Donald Trump Waves the Gay Flag

GRAND JUNCTION, CO - OCTOBER 18: Supporters hold up a gay pride flag for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on October 18, 2016 in Grand Junction Colorado. Trump is on his way to Las Vegas for the third and final presidential debate against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

By Michael Brown Published on November 1, 2016

On October 30, at a rally in Colorado, Donald Trump proudly held up a rainbow-colored, gay flag on which was written “LGBT’s for Trump.”

As Christian conservatives, what are we to make of this? Is it yet another proof that we must compromise our morals to vote for him? And will he betray us once elected?

Interestingly, major gay websites like the Advocate were not impressed with his gesture, declaring, “It’s an empty gesture from the Republican nominee, who opposes marriage equality and has a proudly homophobic running mate.”

The Washington Blade was more neutral, stating, “LGBT advocates continue to criticize Donald Trump for the anti-LGBT positions he’s laid over the course of his presidential campaign, but they can’t say he’s never waved a rainbow Pride flag.”

The Blade also quoted Chris Barron, “a gay conservative activist and founder of LGBT for Trump,” who called him “the most pro-LGBT Pres candidate ever nominated by either party.” (Spoken with true Trumper hyperbole!)

In contrast, the Advocate noted that “LGBT advocates have spurned Trump, saying that his gestures amount to little more than pandering — he opposes marriage equality and has wavered on transgender rights and the Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBT employment and housing discrimination. Besides, his running mate, Mike Pence, has a history of support for anti-LGBT measures, including a law during his time as Indiana’s governor that would allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people based on religious reasons.”

The Advocate also pointed out that “the Log Cabin Republicans [the primary gay Republican group] refused to endorse Trump” and an “earlier poll shows that almost three-quarters of LGBT voters will choose Clinton in the election.”

And it was the influential Human Rights Campaign (HRC) that labelled Trump a “Huge Bigot,” stating, “We have seen so much progress for the LGBTQ community under the leadership of President Barack Obama, and it all could be reversed by a Donald Trump presidency.” (For a scathing attack on Trump from the HRC dated August 25, 2016, see here.)

Overall, then, it would seem that most LGBT Americans will not be impressed by Trump’s gesture in Colorado, as he walked around the stage during the singing of “God Bless America” and proudly unfurled the rainbow flag.

But how should we react if we are conservative followers of Jesus who plan to vote for Trump? Doesn’t this mean we are forfeiting our integrity and selling our souls?

It all depends on our attitude and expectations: Why are we voting for Trump? (See here for my reasons for voting for him, with caveats.)

First, Trump’s courting of LGBT Americans is nothing new, as the gay websites noted as well. Most notably, Trump had Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, speak at the Republican National Convention, and Thiel did so as an out and proud gay man. So, if Trump’s proud display of a gay flag at one of his rallies surprises you, then you do not understand who you are voting for.

Second, what Trump was excited about was that LGBT Americans were supporting him, just as he would have been excited about Hispanic Americans or Black Americans or Jewish Americans supporting him, especially since all of these groups largely vote Democrat. So, it was not so much the gay flag he was celebrating as much as the support from LGBT Americans at his rally.

Third, Trump genuinely wants to be a friend of conservative Christians, preserving their liberties, and a friend of gay Americans, preserving their safety, and as far as I can tell, he has not yet come to grips with the inevitable conflicts that will arise between religious rights and gay rights. (Of course, all of us should fight for the safety and fair treatment of every human being, let alone every American.)

So, Trump says that he wants to know where immigrating Muslims stand in terms of gay issues, not wanting to allow radical, gay-hating terrorists to enter our country. But he fails to realize that some of the screening questions that might be asked (such as, “Do you believe gay marriage should be prohibited?” Or, “According to your religious beliefs, is homosexual practice wrong in God’s sight?”) would also exclude conservative Christians (and Jews) as well.

Of course, the difference between conservative Christian opposition to LGBT activism and radical Islamic opposition to LGBT activism is the difference between day and night, but again, according to everything I know, Trump has not yet worked through the potential conflicts that could arise when gay rights come in conflict with religious rights.

At the same time, I firmly believe that Trump wants to be the champion of religious liberties — he’s the first candidate who has challenged the Johnson Amendment — and that he is drawn to conservative Christians like Mike Pence and Ben Carson and the leaders on his Faith Advisory Council. But how, exactly, will he act when push comes to shove and gays feel their rights are being violated by Christian beliefs? That remains to be seen.

