At some point, one would think, active LDS Utah Mormons will have to come to grips with a real moral dilemma: How can they politically support a man they believe is a moral deviant?
How else do you define a man who has admitted that just months after his third wife gave birth to a son, he had sex with a porn star and then years later, as he ran for president of the United States, paid that porn star $130,000 to stay quiet about the affair?
President Donald Trump has denied he ever had an affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Yet Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has said time and again that Trump did indeed reimburse his former personal attorney/fixer Michael Cohen $130,000 that Cohen paid to Daniels so she would not bring up the alleged affair just before the 2016 general election – where Trump was the Republican Party’s nominee.
UtahPolicy.com pollster Dan Jones & Associates, in two different questions, finds these results among those who told Jones they are active Mormons, i.e. ,LDS faithful who pay tithing and have recommends to Mormon temples, and approval ratings for Trump:
- 54 percent, or a majority, of faithful Mormons believe Trump did in fact pay Daniels hush money to stay quiet about the alleged affair.
- Only 20 percent of active Mormons don’t believe Trump paid off the porn star.
- And 25 percent don’t know what to believe.
So 79 percent of active Mormons either believe Trump acted so inappropriately, or don’t know what to believe about the scandal.
And at the same time, 61 percent of active Mormons either “strongly” or “somewhat” give Trump a favorable rating on the job he’s doing as president.
- Only 36 percent of faithful Mormons disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.
- And 3 percent don’t know.
So, 61 percent say the man is doing a good job as president.
And 54 percent also say the man paid off a porn star in a last-minute attempt to become president in the first place.
Have we come to a point where what a man does in his personal life has no bearing on how we see him in his political life?
Of course, faithful Utah Mormons are not alone in this dichotomy.
National polling also shows that born-again Christians, especially in the South, strongly support Trump, even though he has shown his moral failings time and again.
But Utah Mormons – at least before the 2016 elections – did show some impatience with Trump.
A number of Mormon political leaders abandoned Trump after his infamous Access Hollywood audiotape where he talked about sexually abusing women – with a few of the GOP officeholders coming back to Trump before the election.
And while Trump did carry Utah, he only got around 45 percent of the vote – with independent Mormon Evan McMullin’s 21.5 percent and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 27.5 percent.
But since that time, as question after question about Trump’s behavior has grown, as has an investigation into his activities before and after he took office, Trump’s approval rating in Utah has also improved, although it is still below 50 percent among all Utahns.
At what point then do the 54 percent of active Mormons who believe he cheated on his wife with a porn star, and then paid her off, reconcile themselves with ALSO approving of the job Trump is doing as president?
Within the last week, leaders of the LDS Church issued a statement opposing the Trump administration policy of separating children from their parents, who illegally entered the United States.
Under extreme pressure, Trump later signed an executive order stopping the breaking up of illegal immigrant families, although 2,300 or so illegal children are still parted from their parents.
And it is unclear when those families will be reunited.
This is the latest example where LDS Church leaders have spoken out against a Trump immigration policy.
Immigration family abuses.
Porn star pay-offs.
Yet 61 percent of active Utah Mormons still approve of the job Trump is doing as president.