The Fall of D’Souza’s Star?

The evangelical magazine WORLD is reporting that Dinesh D’Souza, whose book The Roots of Obama’s Rage was the basis for his anti-Obama movie 2016, showed up at a Christian conference last month with his fiancé. He shared a hotel room with the young woman, but, he assured a conference organizer in Clinton-esque fashion, “nothing happened.” 

So you figure that conservative Christians might overlook an innocent, pre-marital shared hotel room, right? Perhaps. The real problem is that D’Souza is still married to his wife of 20 years. 

According to WORLD’s Warren Smith, D’Souza, whose $10,000 per speech honoraria places him in the “top tier” of Christian speakers, was in South Carolina to speak at a Baptist church, which was hosting “high-profile Christians speak on defending the faith and applying a Christian worldview to their lives.” (Cue guffaws here.)

Smith describes one conference organizer, Alex McFarland, being “distressed” at the behavior of their celebrity speaker. According to Smith, D’Souza told McFarland that he had “recently” filed for divorce, although Smith found in court records that D’Souza filed for divorce about a week after the South Carolina conference took place.

D’Souza is also the president of The King’s College, and Smith reports that he’s expected to be under scrutiny by the school’s board over this incident. (Smith’s boss, Marvin Olasky, resigned his post as TKC’s provost shortly after D’Souza was named president in 2010.) After TKC began looking into the matter, D’Souza texted Smith: “I have decided to suspend the engagement.”

D’Souza’s “meteoric” (Smith’s word) rise in the evangelical world is due in no small part to his conspiracy-minded claims about President Obama’s “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,” as well as his earlier work, What’s So Great About Christianity.

Will this spell the end of D’Souza’s star? Perhaps, or perhaps he will, as many of the heterosexual fallen do, find redemption. But regardless of what the verdict on his marital issues is from evangelicals, the verdict from conservatives on his propagandistic film is already in: they approve.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email