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Prominent theologian: Trump, Clinton should drop out of the presidential race

Posted October 18

Prominent theologian John Piper said last week that both major presidential candidates should step out of the 2016 race — a proclamation that has garnered some attention.

Piper, who is the founder of DesiringGod.org, tweeted Tuesday that he believes Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic contender Hillary Clinton are unfit for the presidency.

"Of course, Trump should step down as Olasky and Grudem say," he wrote. "So should Hillary. That is what 'unqualified' means. It's never been a question."

Piper was referring to recent statements from World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky and prominent theologian Wayne Grudem, calling for Trump to step out of the race in light of lewd comments he made about women back in 2005.

Since Piper posted the message, it has been retweeted more than 1,000 times and "liked" more than 2,100 times; it has also attracted reaction, with some agreeing with Piper's sentiment and others fervently dissenting.

User @CameronSpeaks wrote, "Did Jesus use unqualified people to do amazing things?"

And @Drjewest — referring to some of the faith leaders who have endorsed Trump — added, "Grudem and falwell and dobson should step down for endorsing trump. Their hypocrisy is revolting."

You can read all the responses here.

Reaction to Trump's hot mic comments has been swift, with some of the Christian leaders and politicians who had previously endorsed him now publicly reversing their stances.

Perhaps the most notable person to do an about-face was prominent Grudem.

As Deseret News reported, Grudem shocked the faith world in July when he openly endorsed Trump in an op-ed titled, "Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice."

But, by Oct. 9, Grudem had rescinded that endorsement after Trump's crude comments came to light, abandoning his claim that a vote for the Republican candidate was a "morally good choice" and penning a new piece titled, "Trump’s Moral Character and the Election."

Grudem wrote he was wrong to have endorsed Trump and should have looked more deeply at his character beforehand.

"I previously called Donald Trump a 'good candidate with flaws' and a 'flawed candidate' but I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character," he wrote. "I cannot commend Trump's moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election."

Others, like evangelical leader Franklin Graham — son of the Rev. Billy Graham — have also weighed in. While Graham said he won't be endorsing a candidate in 2016, he did share his thoughts on Trump's comments about women.

"The crude comments made by Donald J. Trump more than 11 years ago cannot be defended," Graham said in a Facebook post last Saturday. "But the godless progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton likewise cannot be defended."

He said that God is America's only hope, and added that he believes the Supreme Court is the key issue in the 2016 race.

Email: bhallowell@deseretnews.com Twitter: billyhallowell Facebook: facebook.com/billyhallowell

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