Asking Evangelicals to explain exactly why they openly support Trump is an interesting question because it is indeed quite fascinating to see how they can happily embrace the idea that Trump, a seriously morally impaired individual, is the best possible choice. It should perhaps not surprise us because religion does have a rather rich historical Pedigree of support for intolerance, racism, violence and oppression, so an endorsement for individuals like Trump is not an utterly alien concept within a religious context.
Now, before we get into this, I should add that all of those that hold a religious belief have not gone down this road. The issue is that the majority of right-wing evangelicals appear to have done so, and that should concern us because these are the people we will need to live with and work with when Trump is gone, so understanding what makes them tick is appropriate.
Reviewing 18 Reasons put forward for Trump Support by a leading Evangelical Pastor
Pastor Jim Garlow of the Skyline Church in San Diego, California had been asked about Trump, and so on 5th August he answered it with a Facebook posting that listed 18 reasons for supporting Trump. It then got lots of many likes and shares along with positive comments.
OK, let’s embark upon a tour of all these justifications for Trump being the best choice.
1. The Democratic and Republican party platforms are as different as
night and day, evil vs. good. The 51 page Democratic platform is absolutely
the worst ever! An anti-biblical, radical left wing pagan socialist (a
socialist is a communist without a gun) would be thrilled with it. The 54
page GOP platform is the best platform ever. A biblically alert person could be
comfortable with almost all of it. This is a BIG issue. Although some “blow
off” party platforms, I do not. Nor do many people up and down the ballot
who are running for office. This is a serious and very important item. I
have a hard copy of both platforms in front of me now. Most who are reading
this post have never checked out what the party platforms say. You should.
I do agree that they are distinctly different. One platform is all about social progress and includes proposals that includes Raising the minimum wage, ending systemic racism, eliminating the death penalty, helping disabled people, supporting women’s rights, working toward debt-free college, securing universal health care, ending violence against women, decreasing gun violence, and fighting sex trafficking.
Trump himself appears to be all about walls, and mass deportations of people who don’t have the right belief, and has no real substance within anything he actually says. Behind him however we find a GOP manifesto that proposes opposition to marriage equality, opposition to pro-choice, and is aligned against the constitution itself by advocating the destruction of the wall of separation between church and state. Much of this perhaps ticks specific boxes for the religious, but it is clearly intolerance and discrimination. Supporting a candidate who supports these belief-inspired bad ideas as the “Best platform ever” explains a lot, and so while Trump himself only superficially panders to it all, behind him there are those that do truly advocate for this platform of lunacy, and if elected will strive to implement it.
If you do indeed think that the GOP platform is bland, content free, and dull, then think again, because it is not, it contains some truly obnoxious stuff that is not morally justifiable.
2. Analogy #1: Both candidates are flawed. We all know that. But
permit me an analogy: As a pastor I would rather deal with a church
attender who is blatant and brash in his sinning than one who is devious,
hidden, lying, cunning, surreptitious and deceptive. Both are problematic,
but one is easier to deal with than the other. If I were a pastor bringing
correction to a parishioner, I would prefer dealing with a “Trump-type” any
day over a “Hillary-type.” The chances of making progress with the
“Trump-type” is many times greater than the “Hillary-type.”
One is a rather blatant xenophobic intolerant misogynistic racist who appears to be a tad trigger happy when it comes to the deployment of nuclear weapons, has called for a foreign intelligent agency to assist him to hack his opponents email server, and has openly suggested that his political opponent should be assassinated. “Flawed” is really not the right word. The other is a passionately devoted highly experienced individual who has worked her entire life to implement social progress. The claims that she is deceptive and cunning have no substance. Investigations that cost millions over many many years looked and looked, yet found nothing. In contrast, we find fact-checkers revealing that almost anything Trump says each and every day turns out to be a lie, and so it is no wonder that he hates the press.
So step back and seriously ask yourself who you really want sitting in that oval office with a finger on the nuclear button?
The answer you come up with is not a judgement against either of them, but instead is a measure of your ability to make a good moral choice.
3. Analogy #2: When my (late) wife’s remarkable and much loved
oncologist said, “Don’t take Carol to that alternative (non FDA approved)
treatment.” I asked, “Why not?” He said, “The unknown.” I said, “Doctor,
your ‘known’ is much worse than the alternative treatment’s ‘unknown.'” (I
took her to that alternative treatment. One year later that same oncologist
went to the alternative treatment doctor to see how it was that Carol had
improved so much. While this alternative treatment did not ultimately save
her life, it likely stretched 2-3 years of life to six years of life – by
the admission of another brilliant young oncologist who later said, “Without
any medical training or scientific fact, you have put together a protocol of
treatment that has moved her into the top fraction of 1% of all patients
with Carol’s particular cancer). Application of the analogy: Hillary’s
“known” is considerably worse – many times over – than Trump’s “unknown.”
