Have you heard the one about the minister who got himself into hot water because of illegal sexual behavior in which he repeatedly engaged in the 1980s? The Washington Post has reported

A pastor at a Texas megachurch resigned Tuesday after a woman accused him of sexually abusing her several times between 1982 and 1987, when she was a minor.

The resignation of Robert Morris, founder and senior pastor at Gateway Church, was accepted by the church’s board of elders. In a statement, the board said it is “heartbroken and appalled” by the allegations raised by Cindy Clemishire, who was 12 when the alleged abuse began in 1982. The church said it had hired a law firm to investigate the allegations.

“Regretfully, before Friday, June 14, the elders did not have all the facts of the inappropriate relationship between Morris and the victim, including her age at the time and the length of the abuse,” the board said, adding that the elders had known about an extramarital relationship but thought it was with a “young lady.”

You won't be surprised to learn- or weren't surprised to learn about the path chosen by Morris after the sexual abuse:

Morris would go on to found Gateway Church in the Dallas area in 2000, starting with 30 members and growing the ministry to an evangelistic church with about a dozen locations and more than 100,000 attending each weekend, according to the church’s website.

Morris was among a group of evangelical pastors and leaders who served on an unofficial faith advisory group for the Trump administration. The group, whose members fluctuated, would come to the White House for briefings and pose with Trump for photos. While their actual influence on policy wasn’t clear, the public images were powerful for conservative Christians who had felt unseen by previous presidents. Trump was among a roundtable of top White House officials in 2020 at Gateway, where he called Morris and another church leader “great people with a great reputation.”

This hasn't gotten much play, for which there are multiple reasons. Mehdi Hasan knows one.

In May, 2022, shortly before the expectant fall of Roe v. Wade, Jacques Berlinerblau lamented the retreat of the Democratic Party from the secularism of John F. Kennedy. Writing in Salon, Berlinerblau explained, though seeds had been planted by other Democrats 

No one did more to pitch the revival tent than Barack Obama. In his 2006 book "The Audacity of Hope," the then-senator portrayed secularism as an electoral liability. "The Democratic Party," the future president opined, "has become the party of reaction." He continued: "In response to religious overreach we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning."

Regardless of what this confounding declaration meant —  how precisely is a state supposed to respond to "religious overreach"? — a paradigm shift was afoot. Democratic politicians now rarely uttered the S-word, or the phrase "separation of church and state." Instead, Obama and his principal 2008 primary rivals set out to close "the God gap."

John Edwards talked about his daily prayer regimen. The North Carolina senator, who would later be mired in an infidelity scandal, remarked, unconscionably, that "freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion." Hillary Clinton reminisced about childhood Bible classes at First Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Illinois (although, at the 2008 Compassion Forum, she expressed pangs of conscience about the party's new steeple fetish). Candidate Obama upped the anti-secular ante by pledging to supersize George W. Bush's much-maligned and scandal-ridden Office of Faith-based Initiatives.

At National Prayer Breakfasts (!), President Obama would refer to Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, a staunch opponent of legal abortion, as "a Brother in Christ," or pray for the Rev. Billy Graham's good health. During the 2011 Easter Prayer Breakfast — another D.C. ritual that secularists experience as a microaggression — Obama unspooled a veritable Christology, actually speaking of "the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ."

"Faith and values" politicking, once an affectation of the religious right, had now become a  Democratic "best practice."

Concern among Democrats of being seen as secular has been has morphed into a fear of being seen as anti-religion, which may date back to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, sponsored in both the House of Representatives and the Senate by a Democrat and singed into law by a Democratic President, the very devout William J. Clinton (sarcastic enough?). It was favored by both the theocratic right and what we now know as the "woke" left, and thus has remained in effect despite the favoritism it conveys upon the religious against the non-religious.

Or may because of that. Now we have a major supporter of Donald J. Trump exposed as what most voters would consider hypocrisy. But he also is a major religious figure, and that scares Democrats, liberals, and progressives away from criticizing him.

As Hasan understands, the Democratic Party is wont to bring a knife to a gunfight. With that, and paranoia at being attacked as hostile to religion, an opportunity is lost for the party less likely to masquerade as the Party of Piety.