I Can’t Stand Donald Trump. But I’m Voting for Him — Addendum for Christians
I previously laid out my thoughts on the election and my rationale for voting for Donald Trump, who is someone I cannot respect and actively hold in contempt. If you find that tension of interest, you should read it.
But, as a Christian, I have some related thoughts that may be of interest to religious readers as well.
There is quite an active and heated debate about whether Christians should support Donald Trump. I don’t have time here to go into a complete theology of politics, or to survey the Bible’s teaching on politics and political involvement, although it’s very interesting. There is almost no teaching in the Bible on how to select political leaders, of course, because they didn’t select their own leaders back then. All of the New Testament teaching on the qualifications of a leader are for church leaders, not secular political leaders. It’s inappropriate to try to apply those principles to political leadership. No one in Biblical times had any participation in the selection of their secular rulers. This democracy thing is a relatively new and novel concept, and I’m not entirely sure it’s all that great myself. Daniel served pagan leaders to the best of his ability. Paul actively sought contact with the pagan rulers of his day in order to preach to them, and he urged Christians to pray for their rulers.
Oh, and Psalm 82 has nothing to do with human political rulers, either. But you’ll need to understand Hebrew to follow along. Don’t get me started . . .
But here’s my main thought for my fellow Christians: In a country that is no longer Christian — in which Christians are now a scorned minority — why should we expect to have the option of voting for a moral person who shares our world view?
The US is quickly becoming not just a post-Christian nation, but an actively pagan nation. The day is coming when we will put up flags and bunting in our sanctuaries on July 4th and be unexpected jarred by the uncomfortable tension and dissonance. It already happened to me last July 4th. The fact is, the country no longer shares and actively scorns our values. But that’s not a new thing for Christians, either. You don’t actually think the New Testament church put busts of Caesar in their sanctuaries, do you? Of course not. We are citizens of a different kingdom, and we are to invest our lives and hopes in God’s kingdom, not man’s kingdom.
So why would you as a Christian, at this time in this country, expect to have a candidate for president who shares your values? If Christians are only going to participate in the political process when there is a noble, upstanding, moral candidate with a traditional Judeo-Christian world view, Christians are going to have to get used to sitting out of a lot of elections.
Get used to candidates like Donald Trump, in other words. As unpleasant as that may seem.
Oh, and by the way, I hate to break it to you, but many of the candidates you have supported in the past and thought of as Christians and as moral people were just playing you. Some of us who have been close to some of them have seen this up-close.
Now, if you just can’t in good conscience vote for Trump, I understand. Paul made it very clear that we should not try to persuade someone against their conscience, and I’m not going to try. I’m not going to criticize anyone for their decision, especially in this trying election.
And I’m certainly not justifying the shameless and disqualifying way that some Christian leaders got behind Trump early and campaigned for him, as if that was their calling. As far as I am concerned those Christian leaders should be removed from their ministries by their boards.
But I think Christians who can’t bring themselves to vote for Trump because of the clash between their Christianity and his venal, caddish behavior are being naïve. Perhaps you haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that your country no longer shares your values. But you will over time.
In the meantime, one candidate is actively hostile to your values, seeks to undermine them, will pack the Supreme Court with activist judges antithetical to your values, will hold up Planned Parenthood as a heroic organization and will increase funding to them, and will actively work to undermine traditional definitions of family, gender, and sexuality.
The other candidate, though an immoral cretin, will to one degree or another be sympathetic to your values, even though he doesn’t hold to them himself, and is much more likely to support traditional liberty and religious freedom.
You have a chance to put your little thumb on the scale and tilt it one direction or the other. For me, I feel an obligation to do my part to tilt the scale toward protection of my values and against a more accelerated destruction of them.
Finally, Luke 9:50: “But Jesus said to him, ‘Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.’”