So basically he is suggesting that Hillary’s policies are equivalent to evidence-based scientific medicine, the stuff that has been robustly tested and proven to work, and that Trump’s policies are equivalent to the quackery and fraud practised by alternative medicine practitioners, basically the stuff that is time after time usually demonstrated to not actually work.
I’m not convinced he has really thought this analogy through at all.
4. Trump has lots of sins in his past (we all do too), and – in the
present – says things he should not say. I make no attempt to defend any of
the things he has said. (Note to all who might respond to this: There is
no need to rehearse the wrong things he has said. We get it. He should not
have thought or said them. But there is no need to rehash them here. So we
won’t. If you have a psychological need to re-list them, I will simply
delete them. We know them already. I am writing this with a nice smile on
my face.) Although America has had some scandal ridden candidates in its
history, we have NEVER seen any one major party candidate so constantly
scandalous, so evil-consumed as Hillary. She exceeds ALL previous
boundaries for wrong doing. (This brief post does not permit the space to
list the nonstop, continuous string of horrific scandals of the Clintons.
No need to list them.)
So basically here he claims that Hillary is evil and the evidence for this from any reliable source is exactly zero. There is a considerable degree of complete and utter bullshit being promoted about Hillary that is wholly fictitious. His challenge is not a lack of space, but rather is a complete lack of any evidence.
Meanwhile Trump, who is openly racist, has babbled about the size of his dick during debates, lies about almost everything, and has openly invited the gun lobby to assassinate Hillary, is now endorsed by a refusal to discuss any of this, and any attempt to point it out within a comment will be purged. Additionally, his real challenge here is that this none of it is about “past sins”, but rather is about the case being made by Trump himself to demonstrate that he is not fit for office on an almost daily basis.
5. Trump is slowly being surrounded by increasingly good persons.
(NOTE: Right while I was typing this, I received a call from a man on the
East Coast whom I have only met twice, but who has Trump’s ear, who told me
the good things happening “behind the scenes,” in spite of some of the
unprincipled things he has said.) Can these good people impact Trump? We’ll
see. But that is better than the horrific, anti-scriptural persons
Where exactly did he ever get the idea that Trump listens to anybody. As for “good persons”, that can be accurately translated to mean “religious loons”. Most decent Republicans are stampeding towards the exit and declaring that they will not support Trump.
6. Trump is right on approximately 75% of the issues. (I wish it was
100%. It is not.) I am in hopes that those beginning to surround him can
help him connect the dots on more issues. Hillary is wrong on 100% of the
I’d be curious to see if he can possibly articulate just one issue that Trump is actually right about and explain exactly why. I guess what he means is that when it comes to racism, homophobia, misogyny and xenophobia he finds that his thinking very much aligns with Trump 75% of the time.
As for Hillary’s issues, she states that she wants fair taxes, racial justice, education, workers rights, making college debt free, disability rights, gun violence prevention, and much much more – this is all very positive, socially beneficial, and progressive. If he truly is opposed to all of this, then I can only conclude that Mr Garlow deserves the gold medal in the Olympic sport entitled “Obnoxious human beings”.
7. (This might be the most important, but few will understand its
significance.) Trump opposes globalism. Hillary thrives on it. Globalism
is far more than “geographical” or “eliminating national borders and
boundaries.” It is spiritual, that is, demonic at it’s core. Few – very
few – understand this. THIS is the main reason why Trump is hated. Do your
homework on this one. Think “principalities and powers.” Serious.
This is grade-1 gold-embossed superstitious bullshit, and it is also not the reason Trump is hated. That has far more to do with him being an openly racist thug.
8. Not voting is not an option, contrary to what the “purists” claim.
It is not my intention to begin a “Facebook war.” I know that some
radically disagree with this. My view: they have the right to be wrong.
(Lighten up. I am smiling. Let’s try to stop yelling at each other.
He is correct, there is way too much at stake to not vote. However this is not a reason to support or oppose Trump, it adds nothing either way.
9. Voting for a third party candidate is – regardless of what is said –
a complete “throw-away.” No third party candidate will be elected, or even
come remotely close to being elected. And yes – that matters to me. (And
the Libertarian ticket – Johnson & Weld – is nearly as bad on many issues as
Once again this is correct, and once again it is neither a reason to support or oppose Trump.
10. Trump has moved pro-life. Hillary is pro-baby killing, and prides
herself on that, and honoring the organization that actually traffics human
parts from dead babies whom they have killed. This is below anything we
have seen since Nazi Germany. The gall of Hillary. The Clintons have
evaded justice for decades and likely will continue to. But they will stand
before the Great White Throne. They will have to give account of their
support of the ripping to shreds of babies in the womb. (For the record,
those who vote for those who support the genocide of pre-borns will also
have to give an account.)
The Pro-baby killing quip is bullshit, but he is religious and so is a master of the art of BS. His claims regarding the trafficking of human parts displays an astonishing degree of ignorance and of course no claim like this is ever complete without tossing in the word “Nazi” to ensure that the emotional manipulation dial is set to max for his readers. If you are seriously buying any of this then know that you are being successfully played.
