Donald Trump is a WWF candidate. He is the Hulk Hogan of presidential politics.
I Kid. You. Not.
As recently as 2007 he was in the ring. Literally.
He’s been behind the scenes of pseudo-wrestling shows for over 25 years. But that should come as no surprise.
Think about what he has done in the campaign thus far and see if it doesn’t more resemble a WWF event than a bid to the highest office in the land–an office defined by its first holder George Washington, the epitome of both civility and courage.
I shudder to think what George Washington would say about the one-man wrecking ball that is Donald Trump.
I understand people are ticked off. I am too. I understand people are fed up with the spineless Republicans and Democrat alike. I am too. I even understand the desire to have someone who will cut through the PC blackness, who will bust some heads, take names, and “make America great again.”
But electing Donald Trump to the Presidency would be like nominating Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court—you really have no idea what you are going to get.
And by the time you find out, it will be too late.
If you thought Romney was flip-flopping phony, the Donald makes Mitt look like a life-long conservative. Trump has been all over the place in his views on social issues, but mostly left, and even farther left on issues like partial birth abortion.
Yet many Christians support him thus far. Some of them are friends of mine and will continue to be (I hope). But I really do not understand at least 5 things about Christians who support Donald Trump.
After the 2012 election, I wrote a piece entitled 5 things I don’t understand about Christians who voted for Barack Obama. As I considered my concerns about Donald Trump, I realize most of the concerns were the same.
I know Trump fans will hate me for saying so, but Trump has more in common with Obama than they would like to admit.
Replacing a community organizer masquerading as a sophisticated bully with an actor pretending to be an unsophisticated bully isn’t going to change things for the good.
While Obama has proven to be a petulant and vindictive force for the Left, Trump gives every indication he would be a petulant and vindictive force for, well, Trump.
A bully by any party affiliation is still a bully.
At least Obama pretends to be compassionate as he bullies his way forward. Trump insults and drowns out any opposition. He doesn’t reasonably listen and respond in a substantive way, in spite of what his fans say. Even my kids observe his behavior and ask, “Who would vote for someone so rude?”
In that sense, he reminds me of some pastors who rule their churches with an angelic fist through a cult of personality (Does the name Jack Hyles ring any bells, evangelicals?).
5 Things I Don’t Understand about Christians Who Support Trump
So here are five things I do not understand about Christians who support Donald Trump based on the original five things I didn’t understand about support for Obama in 2012:
Life. No two ways around this one Trump fans. Trump had been a strong supporter of abortion, even partial-birth abortion until recently when he began positioning himself to run for office.
His position is that taxpayers should continue to fund Planned Parenthood, the leading provider of abortions and of baby body parts. (Although he adjusted that yesterday, so who knows.) In the debate Saturday, Trump defended Planned Parenthood by saying they “do wonderful things.”
The little good they may do does not justify the evil they certainly do. And plenty of others provide those “good things.”
What kind of nominations would Trump make for the Supreme Court? Nothing he has done—not just what he now says–convinces me that he would select justices who would defend life.
He may have truly changed his views. If so, that is a good thing. But why would I take a chance with a guy who defines unpredictable when there are other candidates with a lifetime record of fighting for life? The next President will, not may, decide the direction of the Court for a generation.
If you are honest with yourself, you have no idea what kind of nominee Trump would choose. I know the kind of justices Cruz would pick. I am pretty sure I know the kind of justices Rubio would pick. Trump? He said his pro-abortion sister would make a “phenomenal” judge. Doesn’t that concern you?
Marriage. The Obergefell decision abolished marriage. If you doubt that, read our new book You Will Be Made to Care. Anthony Kennedy (more proof we need to know what someone will do before they take office) struck it down with a fit of tyrannical love poetry. After having been divorced twice, Trump now says that the gay mafia should expect “forward motion” on their anti-family agenda.
Defending marriage just does not appear to be an important issue for Trump. With Iowa at stake, he told Chris Wallace he “would strongly consider” appointing justices to overrule the Obergefell decision. That should have been an easy yes answer instead of Trump’s stock answer for everything he has no position on.
He’ll think about it and let you know later. Don’t hold your breath. Marriage is sacred. Ordained by God to be between one man and one woman. There is no room for compromise on it, Donald. We can’t just talk it out together and reach some middle ground.
Morality cannot be negotiated.
