If You Are Evangelical, You Cannot Support Donald Trump

I understand the viewpoints of some who feel politically, economically, and socially marginalized. I understand their desire to tear up the existing playbook, cast the die with someone who represents as dramatic a break as possible from politics as usual. I understand that inequality is an ever present and increasingly glaring blight on the American dream. I understand their concern for a country they believe has veered seriously off track. This is a widely held view from those on the wheat grass drinking Left to to the Confederate flag waving Right. Populism has reared its head in a way not seen since the start of the last century, itself a time of tremendous change and upheaval. 
 
For the life of me though, I cannot understand why Evangelicals have turned that sense of disillusion into support for Trump. I cannot think of a major candidate in my lifetime who has even been as UN-Christian (including candidates who aren't even Christian). For those whose religious beliefs inform every part of their lives, it simply does not make sense. As just a basic primer: Trump cannot even quote a verse in the Bible, claims to have never asked for forgiveness, called communion wafers "those little crackers", does not believe in the sanctity of marriage, is the walking embodiment of greed, and demonizes the poor which, (if you belong to one of the Abrahamic faiths) should be a big deal. He is dishonest in his business dealings, routinely slanders anyone he doesn't agree with or likes, gives practically nothing to charity, and yet Evangelicals continue to believe he is a MORE moral choiceI can't think of someone less able to, as in the words of Jesus, "love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek." 
 
As a person of faith myself, the actions we make and how we treat others matters. I understand that no person (obviously including politicians) is perfect. However, to see a man who is so self-centered, so self-absorbed that women are just mere objects is beyond troubling. Trump thinks of nothing other than his own appetite and whether women view him as disgusting, much less consent to his advances doesn't even register. It isn't locker room talk, it is criminally predatory behavior. It is utter insanity that some women are still defending him, and desire to place him in the most important job in the world. For all the hysteria surrounding Transgender bathroom usage for the sex of their choosing, women of all ages have far more to fear from documented predators like Trump. And no, it is not a valid argument to excuse Trump by redirecting the accusatory finger at Bill Clinton. If you haven't heard, he is NOT running for the Presidency, Hillary is. And while she isn't perfect either, she has done more in one day to advance the economic, social, and political equality of women than Trump has done in a lifetime
 
Moreover, to paint entire nationalities and faiths with such a broad brush is amoral. We forget how easily rhetoric turns to actions, and that there is a thin line between Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism, or any other religious bigotry. Even as the spectre of terrorism is real, we can't forget that (since 9/11) there have been more deaths caused by domestic terrorists (who happen to be overwhelmingly white, male, and Christian) than "Islamic" terrorists. The notion that some religious groups are untrustworthy, are un-American, must be surveilled, and must be identified should scare all Americans who love and respect our Constitution. There is a huge difference between wanting a more stringent immigration policy and employing wholesale racism and fear-mongering. Even if we believe that America is uniquely blessed by God, most Christians also believe we are all God's children. The lack of understanding, compassion, and sheer animus towards anyone who isn't white and male (and even then a narrow spectrum among that group) displayed by Trump should run counter to anyone who believes that God is a God for all nations and all people. Claiming a religion does not make someone more moral or more decent; it is entirely whether that faith when put into action yields positive results. However, I feel that anyone of faith who genuinely loves their country, loves their fellow Americans, and hopes for a brighter future cannot in good conscience vote for Trump.
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  • "And while she isn't perfect either, she has done more in one day to advance the economic, social, and political equality of women than Trump has done in a lifetime. ..."

    What, exactly? Exactly?

    You really cannot name one thing, can you?

    Trump has many women working in his organization, taking big decisions and working on major projects. He pays them well and they have been treated well. Isn't a miracle of God that suddenly all these women from as long a go as 35 years are suddenly saying that Trump assaulted them? Why not the first of this year, or when he announced, or 35 years ago? Why, because it is more Clinton lies.

    Bill Clinton may not be running for office but Hillary enalbed his assaults and rapes on women, and then she went after the women to keep them silent with verbal and physical threats.

    The recent WikiLeaks dump showed Podesta, her cheif of staff mocking the Catholic Church and trying to find ways to infiltrate it and destroy its mission.

