Why do Christians support Donald Trump?
I asked myself this question while standing around on a typically slow day at the Park Slope restaurant in which I work. I was watching MSNBC and Donald Trump was giving an abnormally long speech after receiving an endorsement from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Towards the end of his speech he brings up Pastor Robert Jeffress to say a few words. If you don’t know Robert Jeffress, he’s the pastor of an 11,000 member church and host of the television program Pathway to Hope which is broadcast in 29 countries.
“I didn’t know him. I love him,” Trump says as Jeffress takes the stage. Jeffress doesn’t say much, but he certainly seems to love Donald Trump too. His main focus is the pro-life versus pro-choice topic. He assures his personal followers and those at the rally that Donald Trump has truly converted to the pro-life belief.
“If you go for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, there is no doubt you’re going to have the most pro-abortion president in history.” Trump offers a subtle nod as Jeffress continues. This line had me thinking, why Donald Trump? Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have also both expressed beliefs that align with pro-life. Why are Christians associating themselves with a man who so obviously represents not-so-Christian values?
Jeffress goes on to say, “But here is what I finally know about Donald Trump. Donald Trump cares about and loves evangelical Christians.” At this point the audience begins to cheer and Trump can be seen saying the words, “I do.”
Jeffress has spoken out about past Republican candidates before when both Romney and McCain were on the ticket. He sighted evangelicals’ lack of trust in their religious beliefs to be the reason that Obama won both in 2008 and 2012. What about Trump is any more familiar to Christianity?
I have a lot of Christian family, friends, and acquaintances due to the small town I grew up in. I stopped identifying as Christian in college, but I can still feel sympathy for a group of people who do some good in the world (heavy emphasis on some). When I see the massive following of Donald Trump by evangelical Christians I can’t help but think it has to do with his “say what’s on my mind” attitude that helps him out. He wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico, he wants to keep Muslims out of the country, and he’s got an unnatural following by white supremacists. Maybe Trump is just willing to say the hateful things many evangelicals believe, but won’t say. I personally witnessed a lot of hateful acts, from those who call themselves Christian, in the name of God.
I don’t know what it is about Trump. I do know that Trump doesn’t align with any of the Christian values that I was taught nor does he seem like the best leader of this country. Robert Jeffress believes Christians who do not support Trump are fools. This Christian writer felt a need to write a case against Trump. I don’t know what my Christian friends think about Trump, but I at least hope they’ll do what my pastors taught me to do: pray to God and ask for answers.
Originally published at www.ericpick.me on March 3, 2016.