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Christians and Trump--two perspectives

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  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    When you believe the third party candidate is best I agree. When you're using it as a way to avoid a difficult choice, no, it's not a conscientious choice.

    In this case we have Casanova and Mao - and not voting means possibly putting a killer in power versus having a Lothario in charge.
    I think it's possible to reason this way. If you are pro-life, you would not want Hillary in office because you believe that she will further the pro-abortion agenda. However, in order to stop her, you could put into place a man of questionable/low integrity and morality, who had, until recently, also been pro-abortion, but upon announcing his desire for office on the Republican ticket, tepidly declared himself a pro-lifer (for instance, declaring as late as 2013 on Howard Stern's show that it "wasn't a big issue for him," and even more recently, asserting that Alabama went too far on the subject).

    A Christian may reason that voting Trump president comes with consequences far greater than the immediate now. Yes, you may win the battle on abortion today, but what will it cost you in the long run? A concern may arise among some Christians that if people see us as hypocrites for choosing an otherwise corrupt leader, that we will lose the opportunity for evangelism. That when the tables flip, and a new president is in office, we may eventually lose our gains, and then some. That we will have traded the one who destroys the body for the one who destroys the body and the soul.

    Now that isn't to say that I believe that people were WRONG for feeling they had no choice but Trump. I fully sympathize with the predicament a lot of people felt they were in there, but I also think that there are justifiable reasons for people to have chosen a third party candidate that they felt better aligned with their own values, or to have chosen not to be a part of the process altogether.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    One thing that's kinda being overlooked -- when you go to vote, it's not just POTUS on the line. In most communities there are local officials on the ballot, ballot initiatives, tax levies, judges, county commissioners, and matters that actually do affect you "at home".

    In many of these small town elections, a candidate can win by 15 or 20 -- or even 1 or 2 -- votes.

    Of course, it's possible to vote for the local issues and candidates and NOT vote for POTUS, but, hey, while I'm there...
    I think if you believe the entire process is corrupt from top to bottom it's fine to abstain. But there are different rules for federal elections than there are for local elections, so, again, I think it's possible to abstain from one and not the other and feel you haven't worked against your personal convictions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Teallaura
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    I disagree. In a hypothetical world where you are given the option of voting between Stalin or Mao, your choice not to vote, your choice to NOT be part of a system you believe to be unfair, or unjust, or where the candidates are non-starters, is a perfectly valid choice. In nations where voting is non-compulsory, voting is a right, but not a civic duty.

    Personally I side with Henry David Thoreau who stated,
    “All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or back gammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.”

    But I think that goes too far for most people. I believe that if you feel it your duty to vote, then vote your conscience, and voting your conscience can and does include third party candidates.
    When you believe the third party candidate is best I agree. When you're using it as a way to avoid a difficult choice, no, it's not a conscientious choice.

    In this case we have Casanova and Mao - and not voting means possibly putting a killer in power versus having a Lothario in charge.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    I disagree. In a hypothetical world where you are given the option of voting between Stalin or Mao, your choice not to vote, your choice to NOT be part of a system you believe to be unfair, or unjust, or where the candidates are non-starters, is a perfectly valid choice. In nations where voting is non-compulsory, voting is a right, but not a civic duty.

    Personally I side with Henry David Thoreau who stated,
    “All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or back gammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.”

    But I think that goes too far for most people. I believe that if you feel it your duty to vote, then vote your conscience, and voting your conscience can and does include those third party participants candidates.
    One thing that's kinda being overlooked -- when you go to vote, it's not just POTUS on the line. In most communities there are local officials on the ballot, ballot initiatives, tax levies, judges, county commissioners, and matters that actually do affect you "at home".

    In many of these small town elections, a candidate can win by 15 or 20 -- or even 1 or 2 -- votes.

    Of course, it's possible to vote for the local issues and candidates and NOT vote for POTUS, but, hey, while I'm there...

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    Just don't vote - in a democratic republic voting isn't just a right - it's a civic duty. I don't recall any Scripture that says neglect your civic duties absent a clear violation of God's law.
    Vote third party - also an abdication of civic duty when done as a mere token.

    A former womanizer who credibly claims to have reformed (which also describes B. Clinton in 1992). A lifelong advocate of killing the unborn. Some name on a ballot that won't even get a single electoral vote. Stay home and browse Netflix.

    There's only one moral choice on that list - and it ain't Netflix.
    I disagree. In a hypothetical world where you are given the option of voting between Stalin or Mao, your choice not to vote, your choice to NOT be part of a system you believe to be unfair, or unjust, or where the candidates are non-starters, is a perfectly valid choice. In nations where voting is non-compulsory, voting is a right, but not a civic duty.

    Personally I side with Henry David Thoreau who stated,
    “All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or back gammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.”

    But I think that goes too far for most people. I believe that if you feel it your duty to vote, then vote your conscience, and voting your conscience can and does include third party candidates.