Private Property. Trump’s fondness for using eminent domain for private profit should be most troubling for Christians. But given the shallow theology taught in most churches these days, I am not surprised they do not grasp its significance.Taking private property for public benefit is one thing if the person is compensated fairly; taking it from one private citizen and giving it to another deemed more worthy is nothing more than socialism. It is legalized theft and a violation of God’s command: “You shall not steal.” The converse is that “You shall own private property.”
The Western understanding of private property finds its foundation in this command and the command comes directly from the very nature of God. He created all. He gives His creation to us to steward and holds each of us responsible for what we do with it.
But most importantly, Trump’s lack of concern for private property should be most troubling for Christians who value our most precious property—our conscience. In You Will Be Made to Care, Erick Erickson and I make the case that conscience is our most precious property:
James Madison, who is often referred to as the father of the Constitution, declared our freedom of conscience to be our most treasured possession and demonstrated why any just government must defend it impartially: “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.… Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right [emphasis added]”.
When it comes right down to it, our freedom of conscience is what makes the First Amendment worth defending. If we are not free to believe, then we have no religion to exercise. If we cannot think our own thoughts, we have no speech that is truly ours. If we are not free to assess the powers that be, there is no freedom of the press no matter how many cable channels we may enjoy. And what’s the point of assembling if we’re all required to embrace the same beliefs anyways? You can forget about private property or gun rights if you’re not free to think capitalistic thoughts or believe some things are worth dying for.
If Trump won’t even defend my right to keep my house when he prefers a parking lot, why would I think he would lift a finger to defend my right to believe?
His call to ban all Muslims after the SanBernardino terrorist attack demonstrates how quickly ho would restrict rights based on faith if those beliefs suddenly became inconvenient for his agenda. His call also betrays how little he comprehends about the nature of sincerely held religious beliefs.
Leadership. Scripture speaks to leadership extensively. It gives the qualifications for those who hold office in the church as a template for what we should look for in leaders. Take a look and see how Trump’s leadership style holds up:
[He] is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
Temperate? Self-controlled? Respectable? Not quarrelsome? Good grief. I could go on, but do I even need to? At least he’s not conceited. [snort]
And if he is now truly a conservative, he is a recent convert at best and should not be placed at the head of the Republican party until he has been tested. One undecided voter captured this concern: “He said he did not know if Trump really had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment or just converted because he was dating the preacher’s daughter. He suspected the latter and therefore wouldn’t be going with Trump.”
“The rise of Donald Trump is everything the founders feared,” says Erick Erickson. I agree. When people act out of fear, they tend to make poor decisions. They gravitate toward a strong personality who claims to be the one to fix everything. It’s the equivalent of pushing the national Easy Button.
But we’ve seen how this plays out in history. After the Roman Senate floundered and failed to address the problems of the Republic, the people turned to the alpha male Julius Caesar to get things done. The Republic did not survive.
Reacting to Obama’s tyranny with another bully who tells people they are behaving stupidly isn’t saving the republic. It’s accelerating Her demise.
Fruit. When challenged by Pope Francis, Trump recently said “to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.” Not so. It is Christian.
Scripture tells us to evaluate the fruit of those who claim to be followers of Christ. Trump has been divorced twice, has engaged in multiple extra-marital affairs and spoken publicly about his sexual exploits, his mouth spews obscenities often, he routinely devalues and degrades women without apology, and has done it all while saying he has never felt the need to repent.
Sorry, folks, but there ain’t nothing Christian about a belief system devoid of repentance.
Don’t get me wrong, his immigration views are not the standards Pope Francis’ should have used to evaluate his faith (Francis is wrong about Christians and immigration.) Trump’s life, actions, and words are and they are inconsistent with the teachings of Christ. Jesus said you will know those who are his by their fruit. Trump’s fruit is rotten.
He regularly misrepresents his successes and insults all who dare to suggest otherwise. If he were in this post now, he would be typing over everything I write.
Trump is the kind of arrogant jerk Christian parents used to warn their children about. Now they are voting for him. I don’t get it.
There is much more to be said about concerns about Donald Trump, from his misleading allegations about self-funding his campaign, to the many people taken for a ride via “Trump University” and his close attachment to those who have steadfastly attacked everything Christians stand for.
But the end result is this: if the same polls that say Trump is in the lead are to be believed, Donald Trump is the one Republican nominee who would lose to Hillary.
As a Christian, I don’t think I could—with a clear conscience—lift a finger to help him.
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