One question arises in every conversation I’ve had in the past few weeks. For whom am I going to vote in the upcoming election? Where once this was a private decision and action, it has become not only acceptable to ask but to demand an answer to this question. So, for those of you who want to know – I still have no idea. I only know who I am not going to support, no matter how many of my Christian friends attempt to “guilt” me into voting for him –Donald Trump.
Thank you, both Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton. For years, I’ve wanted to see actual dialogue as to what constitutes sexual abuse/assault and our responsibility to act on the behalf of victims. For years, I’ve desired a discussion on the importance or unimportance of the character of those we elect to serve in various capacities. For years, I’ve waited for a debate on our responsibility to vote our conscience or vote our party affiliation. However, I never desired such a decline in civility and respect as I now see during this election period from both of you.
I have heard from many sincere Christians that we have no good choice but we need to choose the “lesser of two evils.” Since when have Christians begun using relative morality? One candidate may seem to be less likely to cause more damage to the country than another, but since when has politics been the hope of reforming our country instead of the church under the influence of the Holy Spirit? Are we willing to barter our Christian witness for a political victory? Do we lack trust in God so much that we are willing to choose evil – even openly remarking we are choosing evil to one another? Will I not be accountable for every action when I stand before the judgment seat including whether or not I choose evil? Christ calls us to absolute moralism – never relative moralism. How can I reconcile that to choosing “the lesser of two evils?”
I cannot vote for Donald Trump. I have never been able to support him in any fashion. I will say this has been a consistent position for me. As a therapist who worked with and advocated for women and abuse victims, his behavior has always been reprehensible. For those who are asking why this is conveniently news at this point in the election, I have one question for you – where have you been? His behavior towards women and minorities has been in the news for many years but America has a very short attention span and Mr. Trump has been fairly successful in rewriting the narrative – with the help of well-meaning Christians who are “anyone but Clinton.”
I remember when it was first reported that he was inappropriate with the Ms. Universe contestants. I remember when he sued a widow in the late 1990s for her home, claiming “right of imminent domain” in order to expand his casino. I remember when he sued Native Americans over casino rights and stated that they didn’t even look like Native Americans (and being a Native American who doesn’t “look” like one – I want to know if that means they should have worn feather headdresses and moccasins to court). I remember when he asked who would vote for Carly Fiorina stating, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?” I remember when he was inappropriate with Megyn Kelley who was simply doing her job by asking tough questions, stating, “there was blood coming out of her wherever” and calling her a “bimbo.” I remember when it was reported that his behavior during his reality show was very inappropriate towards women. I remember, Mr. Trump, no matter how you try to change the narrative.
Many evangelical women are rightfully asking why Christians are defending a man who admitted to lewd behavior and sexually assaulting women in the first few months of his new marriage. (A woman who, by Trump’s own admission, told him she was married and was not interested and no should mean no.) They are asking why this is not a big deal to Christians, who in times past have insisted that morality matters and character counts when voting for a political figure. Where is the consistency of that witness? Why all the excuses and rewriting of the narrative? Why the character attacks on those who call out this sinful, hurtful behavior of Mr. Trump? Do you really hear sincere repentance in apologies that start off “if anyone was offended” tinged by an attitude of anger due to being called out on this? I believe that, one day, church historians will be trying to figure out why a man representing the mores of a debased celebrity became the candidate of the religious right.
No wonder the liberal left is gleefully calling us out as inconsistent hypocrites. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission recently tweeted in opposition to Mr. Trump and the lack of consistent witness by evangelicals in this matter, “In the 1990s, some of these social conservatives argued that ‘If Bill Clinton’s wife can’t trust him, neither can we.’ If character matters, character matters. Today’s evangelicals should ask, “Whatever happened to our commitment to ‘traditional family values’?” Agreed, Mr. Moore, agreed! Where is our consistency in our values such as Noah had before the world was destroyed by flood? Where is our sincere trust that we are to not defile ourselves as Daniel and his compatriots had when they refused the king’s rich food no matter the outcome? Where is our consistent witness to the world that morality is NEVER relative but ALWAYS absolute? But if staying consistent and trusting God even when the all the choices are evil seem undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves whom you will serve, whether the gods of the left or the gods of the right. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.