In 2016, 80% of Evangelical Christians said they’d found the political candidate God wanted them to vote for.
He declared bankruptcy four times.
He had multiple affairs, and was currently on his third marriage.
He discriminated against people of color when he was a landlord.
He bragged about sexually assaulting women.
He lied about his weight and refused to show his tax returns.
But evangelicals shrugged it off, went to the polls, and handed him the presidency of the nation they still insisted was “under God,” whose currency is marked with the words, “In God We Trust.”
While he was campaigning, he had criticized the sitting president for taking too many vacations. He told his supporters, “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to play golf.” And then proceeded to spend 19 out of his first 26 weekends as president….playing golf.
He alienated allies. He delivered speeches with more lies than truth. He surrounded himself with criminals and crooks and colluders.
As his destructive behavior played out on the national — and international — stage, some evangelicals became defensive of their choice. Others grew silent, unable to defend their support of a man whose actions, they finally admitted, were simply indefensible.
The cognitive dissonance that evangelicals who continue to support their choice must practice is mind-blowing.
The Bible tell us that God values honesty and truth and yet, they said, this same God led them to vote for a man who made 3001 misleading statements in his first 466 days of office, averaging 6.5 untruths every day.
The Bible tells us that that we’re to love our enemies and be peacemakers and yet, they said, this same God led them to vote for a man with a fragile ego who lashes out in anger at anyone who disagrees with him.
The Bible tells us we’re to show compassion to everyone, especially to “the least of these,” and yet, they said, their allegiance to this sacred book led them to vote for a man under whose watch screaming children were ripped from their parents’ arms. And abused, starving, frightened people seeking asylum in the country that claimed to open its arms to the “tired, poor…yearning to breathe free” were condemned as criminals instead of receiving compassionate care.
This week the man evangelicals said was God’s choice to lead our nation went on a seven-tweet rant in which he called a black woman a wacky, deranged, lowlife, vicious dog.
Evangelicals’ support for a man who is nothing like God, in the very name of God, is cause for alarm. And grief. And repentance.
Enough is Enough.
This is not a political issue. I don’t care if people vote Democrat or Republican or Green Party or Independent out of political ideologies and fiscal preferences. I do, on the other hand, care about what people who claim to follow Jesus do in the name of God.
Using God to justify an ungodly choice is a heart-level spiritual issue that belies an ugly truth.
Either we don’t understand the heart of God at all, and in a lifetime of church-attending we understood nothing about the radical, unconditional love of Jesus we are called to practice.
Or, we simply don’t care. We twist God’s words and willfully misuse theology because we’ve decided that we’d rather have power than peace, we prefer expediency over ethics, we’d rather be mighty than meek, we’d rather live into the physical realities of war and politics and border control than allow Love to open the eyes of our hearts to see the spiritual reality that calls us to see everyone as our brothers and sisters, that calls us to tear down walls not build new ones, that calls us to sacrifice everything we are and have for others’ greater good.
My friends, it’s time to acknowledge that the ends don’t justify supporting a man who is angry, fragile, hostile and mean.
It’s time to repent and get to the work God actually calls us to do: to practice compassion, to make peace, to bless our enemies, to offer hospitality to strangers, to advocate for the marginalized and to love the world the way that God continues to so love us.