    Just some thoughts that should bother you, but if they don't I guess you are amongst the many that can't see the plank in your own eye, and who may think (seething down below) that the Church of Rome is the Whore of Babylon and deserves Hillary's wrath.

  • Chef, here's just a few examples how Hillary Clinton has advance the economic, social, and political equality of women. Donald Trump has done ZERO for women, and female voters are MORE than aware of it.

    For decades, Clinton has prioritized bills and policies promoting reproductive rights, equal pay, and family leave. Paid family leave today only exists because of the stepping stones that Clinton helped establish more than two decades ago.

    While she was a senator, Clinton spearheaded the development of the Paycheck Fairness Act (introducing three versions of it during her time in Congress), and she was also part of the original set of cosponsors of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, both of which are aimed at achieving equal pay for women in the workplace.

    While at the State Department, she established the first federal Office of Global Women’s Issues to ensure that gender equality is a cornerstone of international-relations practices, including through partnerships with local entrepreneurship programs across Africa and Southeast Asia aimed at helping women’s businesses succeed as well as plans to engage women in diplomacy and community-building in places like Burma and Afghanistan. Her efforts to support women’s rights domestically and globally are no ancillary concern: They are intrinsically tied to the core of the work she does.

    She has advocated extensively to protect the health insurance of low-income children, playing a pivotal role in establishing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and she was one of two cosponsors on the Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement Act, which pushed for comprehensive immigration reform in 2003.

  • In reply to IrishMike:

    All of Hillary's actions, while as senator and as Sec. of State, served only to advace government control over various groups and pander to them and to ensure their vote. None of her so-called accomplishments are functioning as promised.

    Her results: zero. Witness: every Democrat still complains about the same things.

    The one thing Hillary has accomplished without question is the murder of thousands of women and children in Syria and Libya.

  • Thanks IrishMike. Any cursory web search will reveal the fallacy in Hillary's "lack of meaningful work for and on behalf of women." If you understand anything about sexual abuse, it is that VICTIMS are often afraid or unwilling to come forward because of fear of not being believed or called liars. Trump is a powerful man who has proven again and again that he will never face up to his actions, choosing to sue, declare bankruptcy, or morally assassinate someone's character. We are seeing the floodgates open now because Trump's OWN words have implicated him. Because his true character is now in the open for everyone to see on tape, women who have suffered because of him finally have the courage to speak up. Moreover, women are validating Trump's actual words about grabbing them without consent and kissing them, which if unwanted and unsolicited IS a form of assault. He has even admitted to walking in on women changing during his various pageants while nude. That type of behavior is criminal and for someone else, would result in arrest. He has admitted infidelity while being married to his most recent wife, also pursuing married women. As a man, who is happily married, I could never understand, much less condone this type of behavior. Are you not disgusted with this? Your deflection is a tacit approval of this type of behavior. His own words and actions have damned him, not women "out to get him".

    Besides being morally repugnant against women, care to comment on the other parts of this article? The Religious Right has aligned with Trump, and they will face the harsh condemnation of history for doing so. I've undergone a religious journey, attending all faiths - and one constant in religion is to seek truth and become the best versions of ourselves. By aligning with a man who not only embodies the worst and basest impulses, the Religious Right has cheapened any claim to a moral high ground. I can understand the anger in this country right now, and I can even understand the appeal in a "strong leader" like Trump who "gets things done." But I cannot understand voters who continually excuse the morally indefensible.

  • Again, the Lord works a miracle by having these women suddenly "find" Donald Trump after forty years of being in the public eye.

    You are hiding behind your professed "faith" to endorse a woman whose actions have caused the death of thousands of women and children, whilst holding out that Trump's words have convicted him. You apparently only care about words and not actions.

    As a survior of sexual abuse --yes, it does happen to young boys and men-- I find your shallowness and your ability to whitewash a known enabler of sexual assualts and mass killer, Hillary, simply insulting.

    You have to live with yourself. God will judge that. Yeah, there is a God who judges, despite your thinking you are saved because you say so.

  • In reply to Chef Boy RD:

    I am simply amazed with the moral gymnastics you are attempting to perform here. Regardless of what happens, it will certainly be an interesting and consequential election. All the best to you and your family.

  • Been struggling with this for a bit, trying to find a good way to discuss without pissing you off.

    You seem to be under the impression of a couple of things: that an Evangelical Christian can only vote for a candidate who is not morally corrupt.

    Furthermore, you seem to be under the impression that Evangelical Christianity mandates government to look a particular way.

    Neither is true.

    The Bible teaches that none are righteous. No one. Not Hillary. Not Donald. Not me. NOt you. If a Christian needs to wait for someone who is not corrupt, we simply will not vote.

    Also, understand that the Bible and Christianity has next to nothing to say about government. Off the top of my head, about all that is said is that we are to support, respect and pray for our leaders.

    Because of this, I know of Christians voting for Clinton because they believe a more progressive government will better care for its citizens through safety net services. I know of Christians voting for Trump because this stem the tide against the loss of religious liberty that comes under liberal government.

    In short, since there is no chapter and verse which commands how one is to vote, the matter is one of conscience between the voter and God. There are Evangelical Christians who are voting Trump, and their heart is such that to do so is sin. Others are voting Trump and are doing so with no sin in their motivations. The same can be said of those Christians voting for Clinton.

  • Rick, I appreciate your careful and measured response. I must admit though that it is frustrating that Evangelical Christians, as a general voting bloc (there is enough trend evidence to suggest that many, although certainly not all, who self identify in this group have similar voting patterns) have embraced someone who clashes so heavily with their reported values (i.e. the sanctity of marriage and family values).

    I am just hoping that they can extricate themselves from the muck and get behind a candidate that better represents their beliefs the next time around. For my money, that candidate during the primary was John Kasich, a man who embodied faith-based values and had a religious conviction that influenced his policies (often in positive ways). Given the choice between HRC and Trump, I am very clear. With a different candidate, my choice is considerably more muddy.

    True, the Bible does not say whether to vote Democrat or Republican, but the Religious Right has injected themselves heavily into the policies of many states and municipalities, i.e. Pence wanting women who underwent abortions to have funerals. Any state that is unable to teach evolution or human induced climate change theories has certainly been influenced by religion. We would also do well to be reminded that saying the pledge or having the words "In God We Trust" were added as a reaction to an atheistic Communism, not something that was always there. I think you can easily see that some Evangelical believers DO mandate and certainly provide a template for governance and policies. I'd argue that the loss of religiosity is not so much the result of a sustained governmental attack, so much as a growing segment of people who find organized religion unappetizing (I'm am not among that camp).

    I wholeheartedly believe in the separation of church and state, and am not restricted in any way from practicing my faith in private. A someone who goes to Temple at least once a week, I have that freedom, and I can also pray quietly if I so choose.

    Furthermore, I think that religious voters are entitled to be single-issue voters, but I believe that is an irresponsible tactic. As a person of faith (I'm Jewish), the commandment, "Choose life so that you may live" resonates deeply. This is a commandment to not neglect our most disadvantaged citizens, but to use the government (when necessary and appropriate) as a force for good.

  • The Bible says a lot about government. To me as a Christian, reproductive rights is nothing more than saying a woman can kill the unborn child growing inside her. HRC and the Democratic party's endorsement of that is abhorrent to my values. King David murdered, yet was considered a man after God's own heart. As a Christian, I can certainly vote for Donald Trump over the baby killer Clinton. There is just so much wrong with the Democratic party and its attempts to enslave all with its big government approach. It is totally anti-Judeo Christian values and a perpetuation of Roman style government. God delivered your Jewish people from bondage to Pharaoh, yet you would have us enslaved to the big government of HRC and its endorsement of throwing your unborn away like trash. There will be a day when God reigns on this earth, and until then I will endorse Trump over Clinton, unapologetically. People who have a 'heart' for God, but are not shrewd and don't know scripture have ideas that they are better off not voting for Trump or voting for Hillary. Those ideas are ignorant and don't square with the facts. I believe Trump genuinely wants to help the poor and get this country back on its feet. He has appealed to black voters, and they should support him, as should other people who believe America can do better and doesn't need an oppressive liberal Democratic machine. These Democrats act like they want to help the poor, but are really the ones enslaving them. More people living in poverty and on food stamps and welfare than ever before is the failure of Democratic party and its legacy.

  • Firstly, please do not confuse being pro-life with being pro-birth. In states like Texas, Virginia, Kansas, and Wisconsin, legislators are not necessarily banning abortion and pre-natal care, but making it harder and harder to obtain. But by instituting waiting periods, enacting parental consent requirements, building specifications that are nearly impossible to meet, and other hurdles, they have created a de facto ban on abortion in their states, tearing away at the freedom and rights that Roe v. Wade guaranteed to American women over 40 years ago. But what these politicians fail to acknowledge is that women have been having abortions for years, and will continue to have them whether they’re legal or not. The difference is that by keeping them legal, regulated, and performed by doctors, we can save more lives than the abortions end and keep thousands of women from shoddily performed procedures that result in their sickness or death.

    These legislators, and their supporters, consider themselves to be a righteous, “pro-life” movement, where every life is sacred (except for the mother in question), and where we as people have no right to end a life (unless it’s someone on death row). These people are not pro-life. They are pro-birth.

    Legislators who are against women terminating their pregnancies are also the ones who want to cut funds to programs helping families. They aim to slash the budgets for SNAP, food assistance, child care credits, education, and health care. Parents who couldn’t afford to have a child to begin with, but couldn’t abort the pregnancy, are now faced with the challenge of raising a child without the means to do so, and with little to no assistance. Not only is this difficult for the parents, but for the child. Yes, the child is alive, and that’s wonderful. But what is the quality of his or her life like? Is it really best for a child to be born when their quality of life is subpar?

    Being Pro-Choice, is NOT pro-Abortion. It is simply about affirming a WOMAN's right to choose family planning options that best align with her values and life-situations, a right that is LEGALLY protected. When family planning clinics are forced to shut down, there is a slew of unintended consequences which are most often passed onto you, the tax-payer. The AIDS epidemic in Southern Indiana is an instructive case study on what can happen. Moreover, while the Federal Government does fund Planned Parenthood, it does NOT fund abortions. Abortions represent just 3% of the procedures performed at family planning clinics, with the lionshare devoted to illness prevention and wellness.

    As for enslaving people via the Federal Government, any economist will tell you you that Trickle Down economics simply does not work. And you should also know that the size and scale of the government did in fact balloon during the Republican presidencies of Reagan and Bush, who presided over a massive increase in military spending. Furthermore, Southern States (most of who have Republican controlled legislatures) on average receive far more from the federal government than they pay in, and also have lower per capita incomes, lower rates of educational attainment, and higher rates of chronic (and preventable) health conditions such as obesity. The fixation on the subset of people who are on welfare (most of whom actually do work) is ironic when one considers how certain states (i.e. Kentucky) have their state economy artificially propped up by large military installations. Welfare can and should be continued to be reformed, but as many Republican budget proposals aim to cut to job training programs, those efforts won't have intended effect.

    I would like you to find any real article that Trump genuinely cares about the poor. If his foundation is any indication, he doesn't. I would ask if more people living on food stamps or welfare is truly the unique consequence of Democratic governance. The poorest county in the country is not only 95%+ white, it is located in among the whitest and most conservative states in the country, West Virginia. Southern states with Red leadership not only have higher rates of poverty, but a higher percentage of people on government benefits. There are people who decry social safety nets, who champion personal accountability, while living in states that wouldn’t survive without the aid and work of others. The Medicaid payments, the support for infrastructure projects, the education funding and the housing grants – most of this comes from the government Conservatives want to dismantle, from the government they assume is their enemy.

    Finally, as a Jew, my embrace of human life does not begin and end at the unborn fetus. I would challenge you to examine why many Jews are Liberal, and how our historical experiences have deeply shaped the commitment to social justice. God does care deeply for the poor, the oppressed, and the brokenhearted...for justice, mercy, and charity. The Scriptures overflow with His compassion and concern for the widow, the orphan, and the impoverished. It’s easy to see a biblical impetus for Jewish involvement in and passion for human rights.

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