Interestingly, friends of mine who have worked with him have told me that he has spent time in poor cities in urban America, not simply because he’s courting the voters there but because he feels they have been trashed by the Democrats and he can do a better job for them.

So, he wants to be the champion of hurting Americans everywhere, and he can probably look at his gay friends, like Peter Thiel, his evangelical friends, like Mike Pence, and his black friends who hailed from poor neighborhoods, like Ben Carson, and say, “I’m here to fight for you!”

And again, I believe that he believes that he is the man to fight for all of us.

What, then, are we to do as conservative Christians?

First, if we are voting for Trump, we do so with our eyes wide open, not making him into a larger-than-life deliverer who will save the day and turn the tide. To do so is to give place to myth rather than reality and to set ourselves up for disappointment.

Second, we do our best to surround him with godly counsel, affirming the value of every human being and applauding Trump’s desire to be the president of all Americans, but urging him to prioritize religious freedoms, on which this country was built.

And third, we look beyond the elections to our long-term duty as Christian citizens, committed to loving our neighbors as ourselves while refusing to compromise our biblical convictions. And while our stances will be perceived as hateful by our LGBT neighbors, who are understandably hurt by our rejection of gay “marriage” and our claim that homosexual practice is sinful, we must demonstrate genuine love to them as family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends.

In short, the dilemma of Donald Trump is a macrocosm of the dilemma that all of us face, and the only way he will get things right is with the help of wise and godly believers.

So, I urge every Christian conservative who plans to vote for Donald Trump not to sell your soul to him as you vote, but rather to commit to pray for him, recognizing his many, serious flaws. And if he is elected, then pray all the more that he will be surrounded in the White House by men like Joseph and Daniel who will bring wise counsel to the Oval Office.

And lest you think this is impossible, I would reply that where we find ourselves today, one week before the elections, would have seemed far more impossible just 18 months ago.

Reality, these days, is far more surprising than fiction.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Gary

    No real Christian would ever touch a rainbow flag, the symbol of homosexuals, unless they were going to burn it. I voted for Trump for one reason: to try to keep Hellary from being potus. I fully understand that Trump might turn out to be a disaster. I am VERY bothered by Trump’s words of support for the lgbtq crowd. I understand that Trump is not a Christian, and I don’t expect him to behave like one. I don’t trust him. Whether Trump or Hellary is the next president, the US is headed for destruction, and neither one of them can fix it.

    • Daryl Kelly

      Why would anyone in their right (Christian) mind want their fingerprints either one? How bad does a candidate have to be before you say…..”I can`t vote for them!”? EVEN if you view the “other guy” as worse? Aren`t we suppose to have limits in what we`ll accept with our vote? I KNOW I do……his name is Trump! The “Church” better pray hard before throwing their support to someone just because he`s on “the red team”. God just may be watching to see if his people are going to put their trust in him or Trump and the SCOTUS.

      • Gary

        Either Hellary or Trump is going to be the next president. My voting for someone else, or not voting, would not change that. I chose to vote for Trump to try to keep Clinton from getting it. I understand the argument for voting for someone else. Its a good argument. But whoever is elected, they will not be able to fix the country.

        • Daryl Kelly

          So, YOUR “limit” is what then?…or do you have one?

          • Gary

            Trump said he would appoint Supreme Court judges as much like Scalia as he can find. He has said he believes marriage is heterosexual. If he had the same view as Hellary on those subjects, I would not have voted for him, even to keep Hellary out. Another reason I voted for Trump is because he has not spent his life in politics, while Hellary has. The Clintons have gotten rich in politics, and the only way you can do that is by being crooked. I would like to try to put an end to the Clinton’s political careers. Voting for Trump is the only way I could try to do that, other than praying that God would kill them.

            Since I don’t believe Trump can fix what is wrong with America, I don’t expect him to be able to fix it, even if he believed and supported the truth about everything, which I don’t think he does.

          • Daryl Kelly

            That`s a long “non-answer” answer. So, given Trump`s proven history of instability and “double mindedness” you`ll put your faith in him anyway?…..because after all, “non-politicians” are pure as the wind driven snow and CAN be trusted. (especially Trump)

          • Gary

            I don’t have any faith in him. I hope he would appoint judges who will go by the Constitution, but I have no proof that he will. And I never said non-politicians are pure, or can be trusted. But I KNOW the Clintons are CROOKED. They have proven that. Only God knows what Trump will do if elected. But I know what Hellary will do, and I don’t want to see her do it.

