I identified as evangelical before Donald Trump’s presidency. Now, I cling to my Christian faith, but dropped the evangelical label; I am ashamed. American evangelicals defy biblical tenets to support Trump’s vile, rude, and crude conduct. He gave them pro-life laws and moderate judges, both vital to their cause. So, they say the ends justify the means. However, that rationale is unbiblical. It’s sophistry. Here is what Jesus teaches:
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19 (ESV)
Trump’s Actions Are Anti-Christian
I believe in a free market, small government, few but useful rules for business, and a robust private sector. Government should neither tax business nor give it welfare. They should let business, society’s only wealth generator, create productive jobs. I am against abortion, for jurists like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and for secure borders. But unlike evangelicals, I can’t deny basic Christian values and defend Trump’s routine vulgar behavior. That’s not Christian. We can forgive a few of Trump’s misdeeds, but not his regular vicious attacks against those who defy him.
Why do evangelicals choose the timid path and not condemn Trump’s behavior? One vital hallmark of following Jesus is to love people as we love ourselves—the Golden Rule. As Christians, we do not criticize a person. Instead, we pray for him or her but condemn his or her behavior. Donald Trump’s conduct shows he is a narcissist who lies—including lying to the Special Counsel—bullies and degrades people, and brags about groping women. These offensive traits are anti-Christian, yet evangelicals back him. The evangelicals’ message is plain: to gain anti-abortion laws and moderate judges, we will ignore Trump’s anti-biblical offenses.
Evangelicals Compromise Christian Values to Support Trump
Evangelicals tout Trump as the most pro-life president who is remaking America by his choice of moderate judges. So, they must back him. That’s why they ignore behavior that defies most everything Jesus taught. It’s a sad day when Christians who should model moral ideals in society fall to Trump’s depths. I believe abortion is wrong, but I know from scripture that condoning Trump’s boorish and abusive style is anti-biblical and shows the opposite of Jesus’ messages. As my Mom said, two wrongs never a right makes! If Trump attended my college, I would expel him from my class because of his demeanor and bullying tactics.
Where do the young people turn for moral and ethical leaders? Trump debased the Office of the President. Politicians’ focus is myopic. They dwell on their pet projects and serve their donors and sponsors, not the people. Evangelicals gave up their moral influence to support Trump with his fluid abortion views and loose moral character. They lost the moral fiber. Republicans claimed they held the moral ground; but, like evangelicals, they are silent. They fear Trump’s venom if he dislikes their reactions to his personal attacks on others. Democrats hustle to stake positions further left than the next.
Any wonder the youth clamors for socialism though polls show they don’t get what it means? They expect it will be better than the present mess. But, they don’t realize politicians would gain significant influence in the economy and history shows that would be disastrous.
Jesus Teaches Love Not Hate And Divisiveness
Trump’s rhetoric divides Americans and hurts race relations. The division is deep, and hate is rising. The next president will have a tough job but with distinct priorities. He or she must offer a hopeful vision, a story, and return dignity and moral leadership to the Office. America and the world await that person to unite, not divide, encourage, not demean, and lift the country from the Trump morass. The leader must be free of corporate ties, commit to the country, not the party, and distance him or herself from evangelicals.
Politicians in the two parties failed the people who want action to solve their concerns. None of the parties have answers to the present problems; neither concentrate on the country’s ills, but their reelection. They don’t ask essential questions to work out solutions; they don’t focus on the people’s issues, but politics. Both parties must reassess their basic values and quit playing politics and serve the people.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. James 2:10-11 (ESV)
© Michel A. Bell