Christianity, Character and the Presidency
a lifelong Christian Republican makes a case for Biden
authored by Sid Jansma, Jr.
In a previous post, I said that Trump’s character defects should rule out any Christian from voting for him for President and that, given his integrity, Christians should instead vote for Biden for President.
If Trump lacks the wisdom, integrity, righteousness and compassion to qualify for Sunday school teacher, he lacks the qualifications for national leader.
And while I don’t support Biden because he’s a saint, he brings a basic trustworthiness and integrity and compassion to the table. Biden is good enough to be a Sunday school teacher.
I’d rather support a good Democrat than a bad Republican.
As a lifelong Republican, my rejection of Trump and endorsement of Biden upset many of my Christian friends. Let me restate their common objection clearly:
Neither Biden nor Trump are real, authentic Christians. Both are egotistic, prideful, self-centered, abusers of women, etc. Since they have roughly equal characters, and neither is a brother in Christ, we can set the character issue aside.
While I had resisted going into detail on Trump’s character defects, I won’t resist here; but I aim to convey just the facts.
Let’s start with Trump’s alleged Christianity. While only God knows the heart, we should do our best to judge (by their fruits, the Bible tells us) who real Christians are. According to Trump himself, he never seeks forgiveness and never appeals to God’s grace when he’s done wrong (because he thinks he’s done no wrong). Trump seldom attends church, preferring a round of golf instead, and appears ignorant of the Bible. His conspicuous consumption and Playboy ethos seem clean opposed to the righteousness of the Kingdom of God. Trump used his charity for his own benefit (and now is banned for life from running a charity). And he lies and lies and lies. We simply do not see the Christian virtues — faith, hope and charity — in Donald Trump. If Christians are known by their fruits, there is little reason to believe that Trump is a real, authentic Christian.
Don’t get me wrong, I honestly hope Trump is a Christian. But he is certainly not living it out.
On the other hand, Biden, a devoted Catholic, says that “faith has gotten me through difficult times in my life.” Biden has had no lack of difficult times: his first wife and eldest daughter were killed in an auto accident, and his son Beau died from brain cancer. Biden regularly sneaks out to privately attend Mass and routinely prays the Rosary. By all accounts, Biden personally exemplifies the Christian spirit of love and compassion. Republican Lindsey Graham, who denounced Trump as “a race baiting, xenophobic religious bigot,” said that Joe Biden is “as good a man as God ever created.” Judging by his fruits, Joe Biden is a Christian.
Many Christians, of course, rightly object to Biden’s support for abortion rights. I will address that important and pressing issue in a followup post.
The second objection to Biden is the claim that both Biden and Trump are egotistic, prideful, self-centered, abusers of women. So, given that they are equally defective in the character category, a Republican can and should vote for the Republican candidate in good conscience.
In response, one might think that Trump and Biden are self-centered in the sense that everyone is self-centered (until fully redeemed in the afterlife). However, it is simply undeniable that Trump is one of the most egotistical people in the world and, because of his extreme wealth, has gotten away with it.
On the charge of the abuse of women. Biden’s behavior toward women has certainly been inappropriate — Biden has been slow to pick up the cues that it is no longer permissible to rub women’s necks or invade their personal space.
But to claim that Biden is an abuser of women on a par with Donald Trump is a gross overstatement. Here Christians should not flinch.
Trump has boasted of grabbing women by the pussy, forcefully kissing them, and bursting into changing rooms full of nude and underage contestants for beauty pageants. Twenty-seven women accuse Trump of, variously, groping them sexually, forcing them to kiss him, and/or raping them. Trump has paid off at least two porn stars (that we know of) with whom he had affairs. Finally, Trump, a frequent companion of a pedophile and a sex trafficker, has been accused of raping minors.
When it comes to abusing women, Biden is a complete amateur compared to Trump.
Biden, by all accounts, is a Christian and a decent if not perfect human being (again, I neither excuse his indiscretions with women nor agree with his support for abortion rights). Trump is, by all accounts, an egotistical opportunist posing as a Christian.
One final point. Many Christians concede Trump’s evident character flaws (how could they not?) but defend their support of Trump by claiming that God can work through a flawed person. While I agree that God can work through a flawed person, Scripture does not allow Christians to select flawed people. Scripture requires Christians to do their best to select leaders of stellar character, leaders who are righteous, patient, compassionate, humble, honest, wise, courageous, faithful to their wife, and disciplined, on the one hand, and who are not lovers of money, boastful, abusive, conceited and lovers of pleasure, on the other (I Timothy 3).
According to the Bible, character matters and matters deeply.
Since Trump fails on every Biblical character count, Christians should support a good Democrat rather than a bad Republican.
Sidney J. Jansma, Jr., is a co-founder of Republicans and Independents for Biden. He is Chairman of the Board, Wolverine Gas and Oil Corp. Former Chair of the Board of Bethany Christian Services and Calvin Theological Seminary. Member of the Board, Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities.