Politics & Policy

In Defense of Pro-Trump Christians

(Reuters photo: Mike Segar)
Never Trumpers should avoid gratuitous hatred for their conservative confrères.

There are many good conservatives who are Never Trumpers and there are many good conservatives who will vote for Trump. Eight months ago I warned that conservatives must resist gratuitous hatred or they will destroy themselves more effectively than the Left ever could on its own.

I used the term “gratuitous hatred” because it is the term Jews and Judaism use to describe the reason for one of the greatest calamities of Jewish history, the destruction of the Second Temple and the second Jewish state. It wasn’t the Romans that Jewish tradition blames; it was the Jews themselves — for hating one another for no good reason.

When I read the Boston Globe column by Jeff Jacoby, a man whose work I have long respected, “How the Religious Right Embraced Donald Trump and Lost its Moral Authority,” gratuitous hatred came to mind. Just as there are pro-Trump people who expressed contempt for anti-Trump people from the very beginning — as an early anti-Trumper I can personally attest to this (even though I wrote repeatedly that if Trump won the nomination I would vote for him) — now some Never Trump people dismiss the decency and moral credibility of conservatives voting for Trump.

In light of this, I would like to respond to Jeff Jacoby and to the editorial against Trump published last week in the important evangelical journal, World.

Unlike the Jacoby piece, which contained attacks on the moral credibility and decency of pro-Trump Christians — “Religious conservatives shed their principles, and thereby dismantled their influence. . . . Buried under the post-election wreckage will be the moral credibility of the religious right. . . . [Their] “hypocrisy . . . is orders of magnitude worse than the customary flip-flopping and sail-trimming of a presidential campaign” — the World editorial went out of its way to be gracious to those Christians still voting for Trump. For example: “We also value those who still plan to vote for Trump so as to vote for the Supreme Court.”

But the private Trump comments on groping women pushed World to call for Trump to resign and to call on Christians to withdraw support for Trump.

World: “If a person is unfaithful to his spouse, he’s also likely to be unfaithful to his country.”

I have heard this argument about the alleged connection between marital infidelity and infidelity to one’s country my whole life. And it has been false my whole life — as well as throughout history. There is no connection between marital fidelity and fidelity to country. Were the unfaithful Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy also unfaithful to America?

Indeed, some of the world’s greatest leaders have been unfaithful to their wives. Some of the worst have been faithful.

I wish there were a connection. Choices for leaders would then be much simpler. The only married candidates we would vote for are those we believe had never been sexually unfaithful.

The editors of World and Jeff Jacoby must think God was pretty flawed in “voting” for King David. King David did much worse than privately boast about women allowing him to grope them. He had a man killed so that his adultery with the man’s wife would not be exposed. And while God was angry at, and punished, the king, God still maintained David as king and gave him a central role in Jewish history. If God shouldn’t be ashamed for supporting King David, Christians shouldn’t be ashamed for supporting Donald Trump, given the far more corrupt and destructive alternative.

The “unfaithful to his wife means he will be unfaithful to the country” argument does not do honor to those fine people who make the argument. Because telling the truth is also a divine command.

World: “To quote [Albert] Mohler [president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary], we should not ‘allow a national disgrace to become the Great Evangelical Embarrassment.’”

That means that World is for allowing another national disgrace — Hillary Clinton — to become president. Why isn’t that a “Great Evangelical Embarrassment”?

But, they will respond, they are not for Hillary Clinton, either.

This is the only argument of anti-Trump conservatives that drives me crazy — this vociferous denial that they are not for Hillary Clinton. Of course, they aren’t for Hillary Clinton intellectually, emotionally, or morally. But the voting booth does not assess intellect, emotions, or morals; it only assesses votes. So no matter how much a Republican loathes Hillary Clinton, in depriving Donald Trump of Republican votes anti-Trump Republicans are helping Hillary Clinton win the presidency.

In sum, a religious conservative can honorably support Donald Trump just as honorable Christians supported Josef Stalin against Adolf Hitler (and for the sake of those who enjoy mischaracterizing conservatives, I am, of course, not implying that Trump is Stalin or that Clinton is Hitler — only that if a Christian could ally himself with Stalin to defeat a more dangerous foe, a Christian could support Donald Trump for the same reason).

There is no defense for Donald Trump’s comments or alleged sexual misbehavior. But in terms of damage to America, there is no comparison between what he has said and allegedly done and what she has done and advocates for the future. Is acting on that realization un-Christian?

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com. © 2016 Creators.com

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager’s latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com. © 2018 Creators.com.

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