In an ongoing series of posts about Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump I want to turn my attention to those of us who are followers of Christ.
I realize that no candidate is perfect. There isn’t a single conservative or liberal candidate out there, running for any office, that will be the perfect Christian candidate. I don’t expect Trump to be perfect. In fact, had he not repeatedly brought up his faith I wouldn’t even write this. He has said recently that he is a big christian, and no one reads the Bible as much as he does. He even went so far as to say, after the recent debate in Texas, that the reason that the IRS was auditing him might be because of his faith, since the IRS targets religious people/groups. I know that some will think that I shouldn’t “judge” but Matthew 7 does say that people who are religious should be known by “their fruit”.
Back before Iowa, Trump had a few well known pastors endorse him. He has done very well with voters who are evangelical. I’m confused as to how this has happened. You see, there are things he has said. Not things others accused him of, but things he has said (and then said again) that are incongruent with the Christian faith as I know it.
The 3 Least Christian Things Trump Has Ever Said
He said he doesn’t have to ask for forgiveness: At a Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa he said: “I’m not sure I have ever asked God’s forgiveness. I don’t bring God into that picture.” (July 18, 2015)
Later that same month he told Anderson Cooper on CNN:
“I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness….Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?” When pressed, he repeated that he is a member of a church.
Obviously, everyone needs to ask for forgiveness. 20 years ago Trump wrote about affairs with married women: In his 1997 book “Trump: Art of the Comeback” he said: ““If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller (which it will be anyway!).”
Later, in his 2007 book “Think Big and Kick A**” he said, “Beautiful, famous, successful, married – I’ve had them all, secretly, the world’s biggest names, but unlike Geraldo I don’t talk about it.”
We Christians know that God can forgive anyone of anything. And I wouldn’t bring up any of this man’s past indiscretions, except to point out two things: 1. He brought them up himself, multiple times. 2. It’s obvious that Trump, like everyone else, needs forgiveness. I suspect that he needs it as much as anyone; every day.
1 John chapter 1 speaks clearly about this:
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10
He is not consistent on the issue of Life: We all know that Trump was previously pro choice, and had an experience where he became pro life. Christians, in general, are pro life because human life is intrinsically valuable; we are made in the image of God. In multiple debates and interviews Trump has also said that he does not support abortion, but he said in two debates that he thinks that Planned Parenthood does “very good things.” He also repeated the misinformation that Planned Parenthood does mammograms. (They don’t, they refer patients to other clinics for mammograms.). At first he didn’t say he would commit to defunding them, but when it became an issue, he said that he would not allow federal funding for Planned Parenthood as long as they performed abortions.
Praising the largest provider of abortions in America for doing good things is like saying a doctor convicted of serial killing children isn’t so bad because of the adults she helped. Christians, in general, are pro life because humans, created in the image of God, have intrinsic value. (Genesis 1:26). A conservative, pro-life, Christian candidate should denounce the actions of Planned Parenthood- every time, as often as it comes up.
He said he would kill the families of terrorists: In 2015, talking about how to stop ISIS he said,
“And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.”
Given the chance to clarify this further at the 5th debate on CNN (which was after the terrorist attack in CA), in response to a questions that asked, “How would intentionally killing innocent civilians set us apart from ISIS?” he said:
“You look at the attack in California the other day — numerous people, including the mother that knew what was going on…They saw a pipe bomb sitting all over the floor. They saw ammunition all over the place. They knew exactly what was going on… I would be very, very firm with families,” he added. “Frankly, that will make people think, because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives.”
Multiple times Trump said that he would kill the families of terrorists, without due process. Just for being related to them and not stopping them. While we might make the case for capital punishment for the terrorists themselves, killing their families…? I cannot believe he stood by this, twice.
In John 13 Jesus tells us how we can identify his disciples:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
And if you want to know what love is, you need look no further than 1 Corinthians 13:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Does this describe Donald Trump in any way? Try saying it this way… Donald Trump is patient and kind; He does not envy or boast; Trump is not arrogant or rude. He does not insist on his own way; Trump is not irritable or resentful…
I’m sure Trump is a decent guy at home. He has a beautiful family. But his public persona, his public witness is not one that fits with a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
None of that means that Christians cannot vote for him. If they like his policies, they can vote for him. But we should all know that his veneer of religiosity is very thin. Fellow Christians, please do not support Donald Trump simply because he says he is a believer.
I don’t want to try to argue you into my way of thinking I seriously just want to know the answer to these two questions:
- Is there ANYTHING that Donald Trump could say or do that would make you not vote for him?
- Is there ANY revelation about his past that would cause you to not vote for him?
