Evangelical fundamentalist Christians are sticking by Herschel Walker despite abortion allegations
In the United States, far-right social conservatives have a long history of failing to practice what they preach — from fire-and-brimstone televangelist Jimmy Swaggart’s encounters with prostitutes during the 1980s to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich condemning President Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinski even though Gingrich was a serial adulterer. Former football star Herschel Walker, who is hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s 2022 U.S. Senate race, has been stridently campaigning on an anti-abortion platform — and he believes that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest. But on Monday night, October 3, the Daily Beast reported a woman’s allegation that in 2009, Walker impregnated her and paid for her to have an abortion.
Then, on Wednesday night, October 5, the Beast reported that the woman was the mother of one of Walker’s children; Walker, she alleges, impregnated her more than once. Walker has vehemently denied that he ever paid a woman to have an abortion, but the Beast has maintained that the woman’s allegations are well-documented.
Despite the allegations, Walker’s far-right evangelical supporters aren’t abandoning him; they’re sticking by him just as evangelicals stuck by Swaggart, Gingrich and former President Donald Trump in the past. Politico’s Natalie Allison reports, in an article published on October 6, that evangelicals are unfazed by the abortion that Walker allegedly paid for.
“Since revelations surfaced that the former football star and self-described ‘pro-life’ Republican had allegedly paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion in 2009,” Allison reports, “evangelical Christian leaders in Georgia have banded together to support Walker, as has the Republican Party in general. Walker has staked out a hardline ‘no exceptions’ position on abortion. Walker’s 13-month campaign has been punctuated by blemishes on his record on traditional family values — including allegations of domestic abuse and fathering children out of wedlock. Those revelations continued late Wednesday with a report from The Daily Beast alleging that the woman whose abortion he paid for is also the mother of one of his children.”
Allison continues, “So far, Christian evangelical leaders have not flagged in their support, saying that he aligns with them on key policy matters. It’s a practice that has become common for Christian conservatives since the rise of Donald Trump — a political era that has inured religious voters to news of lewd behavior by Republicans.”
Anthony George, a Baptist minister, is still supporting Walker despite the Beast’s reporting. George told Politico, “The dilemma is, do you wait for a candidate who is perfect? Do you wait for a candidate who perfectly aligns with everything you not only want them to do when they’re elected, but all of your cultural and moral beliefs? Or do you take what’s given to you and make the choice between the options?”
Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and former executive director of the Christian Coalition, is sticking by Walker as well.
“Reed condemned the fresh allegations against Walker as more than a dozen years old and from an anonymous source, while saying Georgia voters are motivated much more by the poor economic environment and President Joe Biden’s agenda,” Allison reports. “Reed acknowledged those comments were similar to what he said in October 2016, when off-camera ‘Access Hollywood’ audio surfaced of (Donald) Trump joking about sexually assaulting women.”
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