Robert Meyer
Voting for Trump from a Christian perspective
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By Robert Meyer
November 14, 2016

Many people have questioned how someone who claims to be a Christian can vote for Donald Trump. Below, I've offered some explanation of that under a variety of headings.

Platform versus personality

Often the arguments for voting against Donald Trump were focused on his boorish and disrespectful behavior. Of course some of that behavior makes me and many others cringe. Yet, in some respects, it is that same behavior that connects people to Trump, as many believe we need the John Wayne/no nonsense type leader to straighten things out.

For most of my adult life, people have been arguing that we keep electing forked-tongued lawyers who have cleverly rehearsed their lines like actors. Trump can get away with saying those things, whereas the aforementioned politicians could end their political careers with such comments. People respect Trump because he speaks his mind for better or worse. Sometimes it's for worse, but at least people know where he stands, whereas they never know with typical politicians. That makes Trump somewhat of a known commodity despite his lack of political experience.

I did not support Trump in the primaries, but when he won the nomination, I supported him for the sake of the Republican Platform. I have compared the platforms of the two major parties, and while I don't always like the personalities representing the party, I can't conscientiously support the Democratic Platform, while I can support the Republican Platform from a Christian perspective.

Trump has certainly been no icon of virtue. He has been celebrated by the media for his flamboyant lifestyle, but perhaps he would have been more careful if he had anticipated a career in politics as is the case with career politicians.

The SCOTUS

With the untimely death of Antonin Scalia, a new justice will need to be named to the Supreme Court. Obama tried to appoint a liberal judge to the vacant position, but the republican leadership wisely would not consent to this appointment, reasoning the new justice should be appointed by the new president. Last spring, Trump offered a list of potential appointments, were he to be elected. The list was a reliable group of Originalist jurists. Trump's victory guaranteed that the Senate would not need to resort to a "nuclear option" to prevent the court from becoming more liberal. The Supreme Court, being the most important architect of cultural change, is the most integral factor in determining how I vote from a Christian perspective. A liberal Supreme Court would guarantee more changes to culture that move in a direction contrary to the created order.

Trump's family

I can't help but be impressed by the way Trump's daughter and sons have presented themselves. It tells me much about the quality of upbringing his children have had. It also brings into question some of the derogatory issues regarding Trump's character. If Trump were as bad in his private life as is depicted, I find it difficult to believe it wouldn't surface in his progeny.

His choice for Vice-President

Mike Pence's famous statement at the RNC, about first being a Christian, then a conservative and thirdly, a republican, represents the type of commitment and priorities that Bible-believing evangelicals want to hear about. If anything happens to Trump, Pence is president. If not, then he strengthens and balances the ticket anyway. Pence, as Indiana Governor, recently went through the fall-out from trying to pass a RFRA in Indiana. As such, he understands the problems regarding the infringement on religious liberty for Christians. Pence recognizes the need for Christians to be accorded a warrant for limited conscientious objection in light of the recognition of new rights opposing free exercise. As a Christian, I look at the potential of the entire ticket, not just the headliner.

Religious liberty

I already addressed the issue when talking about the VP, but suffice it to say that Trump has truly expressed his commitment to recognizing religious liberty, particularly as it pertains to questions of conscience regarding what must be covered by health care. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand stated "..Rights have to exist in practice – not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed." In other words, the recognition of new rights, is more important than giving deference to the First Amendment. That's unacceptable from a Christian perspective.

Pro-life v. pro abortion

Again, this issue was covered under previous headings. One candidate was pro-life, the other pro-abortion. Back when abolition of slavery was being discussed and debated, the point was made that the virtue of any choice depends on the thing being chosen. The same principle applies to abortion. If the unborn is a human, then arguing whether or not having the choice to abort is progressive is a moot point, since it would be choosing to allow a monstrous evil.

Israel

Bible-believing Christians have been a great friend to Israel as long as I remember. Trump is very pro-Israel, which is another thing he has in common with his Christian constituency. Benjamin Netanyahu has been disrespected by the Obama administration, and there was no reason to expect any big changes with Hillary Clinton.

Romans 13

The passage in the Bible that deals with the role of the leader, says that the ruler is a minister of God, ruling righteously by rewarding good and punishing evil. There is no requirement that a leader must be as devout as the people who vote for him. We won't know if Trump leads this way until he takes office, but his agenda overall certainly augurs better for the Christian than would his opponent's agenda.

Reaction to Trump's victory

We see the vitriolic and fearful reaction to Trump's election, and not surprisingly the media appears to be justifying that reaction. In an interview, Trump suggested that the fearful reaction was based largely on false perceptions and the fact that those people didn't really know him. I understand this. Over the years, people have commented that I was "scary," presumably on the basis of positions taken in my writing. I answered the those people the same way Trump did.

Trump has asked people who supported him not to harass others who didn't. But in all candor, can we suggest that none of these protests are organized and planned opposition? Do you really believe that the hateful graffiti is all the result of Trump supporters, or could it equally likely be fabricated to discredit the legitimacy of this movement? The media is hardly being objective here. As a Christian, I completely understand this enduring bias and despicable double standard.

It seems apparent that our public education system, main stream media and entertainment industry, has groomed the type of citizenship in our youth, which automatically is attracted to Hillary and Bernie Sanders, but disdainful of virtually any conservative leader, Trump or whoever.

© Robert Meyer

 

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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)

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