    Leave a comment:


  • Teallaura
    replied
    Just don't vote - in a democratic republic voting isn't just a right - it's a civic duty. I don't recall any Scripture that says neglect your civic duties absent a clear violation of God's law.
    Vote third party - also an abdication of civic duty when done as a mere token.

    A former womanizer who credibly claims to have reformed (which also describes B. Clinton in 1992 - not a sure thing). A lifelong advocate of killing the unborn. Some name on a ballot that won't even get a single electoral vote. Stay home and browse Netflix.

    There's only one moral choice on that list - and it ain't Netflix.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    We can reasonably conclude he's not evangelical in the formal sense but beyond that I think it's all speculation.

    I didn't vote for him on this basis so politically, not an issue. As a Christian...
    EGGzackly -- I voted for him because the only option I saw to prevent Hillary and her buddies from advancing all their far left ideology.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    If our standard was our leaders had to be completely moral, we would all have to forgo voting at all, because no human is sinless.
    This seems to be extreme and fallacious reasoning. No one expects anyone to be completely moral (outside of Jesus). That misses the point entirely. We should have an expectation that those who are placed in places of authority should be just, and honest, and faithful. In all of my life this seemed to be a common belief among most people in America. It wasn't uncommon among many believers I knew who even took up the idea that if a person was unfaithful in their marriage, how could we expect them to be faithful to the people they serve in public office? It seems that ever since Trump took office his supporters, people who typically said otherwise, are now like "eh, no one is perfect." As though "perfect" were the lowest bar we should hold people in public service to.

    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    If we are to participate in our government as citizens, we have to make certain choices. For me, it is usually abortion. I try not to vote for any candidate that openly supports abortion. But sometimes the choice comes down to voting the lesser of two evils. Because by non-action you might actually be allowing a greater evil to prevail. So you can't just stand by and do nothing.
    Allowing a less great evil (so perceived) so that an even greater evil may not prevail seems to me to be antithetical to the Christian worldview. Jesus didn't teach his disciples to be for lesser evils so that even greater evils don't occur. That sounds much more like Islam where one is allowed to lie to people or spread the message with the sword so that the world might come to better appreciate the "religion of peace." I think when Christians are stuck between the rock and the hard place of lesser evils, it's often wiser to disengage. Let the world do its worldly things, and keep our heads above the water by focusing on spiritual things, perhaps directly in our local communities, and the places we can still make a positive impact without feeling we're selling out. I understand it's an incredibly difficult choice, and easier said than done, but sometimes maybe we should be less afraid of those who destroy the body, and more concerned about the one who is able to destroy both the body and the soul.

    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    But I notice from Timothy's list of "immoral acts" that it is just mostly things he doesn't agree with that Trump has done. Many things, like immigration are not black and white moral choices. One person might look at the situation on the border and only see suffering families wanting to get help. Others will see people who are selfishly trying to break into our country ahead of thousands who are waiting in line patiently to be legally allowed in. Practically there is no way we can have open borders and allow everyone in who wants to come. It is not a matter of "being Christian" or "being moral"
    I agree that there are differences in opinion on certain issues, though I think overall it shouldn't be hard to recognize the type of person Trump himself is.

    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    What it comes down to is that people, even Christians can disagree with how they see a candidate. I saw Hillary as immoral, someone who supports abortion, gay marriage, got our soldiers killed in Benghazi, thought she was above the law and had her own private server which she sent classified emails from, then tried to hide it by erasing files and smashing phones. I say Trump as an egomaniac and a narcissist, and someone who had done some immoral things in the past with women, but who claimed he had become a Christian since then. I voted for him. Since he has been in office I haven't seen him cheat on his wife, although some earlier scandals have come to light from before he said he became a Christian. I have seen him keep his promises as best he could, support prolife ideals, put conservative judges on the supreme court, and fight to prevent illegal aliens from overwhelming our borders.
    It's not unheard of for someone to claim to be a Christian in order to reap and keep constituents. If we can judge the heart by what comes out of the mouth, nothing about Trump's behavior exhibits the fruit of the spirit. Very often new converts to Christianity are so on fire for God you can't get them to shut up, and they tend to act in ways very contrary to their previous behavior. Trump doesn't exhibit that sort of behavior at all. He's still incredibly braggadocios, and nasty to anyone he perceives to be an opponent or not fully on his side. He rarely exhibits humility, and often exaggerates to the point where he crosses into out and out lie.

    If you feel you had to vote, there were other people to vote for. You didn't have to vote for Trump. Plenty people voted their conscience and chose another candidate even if they knew that the person had no chance of winning.

