In 2016, I was one of the estimated 18% of conservative evangelical Christians who did not vote for Trump. Nor did I vote for Clinton. Since then, I have engaged in discussions with many Trump supporters and found their arguments inadequate. Here are five arguments evangelical Trump supporters would do well to abandon:
1) We voted for a president, not a pastor.
Pastors are not the only profession that requires a person of integrity. What criteria would you use while searching for a financial adviser? Would you consider someone who has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at least four times? If you wouldn’t trust your personal finances to such a person, neither should you put him in charge of the United States federal government.
2) I’m a sinner; you’re a sinner; we’re all sinners, so we should just forgive.
This idea amounts to a moral universal acid that corrodes everything it touches. Forgiveness requires genuine repentance, and some sins are so egregious that they disqualify a person from office. Franklin Graham was right in 1998 when he wrote about Bill Clinton, “If he will lie to or mislead his wife and daughter, those with whom he is most intimate, what will prevent him from doing the same to the American public?”
3) The Democrats hate us. We need a bully to bully the bullies.
It is true that some Democrats act as if they hate conservative Christians, but there is no New Testament principle that suggests we should therefore bully the bullies. When Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple, he was setting things right spiritually. There is a big difference between fighting for what is right and lowering ourselves to bully the bullies.
4) The Bidens
If Hunter or Joe Biden has done something wrong, it should be investigated through proper channels. Trump must not leverage the power of the U.S. government, and ultimately the American taxpayer, for his personal political gain. In May 2019 the Department of Defense certified the Ukrainian military aid as the law required, citing that Ukraine had met benchmark goals against corruption. So Trump’s sudden withholding of the aid and the conditions surrounding it are suspect.
5) Trump has done nothing wrong; there is no evidence.
If you believe Trump has done nothing wrong, then you have not done your homework. Every voter should at least read the executive summaries of each volume of the Mueller report. Regarding the Ukraine issue, we cannot credibly say there is no evidence when the Trump administration is withholding evidence. Those who are innocent don’t behave this way.
In spite of what I feel are dreadful lapses in judgment within the Republican party, I remain a conservative evangelical Christian and Republican. After 25 years, I know the heart of many thoughtful Republicans. The party as it currently stands, charmed by a disarming, divisive conman, does not reflect this heart. I believe the current insanity is temporary.