And Yet, I Remain Unmoved 

​In yesterday’s sarcastic contribution to the “Okay I’m panicking so I’ll vote for Trump after all” genre, some readers felt that I was too quick to dismiss the SCOTUS question. It’s the central argument for why Christians must support Trump, and it’s made rather comprehensively in this article.

And yet, I remain unmoved. The argument is theologically, culturally and practically spurious.

Theologically, because God rules the outcome of this election and the future of this, and every, nation. No believer who seeks God’s will in sincerity, who prays, from the heart, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” need carry the weight and guilt of today’s developments or their consequences, no matter who they vote for or whether they vote at all. “Be still, my soul! Thy God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past.” Vote your conscience and trust God.

Culturally, because the court has never determined the direction of our culture. This is just nonsense. Yes, it has done awful things and made far-reaching decisions that negatively affect our political process and our personal lives. But for the most part those decisions reflect the views and attitudes of far too many of our fellow citizens. The court follows public opinion – it doesn’t shape it. If you doubt this, choose any issue and begin asking people why the Supreme Court ruled on it as they did: what was its reasoning? What arguments did it accept or reject? Who concurred or dissented? My guess is that ninety-five out of every hundred won’t know. Popular views are shaped by friends, the entertainment industry, media, academia, religious leaders – but not the Supreme Court. 

Practically, because Republican appointees can’t be counted on to buck cultural trends even when they are real Republican appointees nominated by real Republican presidents. Especially where abortion is concerned, the focus on voting Republican for the sake of SCOTUS nominees has been a forty year long exercise in futility. Without assigning motives, it is true beyond question that the only thing actually accomplished by this myopic approach has been the creation of a multi-billion dollar pro-life lobbying industry that transfers vast amounts of wealth from sincere believers to professional activists and leaders within the morality industry.

Here is the awful truth, my friends: Roe v. Wade was a Republican decision. The Supreme Court has not had a Democratic-appointed Chief Justice for over sixty years. For most of that time Republican appointees have enjoyed a solid majority. When Roe was decided, seven of the nine justices were Republican appointees. Only one of those, Renquist, joined Justice White, a Democratic appointee, in the dissent. That’s right – six Republicans and one Democrat struck down state restrictions on abortion. (Obergefell v. Hodges and NFIB v. Sebelius were also handed down by a majority-Republican court.) Ever since then, the prospect of limiting abortion has been exclusively linked by the morality industry to getting more Republican appointees. It’s a lie.

If you doubt this, consider the strange history of the Sanctity of Life Act – the most constitutionally sound and practically hopeful effort to limit abortion on demand in my lifetime. It was introduced five times: in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. Note that in 2005  we had a (real) Republican president and solid Republican majorities in the House, in the Senate, and on the Court. Yet it was opposed – vehemently opposed – by every major pro-life organization and the majority of Republican politicians, even to the extent that they used Dr. Ron Paul’s support for it to question his commitment to the pro-life cause. Why? Because – I suspect – by rendering the Supreme Court irrelevant, it would have hurt the pro-life fundraising machine along with the abortion industry. 

We’ve been played. For decades. It’s time for Christians to say this is enough. Overturning Roe is no longer a convincing reason to continue to support whomever the GOP selects, especially not when their candidate (a) represents perfectly the immorality, sexual hedonism and the just-do-it mentality that drives the culture of death, (b) is incapable of articulating or defending the case for life on his own, and (c) never even pretended to care about the unborn until he decided to run. 

Andrews is right: we will have Trump or Clinton. The real question for the church is not getting our say, but guarding our witness. Will we hold up a light in the darkness or make an alliance with it? Will we wait for Aslan or decide to summon the witch because at least we know where she is?

Why I’m Voting For Trump After All 

​Well, it’s down to the wire. Every day brings a new crop of yeshe’srougharoundtheedgesbutHillary apologies from evangelicals, along with an increasing number of #nevertrump defectors. Twice I’ve written thorough and tedious explanations for why I can’t vote for Trump, and twice discarded them as too long to be useful. But tomorrow is the day. It’s one thing to argue principles and political theory; it’s quite another to stand in a voting booth and contemplate the end of a free society while facing a decision of this magnitude. I’m fully aware of what hangs on this vote: four decades of the Supreme Court, the lives of millions of unborn infants, the fates of fifty thousand desperate refugees, my gun, and the Kingdom of God. It’s all rather overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time, holding the future in my hand like this. So as I make this final choice, here’s my best shot at a brief flash of exhibitionism. Consider it the closest I can get to a ballot selfie.

First, I’m voting for Republican nominees to the Supreme Court. Since it was Republican nominated majorities who gave us Roe v. Wade (the right to infanticide), NFIB v. Sebelius (Obamacare upheld), Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage), and a host of other constitutional monstrosities, it would be a gross injustice to take control of the court away from Republicans, after more than sixty years, just when they are on the cusp of mending their ways and making everything better.We owe them the chance to clean up their mess. Also, forgiveness, grace and all that.

