I live in a land-locked state so whenever I visit an ocean side city, even on a quick business trip, I make it a point to spend at least a few minutes by myself near the water. And every time I sit by the ocean I have two thoughts.
The first is how the experience of sitting by the ocean is so enormous it fills all my senses. The sea and the sky permeate my entire field of vision, all I hear are the waves and the wind, I feel the breeze on my skin, taste the salt in the air; I don’t need to do anything else but sit there. I don’t check my phone, or worry, or plan. The sea is so encompassing and seemingly infinite it’s enough to just sit in its presence. And that makes me think how much more infinite God is, and how astounding it would be to sit in His presence and just “be”.
“For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” —Psalm 95:3-5
The second thing I think about is history. I look out on an endless expanse of water and think how it stretches, unbroken, from the shore in front of me to every continent on the planet, and how it has done so since mankind began. This very water I’m looking at was here thousands of years ago when Abraham took his son Isaac up on Mount Moriah at God’s command. It was here when the Roman empire fell in the 5th century, and 1,100 years after that when Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church.
And I think about the history of our country. The blood of American soldiers was spilled in this very water during the American Revolution, and 80 years later during the Civil War, and 80 years after that on the beaches of Normandy.
This water was here when George Washington was sworn in as our first president, and it will be here in January of 2017 when we swear in our next. And no matter who our next president is, the God who created and sustains the universe will still be in charge. Although half of the citizens of the United States stand to be bitterly disappointed with the winner of the upcoming election (including me), God will still be God, the church will remain the church, and our duties as Christians will remain unchanged.
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
Although I have picked my side in this election, I believe there is room for honest people of faith on both sides of the political aisle to make their case. The biggest sin a Christian can commit in this election cycle is to sacrifice the integrity of their faith on the altar of politics. If we’re fomenting anger over this fleeting and temporary political season, if we’re making politics a test of friendship, we’re doing something wrong.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” —John 13:35
What’s been particularly interesting about this political season is how it’s forced Christians to question their politics. The prototypical allegiance between the political right and Christians has been challenged like never before. I’ve had to spend a good amount of time processing the issues (political and otherwise) to figure out where my vote should go. And beyond that, because of the contentiousness of the current election cycle, I’ve wrestled with whether I should make a public statement about how I will vote. This is why I choose to start this article by putting this carnival of an election in perspective.
In the end, because I’ve had a number of people ask me what I plan to do, I’ve decided to share my decision and my thought process in the hope it might help someone else arrive at a decision that’s right for them. If you’re politically sensitive or prone to offense, this would be a great time for you to consider this article done, close this web page, and go have an awesome day. If you’re a Christian who is honestly unsure what to do in this next election, please read on knowing my opinions are shared here for you to weigh for yourself. Either way just know that if you disagree with me we can still be friends.
Who Gets My Vote?
Bottom line: I am voting against HRC for religious reasons, and I am voting for DJT for political reasons. Let me unpack those reasons.
I believe life is sacred, family is sacred, sexuality is sacred, and religious freedom is paramount to our success as a country. Based on HRC’s public track record and her comments before and during this election season I’m convinced she would do great harm in all four of these areas.
These areas all come together in her comments during the last presidential debate where she affirmed her support for late term abortions, despite the medical fact that it’s quicker and safer for the mother to deliver the baby via C-section. (Just ask Dr. Lawrence K. Koning or former Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop.)
HRC has made no bones about the fact that she believes the “reproductive rights” of a woman are more important than a baby’s right to life. I completely disagree with her on this issue. More than that, HRC is on record saying she thinks Christians need to change their religious views to support abortion, and that too many women are “denied” abortions.
“I would like to see Planned Parenthood even get more funding.”
“Deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”
“The unborn person doesn’t have Constitutional rights.”
—HRC on abortion
As a Christian I give these areas (life, family, sexuality and religious freedom) much more importance and weight than the other political considerations at stake. After all, what good does free college tuition do if millions of babies are murdered while you’re getting that degree? And even worse, why does HRC believe organizations like Planned Parenthood should be funded by taxpayer dollars? It’s one thing to want to promote abortions, it’s a whole other level of immorality to force the citizens of this country to pay for it. Foundational issues like these, issues with eternal ramifications, make the immature and offensive comments from DJT irrelevant.
I’m a classical conservative who wants a country that provides freedom and opportunity for every one of its citizens, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. Based on their respective track records and public positions its clear DJT’s vision is much more inline with this idea of unbounded freedom and opportunity than is HRC’s.
I believe the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen, and the America we live in today offers her citizens less freedom than at any time in history. Our country’s current economic policies are not just asinine, they are immoral. The people they hurt the most are the poor and middle class. It’s indisputable that we are less safe and more racially divided as a country than we were eight years ago. Healthcare is more expensive, and under the current administration the growth rate of growth of the US economy is the slowest it’s been in 70 years. Just like the quarterback gets the blame when the whole team loses, the losses we’ve seen in these areas belong to President Obama. HRC has pledged to stay the course and DJT has pledged to turn these things around. Can we depend on DJT to do what he says? I don’t know. That remains to be seen. But what we can depend on is HRC doing what she says. No thanks.
All things being equal, I am, by nature, going to trust a successful businessman over a successful politician any day. This is because the goal of a businessman is financial success; for the business, for himself, for his employees and his shareholders. The goal of a politician, on the other hand, is re-election.
A growing economy helps poor and middle class families first by creating jobs. So if we want to grow our economy and add jobs why not hire someone who has created tens of thousands of jobs himself? If we want someone who knows how to build financial success for our country, why not hire someone who turned $1 million into a $10 billion business?
DJT may say immature things that make me cringe, but I have to be honest; I like that he doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not. When he says something I feel like he’s shooting me straight. On the other hand, I see HRC as a lifelong politician—smooth, polished, and politically correct—who is plagued by hidden secrets, lies, and scandals.
One final issue that weighed into my decision is the fact that, beyond the two tragically flawed candidates themselves, we’re looking at hundreds (if not thousands) of people who will be put into places of influence and leadership because of this election, from the Supreme Court on down. I believe DJT will appoint people who are much more aligned with our constitution, religious freedom, and economic sanity than will HRC.
That’s why I voted for Trump today, thanks to early voting in Tennessee. And on November 9th I intend to praise Jesus no matter who wins because He will still be in control, the church will be the church, I will still be saved, and my duties as a Christian will remain unchanged. And I know that, in the end, Love wins.