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Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election Refusing to Play the Game Profaning the Idol of Presidential Politics

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Author and professor will vote down-ballot, but will not vote for a candidate for president.

I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump this November, but it’s not that both candidates are equally unworthy. According to my analysis, Clinton is worthy of at least consideration. Trump is a non-starter. (You can read more about the differing opinions of each in this series on The Exchange.)

But I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Additionally, I won’t vote for any of the third-party candidates, either. This year, I won’t be playing the game.

My conviction is that not voting can be a responsible way to actively profane the idol that presidential politics have become this campaign season.

Idolatry has been a major theme of recent conversations about evangelical support for Trump. Many of Trump’s evangelical supporters throw their weight behind the candidate in hopes that he will deliver on promises of provision, protection, and power in the face of a supposedly apocalyptic tide of political, cultural, and legal change.

Seeming to take Trump’s campaign slogan - “Make America Great Again!” - at face value, they believe that he’ll restore their fortunes, protect them from foreign powers and domestic threats to religious freedom, and give them influence over key policy issues.

These enticements are so tempting—and many evangelicals are so desperate—that some are willing to abandon consistency, integrity, and truth in their pursuit. In the past two weeks, for example, many evangelical leaders have accepted, condoned, or normalized misogyny, harassment, and sexual assault. This sudden, thorough, and public compromise of long-held values for the sake of provision, protection, and power puts at risk any credibility we might have on sexual ...

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