HOW DO I VOTE? A PRAYERFUL, INTENTIONAL AND HOLISTIC CONSIDERATION
This year’s election has been so politically charged that in some environments the determination of whether one is a democrat or republican is based upon whether one wears a mask or not. Further, it is quite interesting how religion has also made its way into the political fray and being used to determine if you believe in God or not.
As such, I am amazed at the number evangelicals who have placed their support behind the current president, Donald Trump. These are the same Evangelicals who would consider themselves to be God fearing, church going, Bible believing, Spirit led, born again Christians. Those who, in any other setting, would denounce lying, cheating, fornicating, cursing, immorality, greed, vulgarity, arrogance, factiousness and the like. To witness their lockstep, energetic and passion filled support of someone who fully embodies lying, cheating, fornicating, cursing, immorality, greed, vulgarity, arrogance, factiousness and the like is surprising.
Some have offered feeble excuses for their support of the president with statements like, “We are electing a president, not a pastor” and “He is our Commander in Chief not our Pastor in Chief.” As these statements may be factual at their foundation, they are not practical in their practice. Should not the President of the United States be held to a high standard of ethics? Should not the President of the United States be a model for morality? Should not the President of the United States be considered an example to the nation of honor and integrity? Should not the President of the United States be someone that children and youth, Christian and not, look to and aspire to be like?
I cannot understand the motivations behind their thinking and actions when they can justify fully supporting a president who displays the most vile and the most debase actions and attitudes imaginable without offering one word of critique, while being the same ones who sharply criticized President Obama because he wore a tan suit. Do you understand it?
Notwithstanding all of this, there is a belief in some evangelical circles that God personally placed Donald Trump in the presidency. Therefore, if you support God, you must support Trump. Similarly, a vote against Trump is a vote against God. Yes, you heard that correctly. They actually believe that a vote against Trump is a vote against God.
Additionally, to sustain his messianic standing among Evangelicals, Trump, in his transactional milieu, has embraced the two-point, Conservative platform of anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality. Conservatives tend highlight and elevate these two sins as if they were the only sins that God dislikes.
Interestingly, this two-point, Conservative platform has even attracted some Black Evangelicals to the Trump train tragedy. A Black pastor, justifying his support for this two-point, Conservative platform and Conservative candidates shared with me, “I cannot vote for a man who would support abortion.” Let us explore this position a bit deeper.
Conservatives generally tend to be Pro-Life. That is, they are against abortion and believe that all pregnancies should be continued to full term and the babies born into this world. Additionally, Conservatives generally tend to be against social policies that affect and influence the lives of children once they are born into this world. Consequently, they support life before the child is born, however, after the child is born, the child is on her own.
Progressives generally tend to be Pro-Choice. That is, they support abortion and a woman’s right to choose if she will permit her pregnancy to continue to full term and have her baby born into this world. Additionally, Progressives generally tend to support social policies that affect and influence the lives of children once they are born into this world. Consequently, they do not support life before the child is born, however, after the child is born, they will support him.
Honestly, many of us do not fit neatly in neither the Conservative nor the Progressive camps. Many of us generally tend to be morally conservative and socially progressive. Therefore, we support life before the child is born and we support life after the child is born. My prayer is that we do not get caught up in the surface level, narrowly focused, guilt ridden views and instead, prayerfully, intentionally and holistically consider who is best to serve this country as president.