Much to the dismay, and disappointment, of some of my friends and family, I screamed during the 2016 primaries and election that if the evangelical church backed, supported, and voted for Donald Trump, we would lose our moral authority to speak on any social/moral issue facing our country. I am not proud to say I was right.
I wasn’t the only one saying this. Notice this article published in October of 2016.
Since the election, here is a sampling of what others have said about our loss of moral authority (I could have added many more):
Evangelicals squander their moral authority by sticking with Trump
Evangelical politics and the loss of moral authority
The collapse of evangelical leadership (this article actually says the beginning of the end for evangelicals started after our refusal to show moral leadership after 9/11)
Support for Trump could spell end of the evangelical church
White American Evangelical Christianity is a bubble–and it’s about to burst.
Since the election, people have accused me of “hating” the President, of not praying for the President, and not showing respect for the office of the President. All are “fake news.” My issue has never been with President Trump. I recognize my citizenship is in heaven. I really don’t care a whole lot who is president. Donald Trump is who I (and most everyone else) thought he was before the election. I keep going back to how Ted Cruz explained who Donald Trump was in this video from May 2016. I believe Mr. Cruz was accurate in his portrayal. My issue is with the evangelical church and how our witness for Christ has suffered immeasurably because of our continued support of this President.
If you asked evangelicals who supported, and continue to support, Pres. Trump, why, you will hear three main things:
- Placing conservative justices on the Supreme Court.
- Overturning Roe v Wade
- Supporting Israel.
But what you have to honestly ask yourself is if those political goals are worth compromising your core values by placing a person in leadership who is amoral. And before anyone says anything, let me state this plainly: President Donald Trump is neither King David nor King Cyrus. He won an election, not a monarchy. You made a choice to vote for him. You supported him. He would not be President without your vote. Old Testament kings are not a good analogy for a representative democracy.
Yes, President Trump has kept the promises he made to the evangelical leaders that he met with in private before the election. But many of his other policies are immoral. Here are just a few of those policies:
- His policy of separating families at the border (Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-46).
- His banning certain refugees from certain countries with certain religions from seeking asylum in our country (Exodus 23:9, Matthew 25:31-46).
- Cutting humanitarian aid at home and abroad to pay for more military weapons (Proverbs 19:17, Deuteronomy 15:11, Proverbs 21:3).
- His poor handling of Puerto Rico (part of the United States) after they were devastated by a hurricane (Proverbs 14:21).
- Taking away basic healthcare from people (Luke 4:18, Matthew 25:31-46).
- Tariffs, that increase the price of daily necessities (1 John 3:17).
- Tax cuts that have made the wealth gap widen, not lessen. (Proverbs 29:7)
- Continually lying (even in political rhetorical speeches). (Proverbs 12:22)
- Name calling and demeaning opponents (Psalm 101:5).
- Choosing money, over human life. (Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:10)
- Dropping over 20,000 bombs in 7 months, killing thousands of innocent lives (“collateral damage” is immoral) (Isaiah 2:4).
- Overturning 76 environmental regulations. (Genesis 1:28, Psalm 24:1)
- Growing the largest federal deficit in six years. (Proverbs 22:7)
Again, what I struggle with is the unabashed, continued support of President Trump by key evangelical leaders. The harm this has done to our reputation, and to our witness, is impossible to measure. Our hypocrisy has been on display for all the world to see. I pray, that we will not make the same mistake in 2020. I pray we will repent and regain our moral authority. Our allegiance is to Christ, and our citizenship is in heaven. We should never by so closely associated with any political group or political ideology as we are right now with the political right.
May God help us.
Your respect for others is palpable. Voices like yours are important in trying times like this.