An article in Rolling Stone Magazine on December 2, 2019, asked the question “why the Christian Right worship Donald Trump”? The allegiance to him is difficult to reconcile as he comports himself in an offensive, un-Christian manner. This subset of Christian voters appears to have decided that as long as Trump promises to support legislation discriminating against a women’s right to choose, transgender/gay rights, and same-sex marriage, they will support him. Do the evangelicals need to be reminded that the Constitution says there is a separation between church and state? America is not a Christian state; instead, it is a country based on laws declaring equal rights for all people.
Although other potential Republican candidates would also support these anti-human rights positions, the evangelicals continue to accept Trump and overlook that he is thrice-married, cheats, uses profanity, worships materialism, and lies. His values and behaviors are inconsistent with traditional Christian values, and to support him is incompatible with Christian values.Trump did not gain the majority of the Christian vote in the 2016 primary. Rolling Stone notes that even after choosing Mike Pence as his Vice-President, “only 39 percent of evangelical pastors planned to vote for him,” based on his sketchy reputation. However, at a meeting on September 29th, 2016, Trump met with Robert Jeffress, the head of the megachurch First Baptist Dallas, and other national Christian theologians, authors, and media professionals. Realizing the power of this group, Trump began making promises that aligned with their extreme bible-based beliefs.
Among the promises he made to the group were, 1) to get rid of the contraception mandate in Obamacare, 2) select only anti-choice judges, 3) support prayer in school, and 4) keep transgender people from using the “wrong” bathroom.Trump believed that to get the support of the evangelicals, he had to promise legislation that would promote being on the “right side of God.” Given that Trump historically has not lived a life consistent with the teachings of Jesus, it would be easy for him to justify lying and pretending he was aligned with Christian values. To win their support, he pledged to legislate against the fundamental human rights of minority groups when those rights did not match the literal word of the Bible.
There is no better time than Christmas to remember what the Bible says about how to treat others. Those who claim to be evangelical Christians should re-read the following teachings from the
Bible:Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving of one another.”
Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, also do to them for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy fails, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.”
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”
Donald Trump does not live by these Christian-based messages. His speeches are angry in tone. His rhetoric degrades and threatens people. He makes it clear to Republicans he will ruin their chances for re-election if they do not support everything he says and does. He shows a coldness to disadvantaged people by developing policies that add to their suffering. For example, his approach to solving the issue of illegal immigration is to separate families and put kids in cages. His entire approach to governing and retaining power is to attack others, rally supporters to find aggression funny and justified, and lie and cheat to exaggerate the role he plays in the success of the country.
Supporting a person of Trump’s proven shady character has put the moral credibility of evangelicals in question. Cherry-picking the parts of the Bible that meet your personal priorities is hypocritical. A true evangelical believes every word in the Bible is essential. It is also important to understand America is not a Christian country, but rather a melting pot of cultures and religions. The Founding Fathers based the Constitution on this reality. That is why there is no prayer in public schools. That is why the law declares a separation between church and state. Remembering the virtues of kindness, faithfulness, and peacefulness will help all voting Americans realize that our leaders must embody these traits to restore this diverse America that we love into the compassionate country it has always been.