      • AndRebecca

        Christians who believe God is involved in the world vote. It is a small thing to do. If Christians today were as involved in politics as the Founders were, we wouldn’t have the problem of two grossly immoral people running for president. Gary Johnson is no good guy either. By not voting or doing anything politically, something given to us average citizens by Christians, we’ve left it up to the anti-Christians to rule the country. A bad move.

    • A word of comfort for you.

      Trump is no more pro-gay than he’s pro- Christian. He’s only pro-Trump. He’ll say anything to sell his snake oil to maintain the lifestyle of greed, dishonesty, lechery and malice. It’s what he is.

      So yes, your sons will be safe from him. Your pre-teen daughters… Not so much.

      This is the example your sons will follow. Like the Duggars, remember?

      You know his trial for allegedly raping a minor before witnesses was postponed till after the election, lest it unfairly affect his campaign? And his trial for criminal fraud likewise?

      Still, don’t be afraid that he won’t stick it to the gays, just he does to everyone else if there is the slightest advantage to be gained. There your mind can be at rest.

    • Clinton *is* a Christian though. A lifelong Methodist. They don’t believe in praying in public as the hypocrites do.

      So the wrong kind of Christian.

      • Gary

        If either Bill or Hellary Clinton is a Christian, then EVERYONE is a Christian. And that cannot be true. And you are just as much a Christian as the Clintons are.

      • Tower of Power

        Attending church does not make you a Christian. If she is a Christian, Beelzebub is a Christian.

      • Deplorable Rican ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Christians do not actively promote and celebrate the murder of the unborn…

  • Hunter Bonner

    Dr. Brown, the bottom line is regardless of what you pointed out regarding the LGBT movement’s attitudes towards Trump, Trump’s behavior alone disqualifies him. Why don’t conservative believers take a stand and en masse goto third party? Constitution Pary is the only party that represents the Constitution and the beliefs of Christians.

  • spadestick

    “Just this morning here in Central Texas, my man who sprays my house for critters told me that his wife, who works in San Angelo voted early. Then after she returned to work began thinking over her ballot and decided to return to make certain. When she arrived and asked to review her vote… Instead of Trump that she was certain she had voted for…her ballot had been changed to Clinton!

    So folks…it’s happening here in Texas.”

    If it is possible to go back and check your ballot, GO BACK AND CHECK IT WHILE TIME ALLOWS. This confirms what everyone already knows – they are going to steal this for Clinton, come HELL OR HIGH WATER.

    • jnail7

      If this were true, then the republicans and Trump would be all over it. In a world where pictures of insulting receipts and petty proselytizing fake money as tips are quickly uploaded and spread, this blanket hearsay is beyond believable.

      • spadestick

        They already are on it. You’re just asleep watching CNN shot up with some drug induced coma.

        • jnail7

          Baseless assumptions and evidenceless claims do little to inspire confidence in your being correct.

  • GinaRD

    Just one more demonstration of what many of us have said all along: The man has no principles. None. He won’t fight for you, only for himself.

  • Kate Snyder

    Speaking of what’s possible and impossible…

    I knew Donald Trump would win the primary when he came down the escalator at Trump Tower in June 2015. That was confirmed to me the following month at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, where he made a comment about a true war hero, Senator John McCain, and nothing happened – except his poll numbers went up. I thought he was the only one who could possibly beat Hillary Clinton. And I wasn’t the only one who knew that – Republicans knew it, too, because they came out in droves to vote for him.

    However, I strongly disagree that Trump will listen to wise counsel. That’s not possible in his present unconverted state, it’s not in his megalomaniac, bullying personality to do so. He will feign listening to others and then do whatever he wants, and that’s why he’s so dangerous.

    We don’t need more proof that voting for Donald Trump is a compromise of Christ’s gospel. The Religious Right has already sold its soul for partisan politics and, as a result, destroyed the light and salt witness of the church. How do I share the Good News with my unsaved neighbor, a contractor who was stiffed by Trump, if I have a Trump/Pence sign in my front yard? Do you think he’ll listen to me?

