Why Christian Conservatives Should Seriously Consider #NeverTrump

By George Yancey Published on June 5, 2016

As is clear by now, conservative Christians have a very troubling choice come November. They have a man who has proven himself to be a liar, manipulator and bully. They have a woman who supports none of their values. They can go with a third party candidate who is unlikely to win. Or they can refuse to vote in the presidential election. Some have argued that Christians must engage in the first choice to minimize the damage. I disagree.

Let me be clear. I am speaking to those Christians who are not fooled by the con job Trump used to get the nomination. Those troubled by his willingness to engage in war crimes. Those pained by his insulting of the handicapped, Hispanics and women. Those disappointed in his lack of commitment to their conservative principles. I could go on but you know what I mean. You are not a Trump supporter in the least. Perhaps you were backing Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Walker, Bush or some other conservative you could trust. Now you are stuck with Trump. But you are being pressured to vote for him because the alternative is Clinton and that is unthinkable.

The major argument I hear is about the Supreme Court. Trump might appoint a good justice; Clinton certainly will not. I understand this concern. Too often the liberal justices act more like legislators than judges attempting to apply the Constitution. On an issue I care greatly about — religious freedom — I have absolutely no confidence in liberal justices or in any appointment Clinton will make. I acknowledge your concern is real.

But there is another perspective you should consider. If Trump is elected president and it is seen that conservative Christians were an important part of sending him into office, then we will carry all of the baggage of his presidency. The immorality, bragging, manipulation and lying will be tied to conservative Christians everywhere. As I have pointed out before, we are already being labeled as Trump supporters in spite of the evidence. We will not be able to fight off this stigma if there is real evidence that conservative Christians helped elect him.

In the short term conservative Christians may get a Supreme Court justice who helps protect religious freedom, and that is good. But in the long run the image of Christians will suffer a terrible blow, right when the forces of Christianophobia have been massing their armies. In many ways those who vote for Trump are exchanging a short-term political victory for a long-term cultural loss. Trump’s flirtation with racism, sexism and authoritarianism reinforce the worst of the anti-Christian stereotypes. His election will help cement cultural beliefs that those stereotypes are true.

If we are going to be able to fight against the anti-Christian attitude in our society, then we have to do so at the cultural level. Cultural beliefs eventually will overcome political victories. Look at same-sex marriage. Conservative Christians won a lot of short-term political victories that made such marriages illegal at the state level. But once the modernist cultural beliefs about the nature of marriage took control in our society, it was inevitable that those laws were overturned. If conservative Christians exchange their ability to influence the culture for short-term political gain, then we will see similar results in other areas of our society.

There are scriptural references about seeking a short-term solution by attaching oneself to a powerful entity. In several Old Testament passages (Isa 30:1-3, Isa 36:6; Jer 42: 13-17) the children of Israel were told not to ally with Egypt but to rely on God for their battles. Egypt tempted the children of Israel towards immoral values (Ezek 23:27, Jer 44:8). Egypt represented an immoral, powerful political force that could temporarily protect Israel — kind of like Trump promises to do. But the children of Israel were called upon to fight their battles without the help of Egypt because an alliance with Egypt would be an alliance with all the immoral elements in that culture. If Christians have an alliance with Trump, then they are allied with all that he brings. It will be hard to wait for God, but such a wait is a better path than accepting Trump’s brand of leadership.

We have already seen what that leadership brings. Many of Trump’s supporters force themselves to turn a blind eye to things they would not normally accept. Make fun of a handicapped reporter? No, he really wasn’t mocking the reporter when he imitated him. Support religious discrimination against Muslims? Discrimination against Muslims is justified because they want to force Sharia law upon us. Repeat the falsehood of 9-11 truthers? But maybe Bush really did know about the attack. How many of his supporters would have supported such rationalizations before the rise of Trump, and how many have turned their back on their own values because of him? Trump once said he could shoot somebody and people would still follow him. For once he was telling the truth.

Christians who vote for Trump will have to turn their back on their values in key ways. Is it worth a Supreme Court judge to do that? Could Trump shoot someone and Christians still vote for him because they hate Clinton that much? There have to be some limits to who earns the Christian vote. There have to be some standards. The candidates supported do not have to be Christian but should they not have a morality? And honestly that is much more than has been shown by Trump. Christians should be careful not to be fooled by the justices Trump is wagging in front of their noses. Alliances with Egypt do not work out.

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  • NDC

    Mr. Yancey,

    You need to understand that GOD decides whom rules these earthly kingdoms NOT people….regardless of the lable they wear.

    GOD used a murderer, MOSES….a cheat, JACOB……an adulterer, DAVID… What makes YOU think he can not use Trump????

    Put your faith in GOD, not men, and stop writing these rediculos oppinion pieces.

    • fred2

      I’ll add another example to your list: Councilman Marion Barry

      Barry was a liberal who was pro-gay, a womanizer, a recovering crack addict and an ex-con. Naturally, he shocked many people by voting against Washington, DC (my hometown) recognizing gay marriages from other states. Barry was abandoned by most Black
      leaders and slammed by gays, the media and the Democrats.

      Yet, Barry refused to apologize for voting according to the will of his ward. He later doubled down by not voting to impose gay marriage on DC.

      Barry’s guts was amazing at the time. It’s even more in light of recent incidents of “conservative” politicians caving simply for being called names.

      You’re right that God can use non-evangelicals to do the right thing. Will we be humble enough to trust Him in regards to the Oval Office?