11. Trump wants to defend the nation (which is the purpose of
government). Hillary has a horrific track record as Secretary of State, and
due to hundreds of millions of dollars given to her and her husband’s
foundation, she is beholden to those who want us dead.
50 Republican national security experts have stated in an open letter that Trump “would be the most reckless president” in US history. These are the Republican subject matter experts and they are telling you that Mr Garlow’s assertion above is fundamentally wrong.
12. Hillary claims “everything is fine” in America. This defies every
single fact, but fact has never been an interest of Hillary’s. Trump
understands that it is 11:59pm on the “cultural clock.” America is near the
end – morally, economically and militarily. There are very clear
identifiable indicators – measurable – that America is no longer the world’s
leading power. That day is over. Hillary will hasten the final destruction.
Trump could either slow that down – or possibly, with God’s help – reverse
Hillary is making no such assertion at all, instead she has a vision to build upon the considerable social progress made by the Obama administration. As for the assertion that it is 11:59pm … er no, because the reality is that today the US, while still problematic, is far less violent, and far more moral than at any previous time. Trump only promises to move things backwards, Hillary has a vision to move forward.
13. Trump will address the massive government spending. Hillary will
expand it – above the existing unsustainable debt the US currently is
carrying (almost $20 trillion plus unfunded liabilities to Social Security,
Would this be the same Mr Trump that has successfully run his numerous businesses into bankruptcy multiple times, is that the Mr Trump he is possibly thinking of here?
14. Trump will expose – and I pray, bring down – “the systemic evil”
(crony, deceitful, misuse of capitalism) that reigns among many of the K
Street lobbyists. Hillary thrives because of them.
Trump has proposed a policy that will highly benefit the ultra wealthy such as himself, Hillary has proposed that both corporations and also wealthy individuals should pay their fair share of tax.
But let’s also remind ourselves that his recent economic speed was fact-checked and found to be utterly ridiculous.
15. Trump will stop the massive overreach of government. Hillary will
In what way exactly is building a wall with Mexico and deporting millions not massive overreach?
In what way exactly will Hillary extend the “Massive overreach of government”?
16. Freedoms come in “three’s.” Political freedom, economic freedom and
religious liberty coexist together. Take one away and the other two will
eventually disappear. One cannot exist without the other two. The genius
of America is that it had all three, until…. Trump totally grasps the
loss of religious liberty (I have heard him speak on it in person). He
fully knows that economic and political freedoms are evaporating. He will
reverse that. Hillary will decimate all three.
Clearly Mr Garlow does not understand what the term “Religious Liberty” actually means.
If his belief prevents him from getting married to an individual of the same gender, then he has the freedom to not do that, nobody will come knocking on his door demanding that he must. What he does not have any right to do is to impose his religious beliefs on others who do not hold the same belief, that is not “Religious Freedom”, instead that is Religious Dictatorship.
The evidence that Hillary would “decimate Political freedom, economic freedom and religious liberty” is exactly zero. In a rather stark contrast, it is Trump that represents a real threat to social liberty. In a Trump administration if you are a white right-wing Republican, you will be OK. If you are anything else, then you do need to seriously worry.
17. Every rational person knows the Supreme Court appointments are
paramount. Trump has listed 11 superb potential nominees. Hillary’s
appointments would snuff out the tiny vestige of the three freedoms that are
left (mentioned in the statement above).
It is indeed correct that the primary issue is all about who gets to sit on the supreme court. Whoever sits in the White House will be positioned to nominate individuals who will oversee either a socially progressive direction or a highly regressive one for the US. It is not about specific individuals such as Trump and Hillary, but is instead really focused on this. The evangelical support for Trump is being driven by this. Support for Trump is perceived to be really support for the nomination of a Republican seat within the supreme count and thus the ability to then roll the existing social progress back.
18. I make no excuse for wrong doing or wrongful, hurtful words from
either candidate. Candidly, I want King Jesus. He rules in my heart. And
yours too, I suspect. And I want him to rule here – now. But that day is
not fully manifested…yet. In the meantime, we prayerfully, carefully
navigate this challenging election season, with great concern that above
all, we honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in every arena of our lives,
including the voting booth. That is my hope. It is yours as well.
Translation: He would very much love to establish a theocratic dictatorship that enables him to impose his specific archaic and utterly irrational religiously inspired political beliefs upon everybody.
There are just three words that sum all of this up … Irrational, Immoral and Irrelevant.
I should perhaps not be critiquing the evangelical support for Trump, but instead step back and remain silent. The entire Trump train is a disaster from beginning to end, and will ultimately fail. If the right-wing evangelicals wish to tightly align themselves with him, then Trump will have successfully managed to decimate both the GOP and also the entire evangelical movement as well. In this socially progressive era, that can only ever be a good outcome for the vast majority.