To Those Christians (and Others) Who Can’t Vote for Trump or Clinton

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, at the conclusion of the 71st annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

By Frank Turek Published on October 31, 2016

There’s a new bumper sticker that says, “I already hate our next president!”

Indeed, many folks can’t see enough good reasons to vote for either Trump or Clinton. While I don’t endorse candidates (because people then think you agree with everything the person says or does), I do endorse the ideas and policies that certain candidates advocate. With that in mind, there are actually several good reasons — maybe even thousands — to vote for or against one of them.

While both candidates have undeniable character issues, please consider that you are not voting for just Trump or Clinton when you vote for president (for those thinking third party, I’ll get to that in a minute). In fact, if it helps you, don’t even think about voting for that person — think about voting for an administration and the platform behind that person.

You’re Really Voting for an Administration

When you vote for President, you are literally voting for thousands of people that come along with the top of the ticket and the party platform that they will implement. This year the party platforms are virtually opposites of one another and will take this country in radically different directions (click here for a succinct summary of the platforms in their own words). So our country’s future is not so much tied up in one person, but in the ideas that an administration of thousands will implement. That’s how our government works.

Here is how Mariam Bell — who has worked at all levels of government for over thirty years — puts it in a recent column: “We vote FOR the 4,000+ political appointees who will run all the agencies, departments and programs. We vote FOR the 3,000+ appointments to boards and commissions the next president will make. We vote FOR all those 300+ who will be appointed to the judiciary, including the Supreme Court — whose rulings will impact our country for the next fifty years, not just four. The next president will appoint a cabinet and has already selected a vice president.”

Ms. Bell rings a bell — a liberty bell. Most of the liberty-stifling and dangerous policies that have been imposed on America over the past eight years were put in place by unelected political appointees in direct opposition to the will of the people.

This long list of political appointee offenses includes: the corrupting politicization of the IRS and the Justice Department; taxpayer funding of the abortion-and-baby-parts-selling Planned Parenthood; turning the military into a sexual social experiment, even to the point of paying for transgender surgery; federally imposed same-sex marriage; fining religious people for refusing to participate in same-sex ceremonies; forcing nuns to pay for contraception and abortion; forcing public schools to allow boys into girls showers and restrooms; lax border security; failure to enforce immigration laws; pay-to-play at the State Department by a political appointee now running for President (who is again under investigation by the FBI), etc.

Want more of that? Vote for Hillary Clinton’s administration who will continue the march of the liberal elites. Want a change? Vote for Donald Trump’s administration who will go in a more constitutional direction.

You’d rather issue a protest to both candidates by voting third party? I understand the sentiment, but sentiment can’t change policies or save lives. Only voting for an administration that actually has a chance to win can. As Dennis Prager points out, Christians in the U.S. agreed to align with Stalin to defeat Hitler in WWII. If we had refused to work with the Soviet Union and instead elected to work with an impotent third party (like, say, Lichtenstein), we wouldn’t have stopped Hitler. (Prager is not implying that Trump is Stalin, or that Clinton is Hitler — only that if Christians could ally themselves with Stalin to defeat a more dangerous foe, Christians could support Trump to defeat Clinton and her policies.)

“More Important Matters of the Law”

What guidance does Jesus give us about politics? Some say, “Jesus wasn’t involved in politics.”

Nonsense. He spent much of his time on, and saved his harshest condemnation for, the Pharisees who were religious and political leaders in Israel. (As members of the Sanhedrin, they were some of Israel’s most prominent politicians.) Jesus excoriated them for tithing their spices but “neglecting the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23). In a reference to straining out debris from drinking water, Jesus charged them with a “straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel!”

What are “the more important matters of the law” today?

The primary responsibility for government is to protect innocent people from harm. That’s Paul’s very sensible claim in Romans 13, echoed by the Founders (James Madison said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”). The second most important responsibility for government is to not do harm itself.

