Politics & Policy

Religious Conservatives and Donald Trump — the Cheapest Date in Politics?

(Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
It’s pitiful that they’ll throw away their votes so easily.

Hillary Clinton’s nomination speech at the Democratic National Convention put a capstone on perhaps the worst political week for religious conservatives in living memory. It began a week ago at Republican convention, where one featured speaker mocked the “fake culture wars” and the thrice-married GOP nominee didn’t even deign to mention abortion and confined his support of religious liberty to the right of pastors to politic from the pulpit — hardly the most burning issue of our time.

The hits kept coming as the Libertarian party’s Gary Johnson foreclosed the possibility of a meaningful protest vote by breaking with decades of libertarian orthodoxy to declare that religious freedom “as a category” is a “black hole.” His extended remarks are, in fact, mind-boggling:

I mean under the guise of religious freedom, anybody can do anything. Back to Mormonism. Why shouldn’t somebody be able to shoot somebody else because their freedom of religion says that God has spoken to them and that they can shoot somebody dead?

There’s a word for this — idiotic. That’s the kind of reasoning one hears from freshman campus radicals, not from two-term former governors, and it betrays not only a complete history of centuries of religious-liberty jurisprudence but also a hostility to people of faith that’s simply breathtaking.

So, no, Gary Johnson isn’t a viable choice, religious conservatives.

RELATED: For Traditionalists, a Dark Night of the Soul

Then, of course, came the Democratic Convention and Hillary Clinton. While Hillary certainly made a play for voters who are terrified of Donald Trump, her message to religious conservatives was clear — the culture war continues. She supports taxpayer-funded abortion on demand and will doubtless double down on the LGBT social revolution. The liberty and autonomy of churches, religious schools, and religious individuals is in grave peril.

In other words, when it comes to the culture war, the Democrats’ message is “charge!” The Republican message is “retreat!” And the Libertarian nominee quite simply seems to hate Christians.

#share#It’s time to consider the long game. A vote for Hillary is lunacy. She’ll take Christians’ votes, use them to build a mandate, and then use that mandate to undermine religious liberty and advance a culture of death. A vote for Trump is a declaration that people of faith are the cheapest date in the history of American politics.

A political movement built through decades of argument that faith, family, and respect for life are the cornerstones of our culture can’t throw away its political capital on the altar of a man who — best case — simply doesn’t care and — worst case — will wreck the Christian political witness by tying their support to a dangerous, race-baiting pathological liar.

RELATED: The American Church Needs to Get Serious about Religious Liberty, Now

There is an alternative. Christians can preserve their witness — and maintain their political capital — by voting only for those candidates who demonstrate sincere commitment to life and religious liberty. That means fighting to preserve conservative congressional majorities and using their platforms to elevate politicians of sincere conviction to prepare for the next campaign season. The message should be clear — if you’re not with us, you’re not winning.

We know the Democrats will continue to undermine people of faith regardless of conservative Christian votes. If even a man like Donald Trump can count on Evangelicals, then the GOP will feel free to pursue power without regard to constitutional principle, content in the knowledge that its faithful Christian puppies will eagerly follow — wagging their tails at even the thought of crumbs from the table.

The social-justice Left has such a stranglehold on the Democratic party that for decades the Democrats have staked out extreme positions on abortion and enforced absolute discipline on judicial picks. The Democratic culture warriors simply do not consent to compromise, much less surrender.

#related#On the right, meanwhile, you will actually see religious conservatives act indignant at people of faith who balk at supporting a man who declares that Planned Parenthood does “wonderful things” and attacked dissenters as “so-called conservatives.” They’re indignant at the notion that Christians would turn away from a man who demonstrates aggressive, persistent ignorance on economic and foreign policy because there’s a chance — just a chance — that he might nominate a decent Supreme Court justice. They’re indignant that faithful Christians who’ve long called for integrity in politics won’t support a man who’s demonstrated faithlessness to his family and indifference to the truth.

Honestly, it’s pitiful. Is the Christian conservative movement so weak and so insecure that it will throw away its vote so easily? A vote for Trump is a declaration of irrelevance, a declaration that Christian support is unconditional so long as one can argue that the other side is marginally worse. The cultural Left shows no such weakness. Not coincidentally, it is winning. The Christian Right would do well to learn from its opponents’ resolve.

Most Popular


The Kaepernick Saga Drags On . . . off the Field

Colin Kaepernick’s workout for NFL teams in Atlanta this weekend did not run smoothly. The league announced an invitation to scouts from every team to watch Kaepernick work out and demonstrate that he was still ready to play. (As noted last week, the workout is oddly timed; the NFL season is just a bit past its ... Read More

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More

Israel’s New Way of War

Commuters on Route 4, driving toward the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod on November 12, were shocked by an explosion, a rocket impact next to a major intersection. Had it fallen on a car or one of the many trucks plying the route, there would have been deaths, and the road would have been closed. Instead, police ... Read More
White House

Decide Trump’s Fate at the Ballot Box

If Donald Trump’s presidency is going to end before 2025, it should end at the ballot box. A lot of what has been revealed by Trump’s desire to see Ukraine investigate Joe and Hunter Biden -- or at least publicly announce an investigation -- merely confirms character traits, instincts, and habits that have ... Read More

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More