    What I think is impossible is to vote for Trump with eyes wide open – mathematically speaking, that’s an empty set.

    • Gary

      Who are you voting for?

      • Kate Snyder

        I stand with Russell Moore in this election cycle (although he said he’s writing-in a candidate and I’m not voting). But I also believe Gregory Boyd has a stronger argument than the Religious Right in general. I recommend listening to Moore’s recent address, “Can the Religious Right Be Saved?” (the video is available on his website) and reading Boyd’s book, “The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church.” Also read, “This Evangelical Leader Gave the Most Important Speech About the Religious Right in the Age of Trump” by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry.

  • Ken Cel

    I guess my first comment had to much truth in it to be published. No freedom on this channel!

    • Michael Gibney

      I stand with you, Bro.

  • Ken Cel

    The way most of you think JESUS should have never allowed a prostitute to wipe HIS feet with her tears and hair!

    • AlphaOmega

      Enjoy your whine.

    • ChiefRagamuffin

      I’m guessing she wasn’t championing her sin.

  • What are we to make of this? That he’s a con man, a snake oil salesman, of course.

    He told Evangelists that he would be, and I quote his exact words “very, very good to Christians”. And was hailed by the terminally gullible as being a “baby Christian” who had reformed ,- even though he himself didn’t claim that.

    In his latest TV sdvert in Hindi, not English, so only aired on channels aimed at the Indian-Ametican community, he said that he will be “very, very good to Hindus”. Apparently he’s now a “baby Hindu” too, Brahmin dot on his forehesd and everything.

    He’ll say whatever he needs to to sell you his product. What is his product? Nothing.

    BTW the flag? It’s upside down. Whoever used a sharpie on it wasn’t LGB, just faking it. Badly. It’s not even a good attempt at fakery, it insults the intelligence.

    However, you can fool some of the people all of the time, and the Prosperity Gospel followers in particular see Trump as an inspiration to them, and want to follow in his footsteps. At least muslims wait till the afterlife before despoiling virgins and grabbing them by… you know.

    And you’re voting for him? Mene mene tekel upharsin.

    • JustNTyme

      Amazing ignorance. What you know about Christianity would fit on a Post-It note.

  • AlphaOmega

    Squeaky wheels get the grease. Both parties have kowtowed to these reprobates, and look what a cesspool our culture is. Truly sickening. Vote for Trump, and hold your nose.

  • Joe Mamma

    This proves one thing and one thing only
    Nothing Trump says can be trusted.
    Trump will say whatever he has to say whenever he has to say it to appeal.

    • JustNTyme

      Fortunately the Hildebeest is a pillar of truth and integrity, just like her beloved husband.

      • Joe Mamma

        My intention was to vote for neither.
        That takes care of it from my end..

  • jimfern

    You say,”Of course, the difference between conservative Christian opposition to LGBT activism and radical Islamic opposition to LGBT activism is the difference between day and night.” You have evidently not heard the words of pastors Kevin Swanson, Steven Anderson, James Manning, Scott Lively, Curtis Knapp and Fred Phelps, just to name a few. All of them have advocated death for homosexuals, just as your Islamic extremists do. A bill was even introduced in California that not only mandated that everyone had to kill any gays they found, but also kill anyone who supported them. I have problems weighing this against the love of Christ.

    • Gary

      You don’t think Christ loved homosexuals and adulterers in the days of Moses?

      • jimfern

        Adulterers? Like Trump? He did cheat on all of his wives, and divorced two of them to trade up.

        • Gary

          Why do you have a problem with Trump’s adultery? Don’t you believe Jesus loves adulterers?

          • PB92

            Jesus said go and sin no more. Jesus loves everybody and he will send unrepentant sinners to hell.

          • Gary

            If jimfern is right, and Jesus won’t even allow the death penalty for people, would he actually put them in Hell, forever??

    • JustNTyme

      Speaking of death,
      one of your boys, a real charmer named Floyd Corkins, didn’t just talk about killing Christians, he attempted to murder Tony Perkins and his staff.

      So, looks like the real violence is on your side, not ours.

  • More proof Trump is not with us Christian Conservatives. He never was with us and never will support us. He is a lifelong Democrat and still is. He really did prove himself right back when he said that if he were to ever to run for president he would run as a Republican because “they’re stupid.” Boy, was he ever right.