Practically, that means the government must first protect life because life is the most precious thing we have. Indeed, the right to life is the right to all other rights — if you don’t have life you don’t have anything. That’s why we have the military and police and laws to protect innocent people. It’s also why we should have laws to protect the unborn.

Second, the government must not hurt innocent people itself by advocating or promoting harmful policies (like the one’s I’ve listed above). Unfortunately, our government is not only neglecting its first responsibility to protect innocent life; it’s actually advocating the taking of innocent life by paying for it! It’s also stifling religious freedom by coercing religious people to pay for abortion and to participate in same-sex ceremonies. (We rightfully allow conscientious objectors to opt out of defending the country in war. Yet Mrs. Clinton has promised to use political will and the law to change our religious and moral beliefs. So she won’t allow conscientious objectors to opt of financing abortions or performing same sex ceremonies. Talk about straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!)

Voting by the Issues

If we are going to follow the teachings of Jesus and Paul — if life, justice, mercy and faithfulness are the most important matters of the law — then we should vote these issues above all others: life, national security, marriage, judges and religious freedom. Life and national security because they involve the protection of innocent people. Marriage because it involves the protection and well-being of children who deserve both a mom and a dad. Judges because they can do great justice or injustice on every issue. Religious freedom because innocent people and the gospel are harmed when faithfulness is outlawed.

In fact, without religious freedom our ability as Christians to accomplish our primary mission — to know God and to make him known — is severely hampered. If the government continues to move in the direction it’s been going, we soon won’t be able to preach the Gospel freely. If for no other reason, Christians have to be involved in politics to prevent the government from harming our ability to live how Jesus commanded us to live and to spread the good news we were put here to spread.

You say, “We can’t completely trust Trump to govern the right way.” You might be right. But the thousands in a Trump administration will certainly conserve more of our freedoms than the thousands in a Clinton administration who are promising to end them.

So you may already hate our next President no matter who that is. But one of them has virtually promised to lead an administration that will continue to fund the destruction of innocent human beings, open the borders, appoint liberal judges, and declare your religious beliefs and actions “hate.” There are thousands of reasons to cast an effectual vote against that — millions if you count those targeted for death.

 

This article expresses the opinion of the author alone and should not be understood to represent the opinion of any organization.

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  • spadestick

    #VotePlatformNotPerson

  • brothergc

    a non vote for trump IS a vote for Clinton , no other 2 canidates have a snowballs change of winning . I am no fan of Trump by no means so My vote is a vote for trump to keep Clinton out of office

  • Charles Burge

    Perhaps one of the reasons that third parties remain marginalized is because of prominent people continuously exhorting voters not to vote third party. In other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe if enough people rise up and vote for third parties then they will become more viable. Perhaps the reason that 2 parties have a duopoly on American politics is because their operatives have managed to squelch their competition by convincing voters that no viable alternatives exists. Perhaps, if enough voters remove their blinders, then we can bring viability to other parties, and in future races, provide the electorate with better choices. I, for one, still think that CHARACTER MATTERS and I will use my vote to support a candidate who has integrity.

    • Nels

      If character matters, Trump is a man of good character. This election boils down to a choice between the woman whose perversions are covered up by the media, and the man whose perversions are made up by the media.

      Either Trump or Clinton will win. Your choice.

      You will vote for Trump, or you will get Clinton.

  • Blakniss

    This argument is a bit convenient for purpose. You seeemd to object to Obama himself quite a bit during his presidency and would openly criticise him, not just his platform. Now it’s about the platform and not the individual?

    You’re being disingenuous Mr Turek. That and you’re using the scripture to politicise Jesus. His cristicism of the Pharisees was spiritual, not political. They saw it as political attacks because they had hard hearts. It’s why they killed him (in their minds). Jesus was NOT involved in politics – he was about his Father’s work building a heavenly Kingdom. Don’t use Jesus to serve political ends sir, and be careful of getting involved in ‘civilian affairs’.

    Really you have to decide if the constitution is your standard, or the Bible. But you can’t serve two masters.

    • Chip Crawford

      Jesus was current and on point to his time, assigning higher priorities and kingdom principles to them, not avoiding them. He sent the Holy Spirit when he left as another comforter. That’s where we are now. There is no orthodoxy in being out of step with the current ministry of Jesus in the Church today, which is through the Holy Spirit whom he sent. He cares about everything that concerns us, has a will and personal leading for each person in these matters now as then. There is no part of our life experience where we are on our own, with a “sorry, that’s secular” prayer return to sender from the thrown of grace. P.S. The Constitution was written by Bible believers, predicated upon scripture. We are not amiss when we consult our Bibles concerning our laws or our constitution to order our country.

      • Blakniss

        Fair enough Chip. But my point is that you can’t, like ‘radical’ Muslims, expect people who have not committed themselves to Christ to live as if they have.

        What we are in effect demanding is a theocracy. God’s goal isn’t to rule over some nation state nor should it be a Christian’s goal to make a nation state God’s Kingdom.

        If someone is going to surrender to God, as we know, it cannot be done by legislation, law or force.

        The arguments here are troubling because they posit that a worldly government somehow has God’s desires at heart. Judah trusted in Assyria for deliverance and the rest is history.

        • Chip Crawford

          Well, blessed is a nation whose God is the Lord. We certainly would not be blessed in a nation whose laws prohibit the advance of the Gospel or deny Christians the rights they are guaranteed by their nation’s Constitution. Our nation has gotten away from the Lord; thus its current woes. Your last paragraph is most confusing to me. I don’t see that the article states that a world government automatically has God’s desires at heart. Then you example Judah, God’s people, trusting in Assyria for deliverance. That’s, of course, not right to do. We can have a Godly nation empowered by his principles and trust in God alone for deliverance, God as source, and actually more viably. I agree that looking to a president like Israel wanting a king is off. We should trust God regardless of the leadership and obey his word to lift them up in prayer, because they need it.

          • Blakniss

            I agree that a nation can be godly in some respects (fairness, low crime, justice, caring for the poor etc) – but I disagree that the USA was ever anything close to a godly nation at any time in its history.

            It may have seemed godly to white ‘christian’ men, but to the enslaved Africans and their descendants as well as the Native Americans and their descendants, I’d day it was, and in some respects still is, hell on earth (see Dakota pipeline).

            It’s this delusion of America’s ‘godly’ tradition that is also profoundly disturbing. The USA was founded on tyranny and genocide. It’s laughable to think it was ever godly. I often see Turek somehow conflate the USA and the Kingdom of God as if they were one and the same. They aren’t and never will be.

            The implication (re ‘God’s desires at heart’) is that because the republican platform seems to be pro-life (among other things) that it is more in line with godly principles. It seems as if certain touch points on the right wing platform understandably appeal to Christians and therefore make it appear as if it is somehow ‘pro-God’. It’s a political and secular entity that never has represented God.

            Our primary role as disciples isn’t to vote – that’s the role of American citizens (so vote – whatever your faith or no-faith). Our role is to preach the word in season and out of season. If we look to men like Daniel, Joseph and Nehemiah we have examples of how God built his Kingdom in the past.

            I’m in full agreement with your last statement btw.

          • Chip Crawford

            We disagree.

  • Sandra

    Mhmm, which is why I’m voting for Trump! I really don’t like when people don’t come right out and mention the person for whom they’re voting. I don’t agree with every single issue that Trump has. It doesn’t matter to me whether people believe I agree with everything or just one or two things. I’m voting for Trump and that’s that. Think what you want. All that matters to me is what God thinks. And what I know in my heart.

  • JON CHO

    The left and “NeverTrump” movement alike just want to discourage you from going out to VOTE. They just want Conservatives to repeat 2008/2012 defeats by staying home. Go out and vote!! This administration cannot continue for another 8 years!

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