Religious scorn should not flow from our voting choices.
In the 18th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells a story about two men who go up to the temple to pray.
One is a Pharisee, known for his strict piety: he fasts twice a week, tithes faithfully, and doesn’t cheat on his wife.
The other, a tax collector, is a train wreck who has sold out his people by collaborating with their Roman overlords. He’s the worst person in their world.
“God,” the Pharisee prays, “I thank You that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, even like this tax collector.”
This parable came to mind recently, inspired in part by some of the response to the surprising popularity of Donald Trump among evangelical Christians.
In recent decades, white evangelicals—and yes, that’s a statistically identifiable voting bloc and I’m using it as such in this article—have been among the most consistent supporters of the Republican Party. Most of the time, they’ve been so-called “values voters” who demanded that their leaders be people of faith, committed to traditional moral principles, and the kind of politicians who stand up for the 10 Commandments.
Yet evangelicals turned out in droves to vote for Trump, who has certainly broken a few of those commandments. As Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, news broke that hundreds of evangelical leaders planned to meet with him—a sign that many of those leaders may ultimately support Trump .
This support has grown despite Trump’s personal lifestyle choices and unclear views on social issues, which are normally of great concern to evangelicals.
Candidate Trump admits never asking for forgiveness, doesn’t repent when he ...