Only a few months ago, I had hoped I would never have to write such a piece, but reality does not care for one’s feelings. At this time, Christians have a divisive decision to make: to vote, or not to vote, for one Donald J. Trump. Or, perhaps one could vote for Hilary Clinton, but Mrs. Clinton has never struck me as a candidate who concerns herself with paltry matters like religious liberty or integrity in regards to upholding the Constitution.
Nevertheless, most committed evangelicals are split on the question of whether to give their weighty vote to the Donald. Dividing families, churches, and media members alike, the decision to back Trump is akin to when one’s two best friends are fighting with one another; each one surreptitiously asks you, “Who’s side are you on anyway?” What unequivocally frightens many Christians this election is the standing of their Christian character before the brethren if they happen to cast the “wrong vote” in someone’s eyes. Despite any such risks, allow me to provide my personal narrative on this line of contention.
An Unlikely Conversion
Let me begin by clearly articulating that I was and still am a staunch Ted Cruz supporter. The man possesses a political backbone made of reinforced, all-American steel, and with that backbone, Senator Cruz has stood in the gap on matters of the Constitution’s original intent, the 2nd Amendment, religious liberty, and a host of other issues concerning evangelical Christians. Senator Cruz’s committed Christian faith and unwillingness to bend on issues of worldview gained my support during the duration of his campaign.
Thus, when the race for the GOP nomination whittled down to a duel between Cruz and Trump, I wrote pieces urging Christians to go all in for Senator Cruz. The framework of my argument was that Senator Cruz is the political prototype of what Christians have been clamoring for all these years and to squander such a sturdy candidacy in favor of Trump would be a grave error. Regrettably, a robust evangelical push to send Senator Cruz pulsating to the GOP nomination came up short.
Immensely frustrated at the divide within the body of Christ in terms of whether to support Cruz or Trump, I predictably fostered a #NeverTrump point of view. However, as ludicrous policies such as President Obama’s directive for public schools to make unisex bathrooms, I received a healthy splash of political cold water in my face. The political context has shifted, and this election became about the practical survival of the United States of America as it was drawn up at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
With this in mind, the presidential election assumes an altogether more urgent character than ones prior to it. Therefore, the question for Christians is whether their consciences permit them to compare Trump’s character and qualifications to that of Hilary Clinton’s rather than sit out the election in moral outrage. When faced with a decision to preserve a nation on life support or nurse a broken party (the GOP), I will choose to preserve the nation every single time. And that is why I will vote for Donald Trump on election day, because in my opinion, a Hilary Clinton presidency will erode much of the Biblical framework that remains in public life, politics, and culture as a whole.
An Expert’s Opinion: Eric Metaxas
Christian author Eric Metaxas—whose notable works include Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery— has endorsed Mr. Trump recently, and as one of the few measured evangelical voices during this election season, his voice needs a megaphone in a debate wracked with character assassination and backbiting.
In an interview with National Review promoting his new work, If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, Mr. Metaxas thoughtfully provokes the position of those squarely in the #NeverTrump crowd,
“Not only can we vote for Trump, we must vote for Trump, because with all of his foibles, peccadilloes, and metaphorical warts, he is nonetheless the last best hope of keeping America from sliding into oblivion, the tank, the abyss, the dustbin of history, if you will. If you want to know how bad things are in America, and how far we have gone, read the previous sentence aloud over and over…For example, if Hillary Clinton is elected, we will face a Supreme Court that always unconstitutionally legislates from the bench and thereby abrogates the fundamental rights of the people to govern themselves. We’ve tasted it in the Roe and Obergefell decisions, but with a few more progressives on the Court, we will have this deadly poison poured down our throats in a funnel. The fact is that in the last 40 years, via liberal academia and teachers’ unions and the media, all Americans have been force-fed a negative narrative of who we are, and we have forgotten the glorious ideas that brought us into being in the first place.” -Eric Metaxas
I agree with Mr. Metaxas in his analysis, and I urge all Christians to consider the heartbeat of America when they travel to the voting polls in November. Yes, we are citizens from another kingdom, but as citizens of a nation that has provided us religious and civil liberties formerly unknown in prior superpowers, we have a duty to contend for America’s Christian pulse. As minister Dutch Sheets has declared,
“Let it be said of our generation that when a nation teetered on the edge of destruction, having lost the ancient path of truth, we answered the divine call to war for its restoration. Let it be said of us, as it was of our forefathers, that in the face of overwhelming odds, we took our stand in the celestial courtroom, appealing to the Judge of all the earth for His saving grace, mercy, and sustaining power.”
-Dutch Sheets, An Appeal to Heaven
Deciphering the #Never Trump Option
A curious political axiom—called the “Hamilton Rule”— coined by Federalist Alexander Hamilton has become a main defense of the #NeverTrump coalition.
“If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.” -Alexander Hamilton
Permit me a moment of smothered laughter here, because for the last eight years, the GOP has sat culpably idle while President Obama fastidiously undermined the Constitution and religious liberties. And now the media wants me to think that a politically cowed GOP is going to manifest a unified resistance against Hilary Clinton?
Today, Mr. Trump has provided the details of an “evangelical executive advisory board,” which will advise Trump on issues concerning evangelicals. Among the notable names are Dr. James Dobson (formerly of Focus on the Family), Jerry Fallwell Jr. of Liberty University, and Kenneth Copeland. This our opening, evangelicals. At least Trump has shared a willingless to hear the voice of conservative evangelical Christians. Have we seen Hilary Clinton make any such attempts?
I will not vilify anyone in the #NeverTrump, but if Mrs. Clinton does win as predicted and wreaks havoc upon any sliver of godly order that perhaps still exists in public life, I will ask those who did not vote because of righteous indignation, “Where were you?” Not voting hands Mrs. Clinton the White House, so I ask the Christians against Trump, are you prepared to make that calculation?
Whether for or against Trump, we Christians must remain united under the Gospel of Jesus Christ and evangelize with vigor to see America experience an all-encompassing revival in our homes and broader culture. Let us not forget that the voting booth is not the end-all for America’s restoration, and may we carry one another’s burdens as we battle for revival.
Think I’m off the rails or right on point? Let me know what you think!
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. Want to read more? Check him out at themajestysmen.com/author/kevincochrane, a friendship and mentoring community for Christian males. For updates on his latest blog posts here at restandrefuge.wordpress.com, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email. To contact, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.