As the Trump meltdown continues, his supporters have turned to desperate tactics to try to save his campaign. It’s not an enviable task. I would compare it to being aboard a cruise ship that is simultaneously on fire and sinking, and attempting to stop people from boarding lifeboats, because hey, it’s still better here than in the ocean.
Since that awful video surfaced last Friday, and as further allegations of misconduct by Trump have surfaced, both GOP leaders and voters have been heading for the lifeboats in droves. Those who would prefer to go down with the Trump ship seem to have gravitated towards a particular argument that I would like to address here. That is, the argument of which Supreme Court justices the next president will nominate. With the death of Antonin Scalia, we know that the next President will nominate at least one justice, and given the 4-4 decisions that have occurred since Scalia’s death, it will be a critical swing vote. Given the age and health of the other justices, there may be more to follow. The argument of the Trump faithful is that principled Christians must elect Trump, no matter how awful he is, lest the Supreme Court be vaulted into unending liberal tyranny. I don’t buy it. Here is why:
Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. In the 43 years since, Republicans have been in the White House for 24 years (4 of Nixon/Ford, 8 of Reagan, 4 of Bush I, 8 of Bush II). Those Republican presidents have appointed a total of 8 justices to the Supreme Court while Democrats have appointed 4. Republican appointees have held a majority of the court for most of that time span. Yet we still have the scourge of abortion, plus the breakdown of marriage and family and countless other instances of liberal legislation from the bench. Just as one example, the Obergefell decision that legalized same-sex marriage was written by Anthony Kennedy, a nominee of Ronald Reagan. Over and over again we have seen Republican Presidents put “conservative” justices on the Court. And the Court has only become more liberal and more activist in its decisions, stepping well outside of how the founders of the nation intended the judiciary to function. I have a hard time believing that conservative Supreme Court justices will fix any of the ills in this country, given that the formula has been failing for decades. No matter who appoints justices, they are prone to be influenced by societal and media pressure. Our leaders (Supreme Court justices included) tend to be a reflection of our society, and our society is increasingly against Christian values.
Even if one is willing to accept the premise that conservative justices would be able to stem the tide of secularism and immorality in America, who says Trump would nominate those kind of justices? Sure, he has said he would do that, but let’s not forget who we’re talking about. Trump has obvious issues with telling the truth, he doesn’t keep his promises (ask any of his wives), and he has a relationship with the GOP that is shaky at best. Though Trump’s defeat is all but assured at this point, if by some miracle he wins, what is to stop him from appointing liberal justices? This would be far more consistent with the views that Trump held all throughout his life until he decided he wanted to run for President as a Republican. Furthermore, given his often adversarial relationship with Republican leaders and his out-of-control ego, and especially in light of the defections in the party in recent days, it is not unreasonable to think that he would appoint liberal justices just to spite his enemies.
Trump has not proven himself worthy of trust. In fact, not only is he untrustworthy, but he is a sexual deviant who prides himself in his wickedness. The man is an enemy of God’s truth and God’s good design for human flourishing, not a representative of it.
And that is what bothers me the most about all of this. So many people that I love, admire, and respect have turned blind eyes and deaf ears to Trump’s blatant and unchecked sinfulness. There is a future after November 8th, and in that future, many Christian men are going to have to explain how their version of Christian values led them to try to hand the presidency to a man who would just as soon seduce their wives and molest their daughters. That’s what is at stake here. It’s bigger than the election or the Supreme Court. This is about integrity, and many have thrown their integrity out the window for the sake of expediency.
This is what idolatry does. I have written here before how American Christians have a problem with political idolatry. Many have so closely wedded their faith and their conservative politics that they cannot distinguish between the two. They want so badly to have leaders that are “on their side”, that will pass the right kind of laws, appoint the right kind of people, and “take back America” (whatever that is supposed to mean), that they will compromise. They will descend to levels of rhetoric that has no place among believers (see Ephesians 4:29). They will neglect God’s call for mercy upon the needy (See Matthew 25:31-40; James 1:27). And they will allow an arrogant, unrepentant, dishonest sexual deviant like Trump to come within inches of the presidency. People on the outside notice. They call it hypocrisy, not only because that is the buzzword of the day to describe Christians, but because it is actually hypocrisy. Most people these days have little knowledge of the Bible, but they know enough to know that someone like Trump is in violation of much of what it says. They have a hard time reconciling this with the swarms of “evangelicals” (a word now largely devoid of meaning) kissing Trump’s feet and making excuses for his bad behavior.
As I wrote back in July, my first citizenship is in the kingdom of God. If I want to be a light in a lost and dying world, I will not dishonor God by supporting a man whose only god is himself. I have a wife and a sister. I may someday by the grace of God have daughters. I don’t ever want to have to tell any of them that I supported the political aspirations of a man who would harm and violate them given the opportunity. I do not ever want to be witnessing to someone and be forced to explain how I believe the Bible is true, but that it is fine to support leaders who blatantly disregard it. I would rather lose an election and keep my integrity than win an election with my integrity destroyed. I cannot and will not compromise. No matter how many Supreme Court seats are at stake. ♦
Note: As I have consistently opposed Trump, many have accused me of in turn supporting Hillary Clinton. That is not true, as Hillary holds to many positions that I also find contrary to biblical beliefs. I have not spent time repudiating Hillary because I live in Wyoming, and deal with very few of her supporters. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, though I have at various times been both. I am a registered member of the Constitution Party and am supporting Darrell Castle for the presidency.