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but I say: why abortion’s not the only political issue that should matter to followers of Jesus

This week I re-posted an interview that Philip Yancey did that garnered national attention, in which he said, “I am staggered that so many conservative or evangelical Christians would see a man who is a bully, who made his money by casinos, who has had several wives and several affairs, that they would somehow paint him as a hero, as someone that we could stand behind…”

Inevitably, my post earned me a lot of comments — some supportive, and lots pushing back against it.

The most common reason that people said they would continue to support Donald Trump, in spite of the warnings issued by Christian leaders like  Philip Yancey and Max Lucado, was because ostensibly, Trump is anti-abortion.

Conservative Christians continue to insist that they will vote for Trump in spite of his affairs and multiple marriages, in spite of his disparaging comments about immigrants,  in spite of him calling women pigs and dogs, in spite of him saying that women breastfeeding — or going to the bathroom — is “disgusting,” in spite of him calling Megyn Kelly a “bimbo”, and in spite of him giving an interview in which he said, “I’m very pro-choice.”

And yet, in spite of all of this, people persist in supporting Trump because they believe that Trump’s Republican platform is more likely to save unborn lives.

Those comments bothered me.  No, let me put it in present tense.  They bother me.

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For the past two days, I’ve tried to figure out why.  I have thought about it, prayed about it and literally lost sleep over it.

This morning I was lying in bed awake at 4 a.m., once again thinking about what it means to follow Jesus in the current political climate, and I finally figured out why it bothers me when Christians vote for candidates simply because they’re running on an anti-abortion platform.

Let’s begin by acknowledging that we need to uncouple the abortion rates from Democratic or Republican platforms.  During Barack Obama’s presidency, abortion rates went down — yes, down — by 13%.  So if we are really serious about saving lives, we’ll not just care about whether our candidate is red or blue, an elephant or a donkey, but whether unborn lives are saved or not.  If this truly is our metric, we’ll look at the candidate that does the most to provide birth control and improve economic, housing, education and job opportunities so that abortion no longer feels like a necessary option to women.

And then, let’s consider the words of Jesus.

These are the words that came to me early this morning, lying awake in bed in the pre-dawn dark.  These are the words that made me realize how narrow-minded, short-sighted and dangerous it is to think about abortion as the only issue that matters to us when we’re casting a vote this November.

In Matthew 5, the same chapter in which Jesus laid out the Beatitudes where he calls his followers blessed for being the poor-in-spirit people who are mourners, meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart and persecuted peace-makers, Jesus said these crucial words:

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

Here’s how Eugene Peterson translates it in The Message:

 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.”

“But I say…”

“But I’m telling you…”

The words, message and life of Jesus are the reasons why it is overly-simplistic, short-sighted and, I believe, wrong, to only vote for a candidate based on his or her abortion stance.

Not only is political party not associated with the actual abortion rates, but also because Jesus raised the bar for what his followers are to stand for.

Is it wrong to take a life?

Yes, absolutely, yes.

But along with murder, Jesus says it is equally wrong to hate and to say derrogatory words to others.

Is it wrong to commit adultery?

Yes, absolutely, yes.

But along with adultery, Jesus says it is equally wrong to lust after women in your heart.

Jesus raises the bar for his followers by saying that it’s not only wrong to commit crimes and sins with your body.  It’s equally — or, arguably, more —  deplorable and worthy of punishment to commit sins with your mouth, and in your heart.

This election, if you’re trying to follow in the steps of Jesus into an election booth, think about these words, and commit to believing them in spite of the political rhetoric, in spite of the Moral Majority’s commonly-held beliefs, in spite of political campaigns’ efforts to garner the evangelical Christian vote.

“But I say….”

And realize that abortion, the taking of a life, is NOT the only thing that should matter to a follower of Jesus.

Let Divine Love’s words echo in your head, and in your heart: “You have heard it said…But I say….”

If abortion is the only issue you care about, if it’s the only political issue you vote for or against, if you make it the single litmus test by which you evaluate a presidential candidate, you’re listening to, “You have heard it said….”

What does it mean to listen to what Jesus adds to our standard of actions and attitudes?

What does it mean to listen to, “But I say….”

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing!

