peers' response.
"Christian leaders cannot condone such violent speech about women as a minor mistake or an innocent attempt to be 'macho,'" the letter reads. "These excuses teach our young people that such language is acceptable and do further harm to those who have been abused."
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The Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, is responsible for the letter's creation, and has said in a press release that she is urging all religious leaders "to take a stand and help their communities heal from the sins of sexual violence and misogyny."
"When some Christian leaders dismiss or minimize sexually abusive remarks from a presidential candidate, they do violence to women -- particularly those recovering from abuse," Butler said. "Trump has not offered true repentance. Congregations must lead the way in denouncing such vile and violent behavior.”