When November 2020 comes, millions of white, evangelical Christians will sit down in a voting booth and fill in the bubble for Donald Trump. It will be a massive rejection of the teachings of their own Savior, and no one will be surprised. It will be a dark spot in the history of Christian ethics.
There is no reason to mince words: a vote for Donald Trump stands in direct conflict with the Christian faith. We have justified our support for fringe candidates by citing the capacity for a range of political beliefs within Christianity; and that’s mostly true. The Bible itself is a story ripe with political diversity, and it certainly does not espouse a particular ideology. There’s room for both Democrats and Republicans in the Kingdom. However, this does not mean we are allowed to stretch the proverbial “big tent” of Christianity to cover false doctrine. We do not get to hate our neighbors and still claim to be faithful to true Christian doctrine. We do not get to stand with a president who objectifies, assaults and cheats on women and claim we are faithful to a biblical sexual ethic. We do not get to vote for someone to belittle human life while believing everyone is made in the image of God.
We do not wipe our hands as Christians by simply hiring a President to hate our enemies for us. Our duty as citizens of Heaven extends even beyond our own actions, to the people we encourage and enable. When we vote for Donald Trump, or even turn a blind eye to the verbal abuse that radiates from the White House, we are failing our calling just as much as if we were to inflict the abuse ourselves.
Yes, all human beings are sinful and have flaws. But that does not even begin to justify giving the most influential platform on the planet to a man who claims he does not need forgiveness for those flaws, let alone admit he has them.
For those who say Trump’s policies make up for his moral short fallings, I’ll give you this. Augustine believed that a society was not defined by the laws it created, but rather by what the society worshipped. In other words, our national laws mean nothing if we do not address the lack of value in human life in our culture. Fighting cancer with cancer will not stop our moral decay.
We cannot in good faith establish abortion laws while continuing to feed the very culture that makes abortion so prevalent. It will accomplish nothing in the long term. A president who disregards the inherent beauty of every single living being is, in reality, no more of an ally to the pro-life movement than his pro-choice counterparts. The pro-life movement is a beautiful part of Christian political activism, and must remain so, but we must heed the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 if we ever want to experience the realization of the justice we so desperately seek.
The political implications in not voting for Trump for lifelong Republicans is large, I understand that. But the faith implications are larger. The world looks at Trump and sees what Christianity has become and wants no part of it. Our MAGA hats are singlehandedly destroying our ability to relate to and evangelize those who disagree with us. No party even comes close to fully representing Christian morality but ignoring the lack of human decency at the head of the Republican Party because the Democrats “are the same” (they aren’t) is only leading to our own destruction.
It’s time to stop stretching the tent. It’s time to stand up for love, for truth, even if it means sacrificing your own political preferences. The integrity of our faith is on the line. Will we restore the teachings of Jesus? Or will Christianity fall into the hands of Trump? It’s up to us.