48 thoughts on “but I say: why abortion’s not the only political issue that should matter to followers of Jesus

  1. Sarah, it’s not just about abortion.

    We only have two choices. If God is sovereign (and He is) we know He has allowed or caused these two candidates to be our only choices. Scripture says: “The King’s heart is in the hands of the Lord and, like a river, He turns it whichever way He wants it to go.” If you line the two candidates side by side and go down the list of offenses, not only does Mrs. Clinton have to answer personally, but she must answer as a paid governmental leader–for well over thirty years. She has had a duty to the American people all of her life to legislate, rule, and make decisions for the good of this nation and its people. What legacy does she have to show for that trust? Only an advance toward what she set her sights on early in her college days…the destruction of America. And she’s made good progress toward her goal and will complete the job if elected.

    Yes, Donald Trump’s personal life and moral actions are questionable, but I’m not casting a vote for him as my pastor or Bible teacher. He did not purposefully abandon our men in Benghazi. He does not have a string of dead bodies clinging and casting shadows over his name. He has not used a position in government to benefit his coffers, nor has he deliberately revealed confidential secret information to those enemies of America. And yes, he’s got a big mouth. He’s not a trained liar/politician like his competitor.

    You can tuck your pious robes around you and turn your nose up at Donald Trump, but the fact is if enough of you react in the manner you prescribe, you will consequentially hand the presidency of this once godly nation into the hands of those who seek to destroy us. And yes, God may use Hillary Clinton to bring judgment on this nation, because if you went down the church attendants chart probably 75 percent of the congregation has divorced…which means they are living in adultery according to Matthew. And many of them have had abortions. A troop of them have problems with their brothers and sisters in Christ. I wouldn’t even dare to guess how many gossip. But whatever happened to grace? And new life? And transformation? Can you say with certainty that God will not or cannot use Trump to right this nation? Or does Max Lucado or Phillip Yancey have special standing with God–a hot line to the Almighty, or are they looking beyond and thinking Jesus is going to rapture us all out of here and they won’t have to deal with the consequences of another Clinton presidency? The early church couldn’t avoid persecution and neither will the current church.

    But if Ms. Clinton succeeds the conversations we have over Face Book will be banned thanks to her predecessor and our freedom to speak the truth of God’s Word will be barred. Within the next four years I dare say you’ll see pastors and writers and speakers imprisoned for speaking truth. Are you ready to stand firm in light of those consequences? Our right to bear arms will be halted and we will see conditions much like France and England who are overrun with people who refuse to assimilate. Anarchy will continue to flourish until a police state will form or we will dissolve into civil war. And our military will continued to be reduced to third world status. We’ve seen the kind of treaties Ms. Clinton and her co-horts negotiate. Do you think that will change?

    So no, Sarah, it’s not all about abortion with those of us who are believers. It’s about losing the nation we love. The nation our sons and fathers have fought and died defending…rather than throwing up pious hands and giving it away.

    1. I have a few responses to your comments, DiAnne.
      1) Since her early days, Clinton has advocated for children and for women’s rights. Not quite sure that adds up to “destroying America.”
      2) I’m not sure that saying that America was “once Godly” and needs to return to that is an accurate view of our history. The founding fathers had affairs, contracted STDs, owned (and fathered children by) slaves. Then, in the name of Manifest Destiny, Americans killed and stole from Native Americans. Then continued to hold slaves. Then for decades perpetuated segregation. So returning to that? Um……not so godly. Not anything like Jesus, actually.
      3) You can say that Lucado and Yancey don’t have a special standing with God — but neither do you (or I, for that matter.) What we can say is that both of them are wise, gentle, Godly men who have a track record of sharing wisdom and embodying Christ-likeness, and I think it’s worth heeding voices like theirs. They have nothing to gain if Clinton wins.
      4) I’m not sure where you’re getting the Facebook conversations paranoia from, but it just isn’t true or grounded in any reality.
      5) When did Jesus tell you to bear arms? He actually told Peter to put the sword AWAY.
      6) When did Jesus tell us to build bigger armies?
      7) Do you really think a man who calls women pigs and dogs, who says breastfeeding is “disgusting”, who has discriminated against minorities and called immigrants “rapists” is really God’s pick? If so, your God is not anything like the God I know.

      Your comments demonstrate a twisted view of what it means to follow Jesus — who was (and admonished his followers to be) people who are meek, gentle, peace-makers, respectful of others’ dignity, and taking the side of those who society has marginalized.

      Sarah

      1. Regarding 7) Do YOU believe that Hillary is blameless in all of her husband’s misdeeds? Have you noticed how Hillary claims every sexual assault victim has the right to be believed with the exception of the women who claim to be victims of Bill’s assaults and even rape? Do Hillary’s accomplishments for women and children seem genuine when she is so radically pro abortion? If she really cared about women and children, don’t you think she could come up with better solutions than abortion? Can you in any way justify her late term POST VIABLE abortion stance? Have you seen the videos of planned parenthood committing their atrocities? Can you really stand behind someone who wants to find those very same practices with your tax dollars? Have you heard about how Hillary knowingly lied to the American public and to the faces of the parents who grieved for their sons killed in Benghazi? Can you conceive of why she found it expedient to lie about what had happened? Have you seen the video exchange between FBI director Comey and Trey Gowdy wherein director comey enumerates the many lies Hillary told regarding her private e-mail server? Do you really believe it was for convenience that she used said server? Do you really think that someone who was “extremely careless” with our country’s secret information is really fit to be commander in chief? Have you heard that under libera policies, the poor in our society are increasing in numbers? Can you fathom that a country already struggling with joblessness and sluggish growth is willing to welcome untold numbers of immigrants from our southern borders via “open borders”? In what way will the poor citizens of this country benefit from the ranks of poor growing exponentially via such policies? Is that compassion? Is that responsible? Within context is that racist? Are gun rights really so unimportant because christians are not to be people of violence? Shouldn’t bearing arms as a constitutional right be enough? If the second Ammendment isn’t important to you then is religious liberty valued? Would you expect a politician like Hillary to respect one and not the other? Or conversely, to disrespect one but not the other? Did you hear Hillary when she spoke on women’s right to abort saying “religious beliefs have to be changed”? Did you hear her laugh when she spoke of Gaddafi “we came, we saw, he died!”? Maybe you are right that being pro-life isn’t an all encompassing argument to vote for trump. However I find any effort to depreciate the character behind and compassion in the Christian stance against abortion as wholly offensive. One because the implication of going after evangelicals who vote their conscience on that issue implies that somehow you know better. It also to me implies that you support the other candidate. If that is the case, I fee the case can be made that Hillary is not kind and compassionate but manipulative, lying, and power hungry in addition to being woefully callous adhering to murderous policy towards the most helpless and vulnerable of all people. Herein lies the compassion paradox of the libera left. To me it is not a paradox at all- it is about power. I will respect any democrat any left leaning Christian who votes for Hillary while at the same time in the strongest of terms and loudest of voices decrying the evil hypocrisy of abortion policy! When someone argues against a pro-life party vote while defending the “virtues” of a pro-abortion party all possible respect of the argument is lost. There is no one who can convince me that it is out of virtue and a Christ likeness that liberals serve the poor when they so clearly despise the weakest of all.

        1. I didn’t mention Hillary Clinton once, so it seems you have wasted your time ranting about your issues with her. The post is solely about Christians who think they have to vote for a candidate on one issue. If you have something to say about that, then say it. Otherwise, please take your political views elsewhere. That’s not what the post is about, and not what my blog is for.

          1. Was I mistake ? It seemed your post to me was very political indeed. In fact you have been happy to specifically argue against one candidate throughout your responses to people. You want to rail against him and remain silent about her. According to you, his words matter and hers don’t. His deeds matter and hers don’t. His heart matters and hers doesn’t. You said you thought it was short sighted to vote on one issue alone. I laid the groundwork to show that there are a host of reasons why the conservative platform offers more than just one “litmus test” that you seem so eager to eliminate from the equation. You Sought to indict a lot of fellow believers for being one issue voters but will not engage why there might be other reasons that make them more than one issue voters who find the other candidate (Hillary) unacceptable on moral and policy grounds. If you didn’t want a political discussion don’t write a political post. You cannot ask a question of your readers and in turn be unwilling to engage their questions. If the trumps words, deeds, and heart are fair game, so are Hillary’s. So don’t tell me that because you didn’t name Hillary, her character cannot be inspected. Otherwise the virtue of your postulations come into question simply because you are unwilling to engage the full conversation. You called the judgement of other believers into question and will not allow those believers to call into question the full compass of issues they oppose. That’s disingenuous. You cannot attempt to make a point and refuse to look at the argument through the eyes of those you called out.

          2. Not sure where you’re coming up with “her character cannot be inspected.” Of course it can, but that wasn’t what this post was about. The reason why I think it’s worth talking about Trump is because he’s getting the majority of the evangelical vote. And voting for someone like him IN THE NAME OF JESUS and as a means of ADHERING TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, solely because he says he’s anti-abortion, is, at best, suspect in my opinion. If the majority of evangelicals were voting for a different candidate b/c of their faith, I’d have more to say about that candidate. If you want to write about Clinton, go for it, but this is my site, where I get to write about what’s important to me. In my opinion, evangelicals voting for Trump is worth talking about. Also, comment sections often devolve, so I’m not going to respond to any more of your comments. Best of luck to you, Breann.

  2. Let me say that, on behalf of many conservative Christians, Donald Trump is not being held as a hero. Rather, he is seen as someone who is more likely than his opponent to uphold the Constitution and Bill of Rights, less likely to appoint federal judges who will infringe on those rights or promote abortion, more likely to improve economic conditions for the poor, and less likely to abuse his office for personal gain. All of these are things which are directly or indirectly tied to Biblical precepts or commands. Trump is not an ideal candidate for evangelicals by any stretch of the imagination; rather, he is a deeply flawed man who seems to have made some improvements over time in his positions. He is not a known quality as a politician; his opponent is and that knowledge points to a deeply dishonest and corrupt politician interested in power and personal gain.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I would say a few things in response.

      1) Where did Jesus ever ask his followers to uphold the Constitution/Bill of Rights?
      2) How do you explain the fact that the abortion rate has dropped 13% under a Democratic president?
      3) How, in the name of God, do you put a man in office who treats with distain people who are other races, ethnicities and genders than him?
      4) If you look up NPR’s fact-check of the last debate and look at all the lies/mistruths Trump said in only 90 minutes, how do you put someone in office who is so unreliable?
      5) Trump has said multiple times that he’s pro-choice (and changed his mind on lots of other issues as well). What proof or track-record do you have that he will keep his campaign promises once in office?

      All of that seems quite opposite to the person Jesus was, and to what Jesus asked his followers to be about.

  3. Thank you, Sarah. I’ve been baffled by the number of conservative Christians who keep saying that no matter how great his faults, God can use Trump, but that same logic is never applied to Clinton. No candidate is appointed by God, and as both Christians and Americans, it is unconscionable to dismiss the faults of said candidates, particularly faults you e described, such as Trump’s constant and regular comments that are demeaning to women, minorities, those with disabilities, people of other countries and religions, and even our own military members. He incites violence at his events and I can’t see how his exclusionary rhetoric reflects the law or spirit of Christ. I also very much reject the idea that any political party has cornered the market on what it means to be a Christian, and I find the suggestion that Christians are supposed to vote one way and one way only pretty offensive.

  4. Hello Sarah the brave! Thank you for writing your heart, in spite of most likely opposition (in my experience anyway). Keep on holding that candle high. Know you are surrounded by a host of women who hold you in prayers. Take heart!

    Patty

  5. I have found this election perhaps the most divisive of any. I appreciate your viewpoint without necessarily agreeing with everything. One thing this election has shown for me is my need to be active in my community to make it a better and more humane community. I have begun to take seriously that community involvement with others of diverse viewpoints may be a better investment of my desire for societal good than my being so emotionally invested in political activity. I hope this makes sense to some readers whether they agree or disagree with you. This election has made me yearn for community imvovement in a whole new way.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Dan! Yes, I agree with you — the kind of people we are in our everyday lives matters just as much (or more!) than the vote we cast every few years.

      Sarah

  6. I will not vote for Trump, I will vote against Clinton. Both are equally immoral, so for me it comes down to the Hyde amendment. Without it, it is not only possible, but probable, that I would have been forced to financially support murdering my nephew, who is adopted. Where is my choice? I will NEVER vote for someone who intends to repeal the Hyde amendment, regardless of how holier-than-me you believe that makes you. (And yes, I’m very aware that I financially support war and other sinful government affairs.)

  7. Thank you SO much for your great understanding of this political issue amongst Believer’s! Just today, I was asked, by a dear Christian friend of mine, to explain or to help her understand why I am against candidate Trump and I explained, as best I could, the angst I feel and could not have worded it any more simply and truthfully as you have in this post. Thank you, Sarah, THANK YOU so much!

  8. Thanks for pointing out the inadequacy of the abortion “litmus test.” Even on that, I don’t trust Trump. He’s an opportunist; he’s pro-life right now, but only because it’s to his advantage. It should be clear by now that he is not a man of principle–he would drop the pro-life stance in a heartbeat if it became a liability to him and his ambitions. But you’re right, there are other issues Christians should be concerned about. A huge one right now is the race upheaval in our country. Most whites have the same knee-jerk reaction to police shootings or protests like BLM or Colin Kaepernick, while black reactions are 180 degrees opposite. We whites (especially Christians) need to educate ourselves on the real history of race in America, build relationships with people of different ethnic/cultural backgrounds, and commit to concrete steps toward reconciliation. Trump is clueless on this–big on law and order, giving more power to police, etc. His approach would exacerbate the problem, because he is a racist. While I don’t approve of Hillary overall, she demonstrated in the debate an awareness of the race problem and acknowledged the important truth that we all carry some degree of implicit bias within us. Besides the fact that I live in an inconsequential, heavily Democratic western state (Oregon) with few electoral votes, I don’t feel compelled to vote for either major candidate, because I don’t feel either is worthy of my support in terms of either policy or character. I would say, though, that the country will likely be safer and more stable and secure, both internally and internationally, with Clinton at the helm.

  9. Sarah, thank you as always for your thoughtful writing and for expressing what many of us are thinking but unable to state so eloquently. We miss you here in OR.

  10. Sarah, I agree with your post. What sources have you used to glean the truth about Ms. Clinton? What about Benghazi and their Foundation and the emails? Has all of that been so twisted that there is absolutely no truth in any of the allegations? I have read the fact checkers, but how do you know which to trust? It seems everything I read is trying to sway the person one way or another. Nothing seems unbiased.

    1. This post didn’t mention Clinton once, so why would I have used “sources”?

      And yes, as human beings we are all flawed and — to lesser and greater extents — biased. My point was that I think evangelicals who vote simply on whether a candidate claims to be “pro-life” or “pro-choice” is being overly simplistic, and missing the view of the world Jesus called us to have.

      Sarah

  11. Sarah, thanks for writing this. I’ve had the same discomfort about the single-issue voting thing for some time. As I’ve been saying in conversations over the past few months, “what good to God is being pro-life if you care more about the unborn than the already-born?”
    Clearly not everyone seems to think this through, as made evident by a few of the comments here. I have seen the way we’ve co-opted our government’s rules to mean they are God’s rules, which as you know is a completely distorted way of looking at what it is to be a follower of Jesus. I don’t know what it will take to pry from my brothers and sisters the strange idea that to be Christian is to vote Republican, despite who that party has given us as an option, and moreover, give up the bizarre double-standard that holds so little against Trump precisely because he has no experience in politics and so much against Clinton for being a career politician.
    To be clear, I don’t consider myself a fit to either party for exactly the reason you bring up: how do I align my positions with Christ’s? That’s not giving me a great option in November, but putting the keys in the hands of a demagogue isn’t worth the gamble.

  12. Well written. I very much appreciate the reminder. I would venture to state that neither candidate exemplifies virtues taught by Jesus. Trump is bombastic, unqualified and reactionary. Clinton is untrustworthy and , in my opinion, deceitful. I really do not think we will find a candidate ( at this point) that does exemplify Christ…because if we did, he/She would be crucified…by us.

    1. Eric, yes — I agree with you. And, Jesus called his followers to BE Jesus to the world around them. So in waiting for a Messiah, or in putting all our hopes for social change on the shoulders of an imperfect politician, is really missing the mark.

      Sarah

  13. Sarah, I love you for your love for people and I respect your stand for civility on this matter. I totally agree with you that abortion is not the only political issue that should matter to followers of Jesus. However, for many of us, it is the most important issue. And I’ll tell you why.

    It’s not only babies who die in the most horrific way, punished for their crime of simply being conceived. It’s also moms and dads many of whom suffer regret and remorse for the rest of their lives for terminating the life of their child.

    I know this for a fact having worked in the crisis pregnancy center movement for 20 years. Thousands upon thousands of women and men have participated in support groups for post-abortion trauma. Many thousands more have banded together in groups like Silent No More to proclaim to the world that they regret their decision to abort. And for the thousands who speak out, there are millions who regret their decision in silence, who acted in haste without accurate information. Until the ultrasound machine actually proved the humanity of the fetus, most believed the “blob of tissue” argument.

    Many people are still conflicted on when life actually begins. However, throughout history the commonly-held belief among medical professionals was that it began at conception. The last few decades that definition has been altered to include implantation of the fertilized in the uterus (thus allowing for birth control measures like the pill and the morning-after pill).

