A reader writes:
I was wondering whether you could address the issue of “Donald Trump is imperfect but God uses imperfect people to work out His plans, therefore I won’t hesitate to vote for him” line of thinking. I’ve been hearing this more and more from Catholics and Christians, both online and in person, and it drives me batty! Such a dangerous and foolish way to choose a candidate! Thanks for considering!
It’s an equally good argument for voting for Hillary or, for that matter, anybody else on planet earth. It really comes down to saying, “Nothing I do matters, since God will make it alright.” This is also known as “Let us do evil that good may come of it.” We are called to make prudent judgments, not do whatever the hell we like and expect God to clean up our messes.
Totally agree, but I’m only hearing that argument (and I hear it more and more) when Christians are justifying their decision to vote for Trump… Thanks!
Right. Because they are rationalizing a choice to do evil that good may come of it. You can simply point out that it’s an equally good reason to vote for Hillary–or Stalin. Charles Manson is an “imperfect person”. It does not therefore follow that voting for Charles Manson is a morally good act.
It is worth nothing, as well, that everybody understands that, which is precisely why the person arguing to support Trump on this basis does *not* argue to vote for Hillary on this basis. It is also worth noting that there is typically coupled with this a debased soteriology in which Christians frequently say something to the effect that Trump is a diamond in rough, a Constantine for whom we must pray since who knows what David God will sculpt from this rude marble. Sure he denies seeing any need to so much as ask God for forgiveness, but we are a people who believes in redemption! The heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord! Etc. blah blah.
Now it’s perfectly true that, whoever wins, God’s salvific will shall not be thwarted and he will use our choice, as he uses all things including the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, for our good. But that didn’t help Judas Iscariot. So arguments like “God uses imperfect people, so it doesn’t matter if I vote for the most dangerous human being ever placed within reach of the White House” are morally reckless.