Trump-Backing Pastor Tells MSNBC’s Joy Reid That Leaders Don’t Need ‘Morality’

In the topsy-turvy Age of Trump, evangelical Christians have been sacrificing whatever principles they have for the short term in hopes of winning the long game of bending America’s laws and culture to match their own beliefs.

This was recently put on display in a staggering way when a Trump-supporting pastor told MSNBC host Joy Reid in defense of embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore that “morality” is not something that is needed in politicians.

During a panel discussion on AM Joy, Pastor Mark Burns of South Carolina’s Harvest Praise and Worship Center attempted to have it both ways by claiming that he believes Moore’s accusers while also feeling that Moore should not drop out of the Alabama special election. Stated the unabashed Trump supporter, “I’m not defending Roy Moore, I’m defending due process. I’d like to believe that if you were ever accused of something that you know that you did not do, you would believe people are treating you the same way that you would want to be treated if you were in that case, which is give you the benefit of the doubt.” Fired back host Joy, “I’m quite sure I’ll never be accused of preying on teenage girls. Have you ever known anybody who’s been accused by nine different people of preying on teenage girls and been banned from a shopping mall because of a history of predatory behavior? Do you know anyone ever accused of nine different people of preying on teenage girls sexually?”

Mark replied by asserting, “First of all, it is proven that the Gadsden Mall manager said that this story of him being banned from the mall is a false story.” He then added, “You don’t have to be accused of sexual morality. You can be accused of anything.” Retorted the host, “No, no, no, of sexual morality. Do you know of any other man that you’ve ever dealt with who’s been accused by nine different people or by any number of people of preying on them when they were teenage girls? You make it sound as if this is something that happens all the time.” The pastor answered, “Well, I personally have never known anybody that has been accused of sexual immorality. But the thing that I’m saying is, we need to also understand, we need to be wise with due process. We want all of our candidates to be moral, but morality is not the only qualification for leadership.” A disbelieving Reid asked, “Oh, it’s not?” Burns went on, “We are discovering that throughout the history of the Bible, throughout the Scriptures, we discover God had used so many immoral people. We love the Psalms of David but also know that the same person who wrote those Psalms of David was also a murderer and an adulterer.” Do you find this Trump-backing evangelical’s point of view as troubling as Joy Reid clearly did? Watch the full discussion below: