Donald Trump and Sexual Assault: What Else Are Evangelical Voters Willing to Accept?

I don’t use the “reblog” feature on WordPress (the company that hosts this site) very often, but there are times when something is just too good and it must be shared. Read this. Think about it.


Christian in America

Last night’s presidential debate opened with the Republican candidate for president apologizing for boasting about sexual assault, while in the same breath claiming that it was just words, mere “locker room talk.” “I’m very embarrassed by it,” he admitted, “but it’s locker room talk.”

That’s all. Nothing to worry about. This is just how men talk when they are together having fun. People just say these things.

That’s what Trump would have us believe.

I have heard much “locker room talk” over the years and I have never, ever, heard someone even come close to bragging about sexual assault without being called out on it by any man with any self-respect whatsoever.

I am well aware that many men say these sorts of things. Many men commit sexual assault too. Indeed, one out of every five women in America has been the victim of rape or attempted rape, and half…

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They Call Us “Hypocrites” – They are Not Wrong


Gentle Reader,

My people.


What does the word even mean anymore?

Today, instead of pointing to those who are given over to the spreading of the Good News, the term appears to equate with jackassesHypocrites. Devastatingly so.

I’ll get to the point: If you are using David’s or Solomon’s adultery to excuse Donald Trump’s words and behavior, then you are wrong. You do not have a hermeneutical leg to stand on.

Does God forgive unreservedly all who ask in sincerity? Yes. Of course. No doubt.

This does NOT mean that there are no consequences.

Let’s look at David and the aftermath of his infamous affair with Bathsheba.

Consider the opening verses of Psalm 51:

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

– vs. 1-2 (NKJV)

Contrast them with:

‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'”

– 2 Samuel 12:10-12 (NKJV)

God did indeed forgive David.

But he lived out the rest of his days in strife.

Here’s a little Interpretation 101: Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean that God is okay with it. What the honesty of Scripture reveals is the honesty of God. He inspired the authors to present the sweeping story in all of its terribleness. The breadth and depth of human depravity is on full display, showing our inability to self-correct and achieve righteousness. Against this dark backdrop splashes the pure brilliance of the Savior.

Mr. Trump has lived a life devoid of respect for others, particularly women. Edit: My friend Andrew pointed out the danger of generalizations. We do not know every thought Mr. Trump has ever had, every action he’s ever taken. My comment is based only on how Mr. Trump has chosen to present himself to the public. He has at least appeared to take great delight in shocking and demeaning others. Can this be corrected? Can his heart be changed? Can the same Jesus who saved me save Him? Absolutely.

Yet there are consequences. Lifelong ones, even. For as “they” say, whoever “they” are, sins always find us out. Those who cry that Mrs. Clinton should be charged for her crimes would do well to seriously ponder their defense of Mr. Trump. If her actions follow her, then so do his. If her character is attested to in every action and comment, then so is his. There cannot, should not, be a double standard.

Here’s what we’re really getting down to: a lust for power. Church leaders who continue to uncritically back Mr. Trump, sling mud at Mrs. Clinton and engage in fear-mongering over Supreme Court justices have lost sight of what the mission truly is:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

Jesus does not say, “Be sure to vote for a candidate who might appoint justices who can possibly get through a Senate hearing so that Roe v. Wade will maybe be overturned.” He does not say, “Make sure that you do all that you can to ensure your political power and influence.”

None of that.

He speaks the above words to men and women who will immediately experience persecution for their obedience:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

– John 15:18-19 (NKJV)

Jesus does not say, “Yes, do be afraid. Do worry about what will happen if someone you don’t like is elected to the position of President. Do lament and sigh with great woe. Do wring your hands.”

What is that you want, you who claim the name of Christ? To be the loudest voice in a screaming world? To place a thin veneer of morality over society, expecting those who do not have the Spirit of the Living God within to behave as if they do? If you choose to be a single-issue voter or a person who casts a ballot out of fear, that’s all you can hope to achieve – and that is not an achievement at all.

Or do you want to cast yourself fully upon the sovereignty of God, knowing that you do not belong to this world? Knowing that you are a pilgrim? Knowing that you have a job to do, and that you cannot complete it through natural means? Knowing that you are called to fix your eyes upon Jesus, no matter how the storm rages or how the environment shifts or how hostile people become?

If at the end of the day you wish to vote for Mr. Trump, then do. If you find his proposed policies and philosophies of government sound, then check that box. But please stop believing that he is anymore “moral” a choice than the others. He is not. Stop believing that the GOP is the “party of God.” It is not.

As this incident unfolds, I am appalled by the attitude of those who call themselves evangelical Christians. Again, God can and does forgive. We should hope and pray that Mr. Trump has genuinely repented. At the same time, our response to this should not be the error of eisegesis, to read into the Bible conclusions we have already made, to assume that “because David did it,” all is well. Our response should not be unflinching defense of this or any other candidate. Our response should not be to deflect and say, “But look at what Clinton did!”

And certainly our response should not be, “All men talk like that.”

They categorically do not, and no woman is required to put up with those who do.

Either we care about character or we do not. Either we focus on the Gospel or we focus on clawing and scraping for societal domination. The choice is ours to make. And it is a choice. A binary. This road or that.

We cannot travel both.

We cannot hold onto the world with one hand and hold onto God with the other.

We must do better.


Addendum: I know that someone is going to cry “foul” because I plan to vote for Gary Johnson and he clearly holds some positions that are contrary to Scripture. I do not pretend that Mr. Johnson is a perfect candidate and I do not pretend to agree with him on every issue. I choose Mr. Johnson because I find him to be the sanest candidate in an insane election cycle, even after the “Aleppo gaffe” and the “tongue thing.” I choose Mr. Johnson because, as a for-the-most-part Libertarian, I do not believe that it is the job of government to do what the Church is meant to do. I choose Mr. Johnson because the two-party system is irrevocably broken. I choose Mr. Johnson because I refuse to “vote strategically,” for that method simply doesn’t work. For more on this topic, please see “Laws & Hearts.”

If you are interested in reading an excellent argument for Evan McMullin, please see this.

Laws & Hearts

Along the Way @ (1)

Gentle Reader,

I had a good response to my thoughts on voting Libertarian this year. In that, an important question was raised: How can I, a woman who claims to be pro-life, vote for a pro-choice candidate?

It’s simple: I think we’re going about this all wrong.

Gary Johnson is pro-choice in the sense that he doesn’t intend to attempt to change existing laws (which, if he were elected, he wouldn’t have the power to do, anyway). This means that he is not in favor of removing restrictions already in place nor is he in favor of repealing the Hyde Amendment (if I am wrong on that one, correct me). While he is personally opposed to abortion, he does not think he can impose his view on the country.

Does it make me sad that this is the state of affairs in my country? Yes. Does the “safe, legal and rare” line make me roll my eyes? Yes. Do I shake my head that Planned Parenthood managed to avoid abiding by building codes that other medical entities must adhere to? Yes. Do I believe that women have bought into lies when they believe “it’s just another medical procedure” and “it’s your body” and “it’s just a fetus, a blob of tissue”? Yes.

How can I vote for someone who doesn’t see this issue in exactly the same way?

I do it all the time when I participate in presidential elections, when I vote for the person who may send people to war. Am I no longer a pacifist because of that? I don’t think so. All I can do is find the person whose positions are closest to my own. Should I not vote? I’ve considered that, but cannot escape the sense that I have some duty to contribute (in a hopefully positive way) to the direction my country takes.

But I digress.

Here’s the thing: Outlawing abortion won’t change the fact that some women will have abortions.

I believe that the pro-life movement needs to stop with laws and move to hearts. Suppose it suddenly became legal to, I don’t know, punch people over 60 in the face. Suppose the country was fairly evenly divided on whether or not this was a good thing. Would it be a good use of time for opponents of punching older folks to draft legislation? To stage protests outside government buildings? To contribute to years of gridlock while people are being punched in the face?

No. They should go out and convince people that punching older folks is wrong.

People of the pro-life movement need to win over individuals. We need to spend time with scared, angry women. We need to be the support system that they don’t have. We need to throw our weight behind the reformation of Family Court in calling for the enforcement of existing laws. We need to foster and adopt if we are able (not every Christian person is; let’s not get legalistic). We need to cheer on single dads. Instead of wasting our time trying to take down Roe v. Wade, we need to work to change hearts. People need to know that we care about more than just the nine months a baby lives inside the womb. If we would do that, if we would live out a consistent ethic of life, then perhaps our words would cease to ring so very hollow.

God never told us to to dominate society through the force of law.

He told us to serve and to witness.

I know that there are a whole lot of people who are going to disagree with me, and that’s fine. I simply think we need to admit that what we’ve been doing isn’t working. Let it go and move on. Take a page from the conservative Mennonite playbook (they don’t vote but they’re very active in the pro-life movement). Try a different strategy.

Really, try a little repentance. We weep over abortion but say little about the grinding poverty that many single parentss struggle under. We cannot give with one hand and take away with the other. We, the Church, the Body of Christ, need to get busy actually living out the pretty words we spout so easily.

And maybe, just maybe, the laws will flow out of the hearts.

My journey to faith. (15)

Photo Credit: Hannah Morgan