Should Christians vote Trump?
Evangelicals must decide whether a candidate’s views match a biblical worldview
This past Monday was one of the most significant Convocations I have been to in my four years at Liberty University, and I have been to many notable ones. From Tim Tebow to John Piper to Bernie Sanders, I have enjoyed many highly anticipated addresses to our student body. Yet Donald Trump’s appearance at Convocation last week was unlike any other.
As Trump’s poll numbers continue to climb in New Hampshire and are close to first in Iowa, Evangelicals must begin to ask themselves whether they should or should not vote for Trump. Do his personal beliefs, morals and proposals square with a biblical worldview?
To clarify, I am not asserting that Christians should only vote for candidates who have met some sort of religious test or even are Christians themselves. However, Evangelicals should vote for candidates who support and promote the basic tenets of our worldview and whose personal character reflects these tenets.
In my estimation, Trump does not meet these requirements, for a number of reasons. First, his views on the value of human life do not reflect those of the Bible. One of the most important political issues to Bible-believing Christians is the protection of every human life, including those that are in the womb (Psalm 139). Yet Trump has championed abortion many times in his past.
“I am pro-choice in every respect,” Trump said in a 1999 interview with Tim Russert. In the same interview he stated he would not support restrictions on even third trimester abortions or partial-birth abortions.
Many Trump supporters would claim that these were statements he made in the past and that his comments from earlier in this campaign show he has “evolved” on this issue. The story goes, told by Trump in the Fox News debate Aug. 6, that he had friends who decided not to have an abortion and their child has grown up to be a “total superstar,” convincing Trump that he should be pro-life.
“That Trump could go from supporting third-trimester abortion — something indistinguishable from infanticide, something only 14 percent of Americans think should be legal — to becoming pro-life because of that one experience is a bit hard to believe,” John McCormack wrote in the Weekly Standard.
Yet it is not just his pro-abortion past that should worry Evangelicals. Trump has continually displayed a crude and profane philosophy of life. In the very first Republican debate of the year, Megyn Kelly of Fox News challenged Trump and said, “You have called women you don’t like ‘fat pig,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals.’”
Trump conveniently claimed he did not know of these comments and later took to Twitter, calling Kelly a “bimbo.” This was not the last time he would make sexist comments on the campaign trail. In an interview with Rolling Stone in September, Trump turned his attention to Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
The article details Trump and a few aides watching the news as Fiorina was being interviewed.
“‘Look at that face!’” Trump cried. “‘Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!’ The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. ‘I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not (supposed to) say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?’”
Finally, Trump’s personal character displayed throughout his life should make every Christian pause. Conservatives were quick to criticize, rightly, the promiscuity of former President Bill Clinton. However, Trump has had similar moral failings in his past — although he does not acknowledge them as moral failings. He is on his third marriage, divorcing his two previous wives. He has bragged in his books that he has slept with the “top women in the world.” Maybe most concerning is the lack of understanding of the gravity of the choices he has made.
Asked in an interview with pollster Frank Luntz whether he has asked God for forgiveness, Trump stated, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”
The ability and freedom to vote for whatever party or candidate a person wishes is a gift from God that should be stewarded properly by Christians. In light of the morals and virtues Trump has displayed in his public comments and private life, Evangelicals have much to consider.