How can sensible, fair-minded Christians vote for a man like Trump? If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on in their minds then here’s an hour of helpful conversation with some blogging colleagues from Stand Firm.
You might not agree with everything you hear (and our panellists certainly didn’t agree with each other) but hopefully at the end of it you’ll understand a little better.
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In the circles I frequent, people don’t understand how Christians can vote for Biden. Trump is, after all, pro-life unlike Biden.
Being a follower of Christ has nothing to do with supporting political candidates because their policies are praiseworthy, nor has it anything to do with opposing them because their policies are blameworthy. If so, the question does not even arise as to how Christians can vote for any political candidate, regardless of their character; but if you raise the question concerning how Christians can vote for Trump, then you need to answer it without simply saying, as does Greg Griffith: because Trump was the better candidate, or, as Matt Kennedy says: voting for Trump (on abortion) was “the right thing to do”.
Thanks gentlemen for these comments. The most helpful article I have read regarding this topic comes from Christianity Today, November 2, by Timothy Dalrymple, President and CEO of Christianity Today, entitled “Why Evangelicals disagree on the President”. It is thoughtful, impassioned, balanced, reasonable and most of all, a very Christian response.
Look it up, it’s worth reading.
Helen, thanks for the reference to this article. However I am not persuaded by Timothy Dalrymple that this is not merely a conflict between professing Christians who may be identified as ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’. I say this because what divides professing Christians, in relation to this matter, is best explained by differences that are due to distinctions primarily of class, temperament, and education, not alternative testimonies of the Spirit of God.
David, I watched your video interview of Greg and Matt through Stand Firm. Your lead in “How can Christians vote for Trump” was quite provocative. The issues for we American Christians was quite well laid out by your guests. I am in Greg Griffith’s camp. I reluctantly “held my nose” and voted for Trump in 2016 but enthusiastically voted for Trump in 2020. As Greg was, I was and am, as a Texan, a fan of Ted Cruz.
What I want to address is the character of Trump. He is human and fallible. But what the world hears of him through the Main Stream Media (MSM) is so distorted by the MSM’s lens of hate for Trump that the information cannot be trusted. The MSM has truly become the propaganda machine of the American Democratic Party. It speaks for the Democrats as Pravda spoke for the Soviet Union. Trump is not a racist unless one ascribes to the Marxist Critical Racial Theory where all Caucasians are racist. He may have been misogynistic in the past but he seems to have reformed; evidence is in his appointment to women to offices and his now general respect for women. Xenophobic? No! Trump is respective of American interests against foreign threats but not foreign peoples. His wife, Melania, is foreign born. Haughty and arrogant? I saw him bend down and pick up the hat of the Marine One Honor Guard, a sargent, not once but twice as Trump boarded the Marine One helicopter when the hat was blown off my downwash. His general demeanor to people in the crowds that come to hear him speak does not ring of disdain to the people. Those are some the big lies that get thrown around and a minor rebuttal.
His character as a tough New York street fighter bothered me back in 2016. But a friend who grew up in Boston sat me down and explained the character of North Easterners. They are brash and can be in your face but are good people. We here in the Southern U.S. as so polite that we will stab you in the back while speaking nicely to your face if we are not good people. My friend changed my mind on that part of Trump.
As the saying goes in the U.S — I did not vote for Trump for Pastor-in-Chief but voted for him to lead this country in these trying times.
Thanks for the comment BillB.
When you write that the lead in “was quite provocative” do you mean that in a negative or positive way?!
You could read it either way, positive or negative. I wasn’t sure, so it pulled me into viewing the interview. You need to work part time writing headlines for newspapers/news websites :-).
I did miss your posts and comments on the old Stand Firm while it was off line.
BillB, I watched the video too, but I really don’t see what the issues are supposed to be for (American) Christians. If I was an American voter, of course, I would have voted for Trump. As Jim notes above, he is pro-life, unlike Biden. I would have thought that Biden is the one with the character problem.
Even if I was an American atheist, I would have voted for Trump. As I say, I don’t see what the problem is supposed to be for Christians (Colossians 3:17). What I am hearing is that we should make allowances for Trump’s filthy behaviour and bad attitude, but I don’t see that that has anything to do with it. Besides, no one knows how to stack the Supreme Court better than Trump.
Thanks Bill for your angle on Pres. Trump. What do you make of his administration’s leadership & response to the COVID pandemic regarding safety for the US population, considering the infection & fatality rates – and his rejection of advice from the likes of Dr Fauci? I’ve heard some say the so called “pro life” position ought to include protection of those of any age who might be vulnerable & threatened. What do you think?
Hi Geoff, you may find the the link above of interest.
Thanks Chris. It is a separate question re any alignment between Orthodox Church position and ACA but, while I wait for the hoped-for response from BillB, do YOU have a view / response to the questions I raised?