    You said the following in your essay: “During Barack Obama’s presidency, abortion rates went down — yes, down — by 13%.” However what you don’t mention is that surgical abortions are down because chemical abortions are up. Also, this figure does not consider the fact that several populous states (including California and New Jersey) no longer report abortions to the government.

    My concern is for people, Sarah, same as you. We both love people and want to serve them. Yet, over the past 40-50 years, I’ve seen the “sanctity of human life” philosophy gradually being replaced by the “quality of human life.” There’s a new judgmental attitude that old people, sick people, disabled people have no real quality of life. Are they expendable, too, even as unwanted babies are expendable? And who’s next? Poor people, displaced people?

    As we drift farther and farther away from Jesus’ command to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves, we will witness more and more death and destruction, and no politician on earth will be able to make things better.

    As for who to vote for, that’s a conundrum. But I know who I can NOT vote for. No rancor, no hatred. Just prayerful
    consideration based on my belief that God is the only rightful giver and taker of life. Thank you for letting me air my thoughts.

  14. Sarah,
    I understand your revulsion for things Trump has said; but I will hold my nose and vote for him because I’ve been around since the Clinton’s were in Arkansas and there has been nothing but one scandal after another in which they seem to wear teflon. There are 49 dead bodies within their circle – have you ever had that many friends or business associates die? There was Whitewater, Travel gate, FBI files found in her Rose Law Firm, selling the Lincoln bedroom in the WH to donors, selling Uranium to Putin in which the Clinton Foundation made $145 million dollars; more foreign pay-for-play through the Clinton Foundation; the constant lying about her emails, her health and Benghazi. This is a short list, but her reputation as one who hates the Secret Service, our military and law enforcement is pretty well documented out there.

    You replied to Jeff that Jesus never told us to uphold the Constitution, etc. We have a sovereign country with a rule of law that this administration ignores over and over again. We follow Jesus personally, He did not come to overturn the government or create anarchy or even change the rule of law back then – His message was about the Kingdom of God. So of course there’s nothing about following the Constitution in the Bible. It’s all we have that separates us from a totalitarian dictatorship. We have borders that need to be protected. Yes, allow immigration but VET them before you allow them in. Most legal immigrants in the U.S. went through the process. The FBI and DHS both have admitted that ISIS has used Obama’s open border policy to infiltrate our country and Hillary wants to open all our borders. A vote for Hillary is also a vote for her to continue to line her pockets with countries who do not respect women or basic human rights. She defended a child rapist and got him off then laughed about it. She tried to destroy the women her husband molested and raped – do we really want Bill back in the WH? She has too much baggage to be our next President. Will Trump be better? I don’t know, but at least he’s not Hillary.

    1. Dee — There are certainly many people who agree with you. Thanks for taking the time to express your opinion.

      Sarah

  15. I agree with the premise you put forward that being pro-life should not be a qualification for earning my vote. I’m curious – Do you think that being pro-choice could be a disqualification for earning your vote if, as you stated, taking a life is wrong?

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Ryan. I would add to the conversation that there are more ways of taking lives than abortions. Death penalty, gun rights and military stance also should play a roll in a Jesus follower’s view of what it means to be pro-life, and what candidate is most likely to protect and provide for life….both the born and the un-born. I don’t think a candidate’s political stance on abortion is the only thing that matters in this decision — which is the whole point of the article — not only because it’s not only un-born lives that matter, but also because the political affiliation of the president in office is not directly correlated with abortion rates. It’s more nuanced than pro-life/pro-abortion political platforms for me.

      Sarah

  16. Good day, Sarah! I agree with your premise. It is for your stated reasons, in additon to the abortion and other issues that I will be casting my first write-in vote in my life for Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz whom I supported during the primary. People have been arguing over whom to vote for: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for the general. I think those who have argued against Clinton or Trump from shallow or single positions should consider if they voted or voted wisely during the primary season this year. I submit that we had one of the best principaled candidates that has proven not only to defend Biblical Christianity but the Constitution for more than 20 years: Ted Cruz. I cannot cast my vote in good, Godly conscience for a socialist who supports abortion like Hillary nor a populous who denigrates men and women who do not support or agree with him, has been immoral and has flip flopped on many issues in recent weeks and months like Donald. Thank you for your insightful writings and I look forward to your comment(s).