  • Jim Walker

    Quote : “The Blade also quoted Chris Barron, “a gay conservative activist and founder of LGBT for Trump,” who called him “the most pro-LGBT Pres candidate ever nominated by either party.” (Spoken with true Trumper hyperbole!)”

    The most pro-LGBT President candidate is Hitlery. She has the majority vote from them. There are LGBT people who are not supporting same sex marriage and the crazy stuff. The waving of flag, which I felt Trump looks uncomfortable, like 3 secs, is a show of support to the LGBT people, not their agenda.

  • faithntrust

    Of course D Trump wants the LGBT votes. To think otherwise is absurd! A USA President represents all the people not a chosen few. Although the President protects their rights does not mean he will be change his [conservative/Christian] position.

  • Michael Gibney

    Hillary = War. More young men and women will die with her in power than Trump. Hillary = more unemployment, more austerity, more minimum wage, more corruption and fraud, GMO food, more Islam and more persecution against other religions and more of the same. This is highly irresponsible of Michael Brown just because he disagrees with gays. We get it, you disagree. Get over it, stop fighting with people and pray for them instead. There is more at stake for Christians to lose with Hillary in power than whine about Donald Trump’s support of gay people. You’re not seeing the bigger picture. There is a time and season for issues like this, but this IS NOT IT! Idiot.

  • TJ Bayus

    God loved everyone and so should we. This community along with many other diverse ones in America need saving also. Not only can we pray for those people but we can contribute to the society we live in, one guided by God and where people may see the err of their ways and see the light, confess their sins and come home.

    • Gary

      I don’t believe God saves homosexuals. Or their supporters.

      • Mo86

        What nonsense. Christ came into the world to save sinners.

        • Gary

          Most people wind up in Hell, according to the Bible. Rarely do lgbtq, or their supporters claim to have repented of their sins and become believers in Christ. And even when they make the claims, I don’t believe them.

          • Christian Cowboy

            We need to be speaking into the lives of the gay/transgender community with love and gentleness – not with hate and condemnation.

          • Gary

            Have at it. But if you don’t approve of them, they will hate you.

        • Glorious_Cause

          They need to repent. God can’t save the proud who celebrate their sin

          • Mo86

            Show me where I said they don’t have to repent? Show it to me.

      • Me

        God saves only former homosexuals – that is those who have done it but no longer do it. those are the ones who do get saved. it is the one who dies in a homosexual lifestyle that does not get saved. but yes. practicing unrepentant homosexuals and sin supporters do go to hell

      • TJ Bayus

        Are U without sin? No. Those without sin may cast the first stone.

        Just as the shepherd leaves his flock for the lost one. Even a lost one can return home.

        Pray for them. There is power in prayer.

        • Pablo Sanchez

          Amen! Well said!

        • Gary

          You have to be a sheep to be in the flock. Unsaved people are not sheep.

        • Markus

          The difference between homosexuals and all other sinners is that other sinners don’t try to force people to agree with them. they don’t throw pride parades for their sin. they don’t push their sin upon kids. they don’t fire people or lock them up or call people names like ”hater” and ”bigot” for disagreeing with them and they don’t attack the church simply because of its view of their sin while homosexuals on the other hand do do all of this. remember the lesbian mayor who told that sermons dealing with homosexuality must be handed over? when was the last time you had adulterers or another group of sinners want that? no other sinner has attacked the church they way homosexuals have

  • Mo86

    “As Christian conservatives, what are we to make of this?”

    Uh, that this man is neither a Christian nor conservative?

  • Pablo Sanchez

    The Bible says to love the sinner, but hate the sin.
    Pablo says, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  • Jim Walker

    Many of you are in a religious nut, a religious tunnel vision, that you can’t see the bigger picture of the world around you.

    Many of you wants someone like Ted, but please ask where did he get his funding from ? himself or special interest ? enough said.

    There are many many non-Christian leaders in the world that are/were doing a fantastic job to their countries.
    Most Democratic governments are secular. But many adopt conservative values.
    The best example to follow is a little country called Singapore.

  • Don Don

    Pandering mf.

  • Carol Duryea

    So do individuals living in America, who are not Evangelical Christians have the right of representation and protection under the law? Or does the Church only recognize the Church as US Citizens?

Inspiration
Greater Purpose
Paula White-Cain
More from The Stream
Connect with Us