“What do they teach them at these schools?” – The Famous Professor Kirke
Today’s argument is really like a leaky umbrella from which other specific propositions drop like so much cold rain on a late fall day. It is the deeper reason lurking behind the ones you actually have in your face. It goes something like this:
“You must vote for Trump because we must keep Hillary out of the White House at all costs. If Hillary gets elected she will [insert apocalyptic scenario here]. That means I can accept Trump as the lesser evil.”
You can, of course, add the scary scenario of your choice to the brackets – whichever one has the potential to terrify your listener the most. It really doesn’t matter which. The examples are simply convenient appeals to justify the larger contention, specifically that we should be so afraid of Hillary that we will accept anything Trump does and still vote for him.
Let me begin the analysis by saying that the speaker has every good reason in this world to be terrified of Hillary. There is no question about it; she is an evil person who very probably will finish the destruction of this country that her husband began. And I don’t necessarily mean that merely metaphorically. Her policies have led and will lead directly millions of deaths (abortion, euthanasia, war, etc.) and will finalize the corruption of the American spirit and mind (welfare state, persecution of her enemies, state-enforced secular humanism, permanent socialism, etc.). I believe we are looking at a watershed moment in American history, and Hillary’s side of the mountain is dark, deadly, and dangerous.
But it doesn’t follow that Christians should therefore vote for Trump. We may have every reason in this world to be afraid of her, but we are not of this world.
There are three falsehoods American conservative Christians have owned here that need to be rooted out–the first more deadly to our faith:
- The first is the idea that we have more to fear from Hillary than we do from God. American Christians have enjoyed peace and plenty for so long they have forgotten what it means to really have faith in God and to act on their faith instead of simply asserting it. Hillary has done the church no better service than to reveal this terrible fact in all its painful glory. When, as a Christian, I make the statement above, what I am saying is that a Hillary presidency is too much for God to handle. In short, my faith in God and His Will extends only so far as the steps of Hillary’s White House.
- The second is the idea that God is incapable of moving in the world on his own. If we do not really believe we can rely on God, then who are we to rely on? When we trust in ourselves and our own strategies, we proclaim to the world that we don’t take God at His word. Instead we begin negotiating with our faith – deciding what parts we can sacrifice in order to defend ourselves from the Enemy God can’t handle. If that means sacrificing my integrity and my witness, then I will do it. Or better yet, I will invent reasons why selling out my integrity isn’t really selling out my integrity….
Much of the previous two points are predicated on the third.
- The final wrong idea is that the relative lack of persecution of American Christians is normal and should be preserved at all costs. The simple fact is, it isn’t. Christianity isn’t about a warm cup of cocoa by the fire. It’s about living by the Truth, even if it costs you something. Don’t get me wrong, I can sympathize with the desire to avoid persecution. I’d like to avoid it for as long as I can! But in terms of what we were promised when we signed up, avoiding persecution isn’t grounds for compromising our witness.
When we put those points in their proper perspective, the “Because Hillary” argument crumbles. We discover that, as Christians, we must have some positive reasons to vote for Trump and that a simple fear of Hillary (or of anyone) isn’t enough. (See the other articles below for a continued treatment of reasons.) If the prospect of the future doesn’t worry you, you aren’t paying attention. I’m afraid many of the predictions may well come to pass. But this doesn’t change anything. Christ has called us to take up our crosses and to follow Him. When his disciples did so, they paid the ultimate price in this world. Why should we think we are different?
But there is good news: our hope is not in this world. We know the time we spend here is but a short period of a much longer, more brilliant life. Our choices here will affect that life, but in the light of that life, we see right and wrong more clearly, and we know that we need not despair when we face any evil, lesser or not. We need not grieve as “those who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) for we have a Hope, and, thankfully, He is far greater than Donald J. Trump.
Answering the arguments….
- “We allied with Stalin. Why not vote for Trump?”
- “If you can’t vote for the candidate, vote for the platform. Vote Trump!”
- “Haven’t you heard? Trump is a baby Christian now!”
- “Why is it only Bill Clinton gets away with rape? Vote Trump!”
- “Because Hillary. Vote Trump!”
- “You have an obligation to vote for the pro-life candidate. Vote Trump!”
- “Vote Trump. Because SCOTUS.”
- “But Trump is surrounding himself with good people! Vote Trump!”
- “If Hillary wins, it will all be your fault! Vote Trump!”
- “You should repent of your arrogance and vote Trump.”
- “You will answer to God if you don’t vote Trump.”
Interested in what I think we should do about it? Find out here.