    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    I respect Timothy's view on Trump and don't question his sincerity or his faith. I just wish he could do the same with us. ...You know, what liberals always preach: Tolerance?
    Is it possible, do you think, for one to dislike Trump greatly and not be a liberal? But yes, I get your point.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    While I don't vote, I've seen this argument on the forum a few times, and I'm not sure it's a very good one. It seems to me that there are gradients of past moral failures that we can probably justifiably overlook, and then there are some that are a lot harder to overlook, especially when the person in question doesn't seem especially remorseful or repentant of them, and has at times actually demonstrated pride in that behavior. We don't expect our presidents to be saints, but as with any person in a position of great authority, and who acts, in a very real sense, as the face an ambassador of the American people, one would hope that he'd be somewhat beyond reproach.
    If our standard was our leaders had to be completely moral, we would all have to forgo voting at all, because no human is sinless. If we are to participate in our government as citizens, we have to make certain choices. For me, it is usually abortion. I try not to vote for any candidate that openly supports abortion. But sometimes the choice comes down to voting the lesser of two evils. Because by non-action you might actually be allowing a greater evil to prevail. So you can't just stand by and do nothing.

    But I notice from Timothy's list of "immoral acts" that it is just mostly things he doesn't agree with that Trump has done. Many things, like immigration are not black and white moral choices. One person might look at the situation on the border and only see suffering families wanting to get help. Others will see people who are selfishly trying to break into our country ahead of thousands who are waiting in line patiently to be legally allowed in. Practically there is no way we can have open borders and allow everyone in who wants to come. It is not a matter of "being Christian" or "being moral"

    What it comes down to is that people, even Christians can disagree with how they see a candidate. I saw Hillary as immoral, someone who supports abortion, gay marriage, got our soldiers killed in Benghazi, thought she was above the law and had her own private server which she sent classified emails from, then tried to hide it by erasing files and smashing phones. I say Trump as an egomaniac and a narcissist, and someone who had done some immoral things in the past with women, but who claimed he had become a Christian since then. I voted for him. Since he has been in office I haven't seen him cheat on his wife, although some earlier scandals have come to light from before he said he became a Christian. I have seen him keep his promises as best he could, support prolife ideals, put conservative judges on the supreme court, and fight to prevent illegal aliens from overwhelming our borders.

    I respect Timothy's view on Trump and don't question his sincerity or his faith. I just wish he could do the same with us. ...You know, what liberals always preach: Tolerance?

    Leave a comment:


  • Teallaura
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    While I'm always cautious not to proclaim somebody is NOT a Christian, I have to say I don't see the fruit in Trump, and I haven't heard the profession of faith.

    The idea that "others say" doesn't seem, to me, to pass the "confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus" test.
    We can reasonably conclude he's not evangelical in the formal sense but beyond that I think it's all speculation.

    I didn't vote for him on this basis so politically, not an issue. As a Christian...

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Timothy View Post
    I can see that I will not get fair treatment here.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Zymologist View Post
    I'm just thinking--and keeping in mind that I don't pay much attention to these things--his claims to current Christian faith seem pretty weak sauce to me, especially in light of lacking things like a repudiation of past immorality (his "grab" comment, etc.). I've seen some claim that he's a baby Christian, which I suppose is possible, but I'm not sure I buy it.
    While I'm always cautious not to proclaim somebody is NOT a Christian, I have to say I don't see the fruit in Trump, and I haven't heard the profession of faith.

    The idea that "others say" doesn't seem, to me, to pass the "confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus" test.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingsGambit
    replied
    Originally posted by Zymologist View Post
    I'm just thinking--and keeping in mind that I don't pay much attention to these things--his claims to current Christian faith seem pretty weak sauce to me, especially in light of lacking things like a repudiation of past immorality (his "grab" comment, etc.). I've seen some claim that he's a baby Christian, which I suppose is possible, but I'm not sure I buy it.
    Robert Gagnon argues that Trump is likely being discipled by high level pastors, which justifies the seemingly different treatment of his behavior from their condemnation of the behavior of liberal politicians. But I'm with you, I don't buy it either. There has been no seeming change in his behavior in the last three years, since the "baby Christian" claim was made by Falwell. If anything, his behavior has worsened. If a conversion is real, we see at least some change within three years.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    Timothy, if Christians can't vote for immoral politicians, then you must never vote. Is that correct?
    While I don't vote, I've seen this argument on the forum a few times, and I'm not sure it's a very good one. It seems to me that there are gradients of past moral failures that we can probably justifiably overlook, and then there are some that are a lot harder to overlook, especially when the person in question doesn't seem especially remorseful or repentant of them, and has at times actually demonstrated pride in that behavior. We don't expect our presidents to be saints, but as with any person in a position of great authority, and who acts, in a very real sense, as the face an ambassador of the American people, one would hope that he'd be somewhat beyond reproach.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingsGambit
    replied
    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
    Which one of the hats?
    I meant the Trump 2016 hat, but turns out Timothy meant the 2020 hat, which I have not seen either...

    Leave a comment:

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