That’s it. I’m trying to better understand what motivates people who support him.
Watching the reactions to last night’s debate, and other events… just reading Trump’s twitter feed the past couple of months… and the reactions of those who support him if you criticize him… I fear that the answer to both of those questions is no.
I don’t think there is any reasoned-out rationale behind your support of Trump. I think it’s just an emotional response, frustrations brought to light. He resonates with you. His rhetoric is what you have been waiting for. And nothing he says or does, or has done, or has said will ever make you change your vote.
If that is true, then it doesn’t matter what he stands for, what he actually does, because he just makes you feel like you want to vote for him.
If the answer to those two questions is no, heaven help us.
Prior to this election, I never cared much about the presidential primaries. I always figured whoever made it to the general election would be fine. I mean, I voted, but I didn’t write a lot or try to sway anyone’s opinion about one of the primary candidates. But I’ve been a lot more involved in this cycle.
Mainly because I want to see Donald Trump as a business man and TV personality, not as a President, or even just as an unelectable presidential candidate in the general election. I’m not campaigning for anyone, but against Donald Trump. I will use what little influence I have to try to stop Republicans from selecting him as the nominee for the general election.
I know the world will keep spinning no matter who is elected. Most of my day to day life will not be effected by the president. I will still have to pay taxes, and deal with the healthcare issues. I don’t think my small town is much of a target for terrorists. I will have to put up with the economic policies of who ever is elected, but in many ways that is mitigated by Congress. Like all Americans, local and state election affect the details of life most. But the big things are affected by Federal elections. They matter.
Once we get past Super Tuesday, if Trump wins every state, I will stop. It will be inevitable. He will be the Republican nominee.
A few folks on twitter and elsewhere have chided people about not supporting Trump if he is the nominee. They feel that we must support him if he is the nominee. That’s placing party over principle. I won’t do it. I will never vote for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. Period. Full stop, as they say.
If I can somehow influence people to not select Trump as the Republican nominee, then I will. If he wins the nomination anyway, I will look to 3rd party candidates.
Maybe of Trump does win the primaries, a real alternative to the Republicans will rise up?
Everyone knows the big brother is the one who stands up to the bully for you.
Imagine you had a big brother who was always telling you that he would protect you, and look out for you. He was going to right all the wrongs. He loves you. Pretty great, right? The world is a messed up place, and he is going to fix it. Then you find out that he does that by threatening people, by calling people names, by forcing them to do things they may not want to do. He says that if anyone hurts you, he will not only hurt them but hurt their family as well. To make matters worse, you realize that a couple of years ago he wasn’t even your brother, he was a part of the people who are doing the things you don’t like.
That is Donald Trump.
He says he wants to make this country great again. And I’m sure that’s a part of what drives him. He says that he wants to help Republicans. But he also does all those things I mentioned: Yesterday he tweeted about people he knows in Chicago that shouldn’t work against him, because they have things to hide- implying those things would come out of they continue. He routinely calls people liars, and has used stronger language for his opponents and news reporters as well. He has said often that he will make Mexico pay for the wall and he has flip flopped a couple of times the the insurance mandate. He has said, and then not backed off when given the chance to, that he will not only kill terrorists but he will kill the families of terrorists. And up until a short while ago, he could have been described as a Democrat, based on his donations, positions, and comments about policy. He’s generally a jerk who tries to force his own will into ever situation.
That’s not leadership, that’s being a bully.
Being a bully might work some of the time. But every time a bully comes up against someone that stands up to them, they back down. Don’t believe this will happen with Trump?
A few days ago Trump was making noise about how Ted Cruz was lying and playing dirty politics. He threatened that if Cruz didn’t pull a TV advertisement, he would file a lawsuit claiming Cruz was ineligible to serve as president. Typical bully move, do as I say or I will hurt you. Cruz didn’t back away, he stood up to Trump. He dared him to file the suit. Trump, like all bullies will, backed down from the issue. The point isn’t whether Cruz was or wasn’t lying; it’s that Trump made a threat, a show of political and legal force, but backed down.
Now, imagine Trump negotiating with Iran, or even just Democrats. Imagine them getting tough with him when he tries similar bullying tactics. Trump will back down.
I know, politics and diplomacy always has some give and take. But bullies always back down, they never stand firm, even when they are talking about core issues/values.
We need a candidate who will stand firm, and not back down on issues that are important to us. We don’t need a bully.
Trump is #notright. Not only is he not correct about many of his policies, he is also not conservative. He isn’t on the right, he’s on the left. He’s #notright.