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinion, Michael. I agree that it’s too late to go back to the primaries and pick more sensible candidates! What do you make of the fact that Cruz actually endorsed Trump?

      Sarah

  17. Hi, Sarah,

    If the point is that abortion isn’t the only issue that matters to Christians, then that’s fairly simple to agree with. However, it simply isn’t the case that looking at a woman lustfully is equivalent to full-on adultery or that hating someone is equivalent to murder in every sense. Lust is a species of adultery, and hatred is a species of murder, but the actual physical acts in each case are worse. The abortionist/serial killer and the man who has a brief moment of hatred for an annoying neighbor have both broken the sixth commandment, but the actual killer is far worse. If he’s not, Scripture would prescribe capital punishment for brief and fleeting hateful thoughts.

    So while you could make the case that voting for a hateful but anti-abortion candidate and voting for a pro-abortion candidate both fall under the commandment against murder, it simply isn’t the case that we have moral equivalence.

    It’s also important to note how one’s position on abortion actually functions in a vote. For me, it is not the case that the anti-abortion candidate automatically gets my vote. However, it is the case that the pro-abortion candidate does not get my vote. And that is because I simply cannot trust the moral judgment of any candidate who cannot see how right it is to defend the most defenseless members of society. And frankly, with the Democrat in this cycle, I believe my judgment is more than vindicated. We have a candidate in Secretary Clinton who is as hawkishly pro-war as any neoconservative Republican, whose lean toward interventionism has proved disastrous in places like Syria and Benghazi, whose policies and stances have resulted in as many children being bombed as any Republican’s. We have a candidate who has systematically lied about the whole e-mail mess even if the FBI does not call it illegal. We have a candidate who is anything but pro-women and pro-children, having smeared those who were abused by her husband. We have a candidate from a party that will stop at nothing to institutionalize the sexual revolution, no matter who it scars and no how many religious freedoms have to be trampled.

    Should the church be afraid of losing its rights? In the long run, no. But its one thing to know that pressure is coming and another to vote for it. This isn’t an apology for Trump. He is a vile man and I won’t be voting for him. To me the choice is between Caligula and Nero. Both equally bad, but you don’t vote for Nero to stop Caligula. And I’m not sure how loving it is to fellow Christians to vote for one candidate simply because she is more measured and less apt to create a constitutional crisis when every sign is that she won’t be afraid to use the full might of the federal government at her disposal to silence her critics and make life difficult for those Christians who simply can’t sign on to the current sexual agenda.

    I can’t vote for Trump because he is insane, and I can’t vote for Clinton because I believe such would be an act of hate toward my fellow evangelicals, whether or not said act is intended or not.

  18. In total agreement. I have fact checked so many of the claims against Hilary and the Republicans have so twisted the facts and made so many false claims against her for so many years seeking to poison the well against her that naive and gullible people believe the slander and libel without questioning the source. They believe it because they want to believe it. I find it horrifying when Christians choose to believe falsehoods and hate someone so deeply and believe and promote one conspiracy after the other, ignoring all the good someone has done out of sheer spite. The other crazy thing I don’t understand is the bewildering denial of climate change despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And if they do admit to climate change they won’t admit that humans could be responsible. Somehow they think that it is unChristian

  19. Sarah, thank you for your comment and question. From what I know about Mr. Cruz and his own statements, he has taken a position that this is a binary choice: in his view, either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton will become the nation’s choice in November. According to his comments on the matter, he believes Mrs. Clinton would fulfill her intentions (ie. socialistic) that she has stated during her run for President. Given that, he believes that Mr. Trump would be the better alternative — I would suppose, the lesser of two “evils” (my words, not his). In addition and with respect to conscience, he stated early on that he would support the Republican nominee for President and he has recently stated that he intends to keep his word at the ballot box. Though I understand his position and respect it, I have not personally arrived at the same position nor have I ever promised to support the Republican nominee no matter who it might have been. I have promised to support Ted Cruz to my inner circle of people I know and that is what I intend to do. In fact, my respect for Mr. Cruz has only grown: this was a hard decision given the circumstances during the Republican primary and he could have broken his word; instead, he chose to keep it — potentially risking any future following from his supporters who were among the #NeverTrump crowd. Thanks again and please keep up the great writings! Blessings!

  20. I love your writing and thoughtful views.
    You may want to google this written by pastor Jonathan Martin- “on trump and the judgment of God. ”
    I have hope for Christianity because of young spiritual leaders like both of you.
    Jeanne

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