Geoff, they are interesting issues that you raise, but, no, I don’t look so much to comment on political considerations. The point, for me, is that we should not, as Christians, act as if we are a pressure group in society like conservative American evangelicals who vote for Trump. There are no disciples of Christ who are right wing or left wing, no disciples of Christ who are conservative or liberal – except for David and the Sydney Diocese.
Geoff, I believe that President Trump and his administration gave as good a response as possible under the circumstances of an unknown pathogen given the limitations on what the Federal Government can do (which some recent Presidents have violated with impunity). He rightfully, in my opinion, moved the majority of the response to the various States government. To understand that is a major lesson in American Civics which is beyond the scope of this response and which even some Americans need.
The issue for President Trump is that he suffers under many problems but two are relevant to this discussion. One is that he is basically held to the no-win principle of “damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t” by the Main Stream Media and those that oppose him. To cite a clear example, Mr. Trump shut down travel to and from China in late January. He was labeled a xenophobe for it with prominent Democrats going to the Chinese areas of some cities and saying there is no problem. Yet six months later he was highly criticized for not shutting down travel earlier.
The second problem is that there is what is referred to as the “Deep State” who oppose him. These are people in the bureaucracy of our Federal Government (many of whom were appointees under the previous administration whose jobs were transferred to hireling positions) who oppose President Trump willfully not following the law or lawful direction (in military terms – lawful orders) of the Administration but rather doing as they please. While not part of the Covid response, the very recent revelation that the U.S. Syrian Envoy lied about the U.S. troop levels in Syria is an example of this issue. The troop levels, right or wrong, were not his to set. This leads to your question about Dr. Fauci. He was hired/appointed to his position under President Obama. I believe the position is similar to the Director of the FBI in its nature. The person is appointed by a President but can remain for a number of years and often overlaps one or more succeeding Presidents. Dr. Fauci is unreliable. Early in the pandemic he said that masks were not all that effective except in medical facilities. Now he touts that masks should be required everywhere, all the time. That is even after a few hundred medical doctors and scientists have sign a paper saying masks are not effective. Dr. Fauci appears to me to echo the latest Democrat position. There is too much politics in his “science”.
This is as simple an answer I can give of my position and thoughts on your subject.
Thankyou BillB & Chris for your responses. The practicalities of this health crisis are challenging enough without the complexities added to it (with or without any political agendas) by imperfections in gathering / distribution of good data, analysis, decisions, communication & effective action. This is so for all problems in all countries. And your thoughts re my other comment (in general or specifically re Pres Trump, as you wish)?? :
I’ve heard some say the so called “pro life” position ought to include protection of those of any age who might be vulnerable & threatened.
Geoff, this is shameless retort from those who advocate the right to murder the unborn. I would ignore it.
Really Chris? I actually heard it in the context of extending similar compassion, protection & care to the at-risk child (NB those victims of institutional sexual abuse), the elderly & frail & terminally ill (NB assisted-dying / euthanasia legislation), the refugee / asylum-seeker, etc. Certainly food-for-thought for me.
This example, Geoff, is perhaps the best example we have of what happens when moral issues are politicised. In the process, those who advocate for the right to murder the unborn do not even appear as if they are advocating for the right to murder the unborn. Instead they succeed in usurping the moral high ground in their Godless culture. If there is no incompleteness in the Gospel command that we should love our neighbour as ourselves, then the social problems which you reference appear merely as items on a political agenda.
“merely as items on a political agenda”? A political agenda which is about the ordering & wellbeing of society for all our neighbours, & which requires lawmakers to be elected by the voting process this post was about to start with.
Is there a problem with these other groups of vulnerable & threatened people being advocated for as strongly as for the unborn, even grouped together with them?
Geoff, you can answer your own question, can’t you? What does the Lord ask of us?
Well Chris, I certainly understand what I think but am having trouble understanding any point you might be making re engaging (or not) with political process and re what issues are core or peripheral. I’ll move on . . .
Geoff, then, please take another look at my post of November 16, at 8:35 am where I noted inter alia that the issues you raise were interesting issues. No, I don’t engage with the political process, myself, but if you do, then do so as a disciple of Christ, and show me by your words and actions (eg. in relation to refugees or abortion), that you are not merely a liberal or a conservative, as the case may be.
You might start by advocating, on behalf of relevant groups of vulnerable and threatened people (including the unborn), that what we do in respect of them is what we do unto our Lord (Mathew 25:40), and further, I suggest that you call on your representative in Parliament to join with you in bringing the good news of salvation to your electorate. Otherwise your following Christ is redundant in your engagement with the political process. I hope this is more clear.
That’s Matthew 25:40: “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”