He can’t define what conservative means. In the debate before New Hampshire he was talking about what it means to be a conservative. He talked around it and finally said something about “conserving money”. But that’s not even close to an acceptable definition of conservative. Trump should be able to articulate the principles of conservatism, like limited government, but he can’t because he’s #notright.
He won’t commit to defund Planned Parenthood. In the last debate, during a heated exchange with Cruz, Trump said it was a lie that he supported Planned Parenthood. Cruz said that Trump had claimed Planned Parenthood “did good things”. Trump responded by saying that Planned Parenthood DOES do good things. I don’t know any conservative that agrees that any amount of service to women can outweigh the hundreds of thousands of murders of unborn children that PP performs each year. There are plenty of clinics (more than PP locations, and they don’t get federal funding) that offer care for women. Trump should unequivocally commit to defund Planned Parenthood, but he won’t because he’s #notright.
He thinks 9/11 was George W. Bush’s fault. And that Bush knowingly lied about WMDs in order to get the country into the war with Iraq. He may not support the Iraq war, but to blame 9/11 on the serving president is just ignorant. And to ignore the fact that Congress, including the Democrat candidate Clinton, believed reports from our intelligence services and voted to go to war with Iraq so you can blame Bush sounds like what liberal Democrats do. Trump is #notright.
He has no track record of conservatism. Until just a short while ago Trump held positions that would have made him comfortable in the ranks of liberals. He donated money to some of the most liberal politicians. He made statements about taxes, healthcare, gun rights and more that do not line up with conservative values. Now that he is running for President he is saying different things. But he cannot point to a track record of conservative values because he’s #notright.
He wants to use the Presidency to bully the people and countries into doing what he wants. Listen to what he says he will do. Listen to how he will do it. He’s gonna do some great things, thing we want, and make others pay for it. Trump’s history is full of instances where he used what he calls “truthful hyperbole” to paint a picture that appeals to his current audience, and then bulled his way into whatever he wanted. He does everything he can within the law, and some say sometimes outside the law, to get what he wants done. And everything he has ever done has been for one person, himself. Conservatives want a government that lets us live our lives with minimal interference. Trump says he will make people do what he wants, because he’s #notright.
On issue after issue, after issue, he says what he thinks the audience wants to hear. He has found a few issues that resonate with conservatives and Republicans who are fed up with the way things are. He is making wild promises, and promising to deliver. He has no substance in most of his policies. And his track record says that everything he does, he does it to benefit himself. He brags that he will make deals in Washington, but will those deals be better than the deals already being made?
I cannot imagine a country that has Donald Trump as President. We are conservatives. If polls are to be believed, we are planning to vote for a man who is not a conservative. Man who does not reflect our values. Man who will not act as a conservative president will. Donald Trump is not correct on many things, and not a conservative.
Donald Trump is #notright!
The current controversy over selecting a Unites States Supreme Court justice to replace Scalia is an prime example of why elections matter.
As soon as the news was out. Before the cause of death had been released,before President Obama had said he intends to nominate a replacement, Republicans were warning that they would hold off until the next President to fill the vacancy on the bench. This was, and will continue to be, criticized in the media and by Democrats. make no mistake, this is a very political issue.
They complain, rightly, that Obama is the President now, and he gets to nominate a replacement. They are correct. It is the President’s duty to select and nominate someone to fill the hole in the Supreme Court. That does not change because it’s an election year.
It is the US Senate’s job to confirm or reject any nomination. That does not change because it’s an election year.
If Justice Scalia had passed 6 years ago, back when the Democrats had a supermajority, republicans would have railed against any pick the President might make, but there would have been little they could have done about it. The people of the USA had elected a Democrat as President and a majority of Democrats in the Congress. Elections matter.
If 4 years ago the people had elected Mitt Romney, and we still had a Republican controlled Senate today, Republicans would be saying the President (who would be in the middle of a reelection campaign) should select a replacement, and the Senate would likely confirm that replacement. Because elections matter.
Today, we have a Democrat on the Oval Office, and the people of the USA have elected a Republican controlled Senate. that was that Obama has every right, and even a duty, to nominate replacements. And the US Senate has every right and duty to hold hearings and to confirm or reject those nominations. Because elections matter.
We, the people of the USA, elect representatives to govern us. Our governing document, the US Constitution, has a series of checks and balances. In this case, one branch of the government (Executive) cannot unilaterally appoint members of another (Judicial). The Legislative branch has the right and requirement to weigh in on the process. This is done through “advice and consent” not just advice.
We, the people, influence these decisions by electing people who reflect our will. If we had not elected a majority of Republicans to the Senate, then the President would likely nominate and see his nomination confirmed. But we didn’t. Elections matter.