Next, I’m voting for life. I know that both candidates have been vocal proponents of infanticide right up to the moment of birth for essentially their entire adult lives. But only Trump has recognized the political advantage in switching sides. Only Trump has come to understand that, given the chance, that precious aborted girl might have grown up to be a nine, even a ten. Among Republicans, only Trump had the courage last summer to stand up for Planned Parenthood when they were under fire for selling murdered baby parts … wait … that’s not a reason to … I think I’m getting off track …

Oh, yes – refugees. As a Christian, I’ve always believed that we are called to welcome the stranger, shelter the fleeing slave, and extend a hand to the opressed, persecuted, helpless and homeless. But surely that doesn’t include folks from the Middle East, with their traditional views of marriage, quaint and repressive standards of modesty and their fundamental belief that God is greater than the state. No, if God is going to make America great again, he needs us to keep those kinds of people at ocean’s length. I am voting for safety and the preservation of the American way of life, because our version of rebellion against the Creator is exceptional.

Then there’s the issue of muh firearms. I don’t really have an excuse here, friends. Somewhere in between Trump’s narcissism, his criminal ignorance of world affairs, his economic illiteracy, his robust admiration of brutal dictators, his dog-like social behavior, his bullying approach to critics, his unforgiveable sense of entitlement to the Presidency and that awful yellow comb-over, I must have lost sight of this all-important matter. But with the moment of decision upon us, as I ask myself, in accordance with the essential ritual of evangelical augury, “What would Phil Robertson do?” the answer is clear as daylight. I’m voting for muh guns.

Last but not least, as the most recent issue of World Magazine gravely reminds us, the Kingdom of God itself is at stake. Accepting this has required a real shift in my thinking. See, we know that Christ is building His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. In light of that assurance, I’ve always seen Hillary Clinton as a bit player in the game, a lesser child of greater sires among the forces of darkness, barely noteworthy in the ranks of an already defeated Enemy. But recently, thinking back to the last Clinton administration, I’ve been reminded of just how devastating that was – how the worldwide advance of the Kingdom ground to a halt, while evangelical leaders, bereft of responsibilities and idled for lack of anything worth leading, were forced to spend 96 long months begging for money on television. That, brothers and sisters, must not happen again. The gates of hell may crumble at a Word from our God, but HRC is a unique weapon that will require all the combined forces  of gods and men to overcome. Instead of the world, the flesh and the devil against believers, it’s now the world, the flesh, and the church against the Democrats. These are truly perilous times.

We cannot risk another four years of Bill Clinton in the White House. Better far to give his groping buddy, long time friend and Clinton Foundation donor a shot at restoring high moral standards and integrity to the office of the High Priest.

For all these reasons, I have reluctantly decided to join the crowds on the broad way to political survival. Trump 2016!

In closing, allow me to add this Prophetic Word from One Kings 22:15 to the clamor of the multitude: Go up, Mein Drumpf, and prosper, for the Lord will deliver them into your hand!

Edit: the original version of this post referred to Trump as former president Bill Clinton’s groping buddy. It probably should have said “golfing buddy.”

Don’t Throw It Away

​This morning NPR ran a segment about the “gender divide” that Trump’s candidacy has exposed among evangelical Christians. They interviewed or quoted a number of high-profile evangelical women regarding the impact of Trump’s rise and influence, while referencing a litany of male leaders who have sought to defend or endorse Trump, because, of course, they want to frame Trump’s character as a gender issue. Granted, they ignored a number of high-profile evangelical men who have spoken out against Trump from day one (think Russell Moore, John Piper, or Virginia’s latest celebrity sensation, megachurch Pastor Todd Pruitt). But these voices have been shamefully few and far between. Meanwhile the wretched excuses offered by morality industry heavyweights like Falwell, Robertson, and Dobson make it far too easy for progressives to play these dishonest games. 

Trump’s character is not, and has never been, a gender issue. Brothers, it is to our everlasting shame that our voices have not been raised in defense of our wives, our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our neighbors, loudly enough to drown out the traitors who tell us to forgive and forget because he’s just a redblooded man. Do you value your sisters in Christ so poorly? Do you expect so little from your sons, your brothers, yourselves? Do you sell your credibility so cheaply? Is your place at the political trough worth all of this? How will you ever justify your silence, to say nothing of actively making excuses and whitewashing this panting dog’s behavior? 

It is worth it, you say? Then do not be surprised when compassionate heretics like Jen Hatmaker steal the hearts of your daughters. It will be your fault. And when you find that they accept all kinds of gender perversions along with the defense of their value as women, remember that you let Trump’s filthy assault on their dignity become just another gender issue.