    • Just an old soldier…

      The big difference between the men on your list and Trump is the fact that everyone of those men acknowledged their fallen state and recognized that without God they were nothing. They repented and allowed God to be in charge.
      Donald Trump has not done anything resembling that.

      • NDC

        If we were looking back at Mr. Trunp through 1,000’s of years of history, like the Biblical men I referenced, your point may be valid.

        His story isn’t finished like the stories of the Biblical men, but, its plain to see he is harmless compared to HRC.

  • Terry Mather

    I agree sir and have felt this way from the start. Thank you for your courage.

  • TruthTeller

    Earlier today I wrote a response to this piece in which I compared some of Hillary’s comments and beliefs with those of Donald Trump. I also tried to paint a picture of what America might look like after 8 years of Hillary in charge. I used no foul language and made no crude remarks. I also said that for thousands of Christians to join nevertrump and stay home come election time.would in effect hand Hillary the election. For whatever reason, the Stream decided to review the response and not publish it. Hopefully those in charge are not going to begin controlling the conversations by limiting free speech and censoring comments that don’t agree with their beliefs.

  • Patmos

    The writing is pretty much on the wall for this nation.

    Fortunately it reads: “My kingdom is not of this world” -Jesus Christ

  • Larry Heninger

    The biggest argument I’ve seen to vote for Clinton? Not hardly a word of the lies, manipulation and moral corruption from the democrat side. So I know where his loyalties lie and it isn’t with Christians. I thought we were electing a president not a Pastor.

  • Larry Heninger

    Obama is against Trump
    The Media is against Trump
    The establishment Democrats are against Trump
    The establishment Republicans are against Trump
    The Pope is against Trump
    The UN is against Trump
    The EU is against Trump
    China is against Trump
    Mexico is against Trump
    Soros is against Trump
    Black Lives Matter is against Trump
    MoveOn.Org is against Trump
    Koch Bro’s are against Trump
    Hateful, racist, violent Liberals are against Trump
    Christian Journalist/Editors are Against TRUMP
    **Note : Washington is full of elected “Conservatives” being lead around by Democrats with a hog ring in thier noses.**
    How is that working out for you?

  • MofPennsy

    Since Reagan, I’ve done the “hold your nose” voting too many times…I thought I was voting for incremental progress. I think now that I was voting for the Principle of Power…I don’t like the risk of our (R) candidate leaning toward Imperiousness…I want to support the Principles in our Constitution…with the philosophical underpinnings…

  • Prof. Yancey,

    As I read it you are essentially saying the vote of committed Christians will be useless this election cycle. I am solidly in the #NeverEverEVERHillary camp. You’re saying for the say reasons I will never vote for Hillary, I shouldn’t vote for Trump. And a vote for a third party candidate will, as you point out, likely be wasted.

    I agree with sentiment of NDC, but the parallel is not perfect: at least Moses, David and Jacob were known to be in God’s camp. As far as I can see, the only camp Trump is in is his own. But the point is, he might still be used to do God’s will. I’m certain (based on her own words) Hillary will not do God’s will and will continue the Godless, immoral, divisive policies of Obama. So as I see it, it’s a choice between Trump – who may do some good, and Hillary, who will most certainly continue and enhance the policies of Obama which will merely hasten the decline of this country. That appears to be an easy choice. People will think of us as they will – they already do that.

    On further thought, and to Patmos’ point, maybe the writing on the wall is the same as it was to: Belshazzar, and Babylonians:

    …MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN
    “This is what these words mean:
    Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
    Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
    Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given…

    (Dan 5.25-38)

    Some see this election as the beginning of the outpouring of God’s judgment on this nation that has forsaken Him. If that’s the case, then I suppose you’re right, doesn’t matter if we don’t vote, because vote or not, the judgement will come. So maybe you have a point – not vote and keep to the high ground (which means away from the ever flip flopping Trump). But as I said, people will think what they want. Taking that course we could be likened to Jonah, sitting on a hill, preaching the sins of this nation, and waiting for the destruction of Nineveh… If we’re really more concerned with doing the right thing, then being associated with a known man of God (albeit a preacher of destruction) is preferable to being associated with Trump. The only question that would remain then is whether God will spare this nation as he did Nineveh?

    • NDC

      Duane,

      That was a very well thought out and executed post. Many valid points.

      Donald Trump has no idea that he NEEDS to ask Christ to forgive him, and repent. When he answered a question to that effect, it was obvious to me he was lost….

      I believe if the right person, said the right words, at the right time….something truly life changing would happen to that man.

      Don’t get me wrong here, I do feel this “world” is doomed to suffer the wrath of GOD very soon and no election can change that. But, we have a choice….America can continue on the road it is on and propel the “Global Agenda” OR we can change direction and be the “beacon of light” in this ever darkening world.

      Sometimes I think we’re too far gone to change, then divine inspiration reminds me that ALL things are possible for our GOD!

      Be Blessed Y’all, and let your light shine!

      • syfynut

        Amen Brother! You said that well! People don’t realize and forget, that no matter what God still has his hand in ALL of this!

  • Patmos

    I have found the words of Peter to be helpful regarding the current state of the nation, as Barack uses personal interpretation of scripture to try to justify his transgender decree, Peter reminds us in his 2nd letter there is no private interpretation of scripture. Yes I realize Peter refers to prophecy specifically, but the same applies to teaching, with Jesus cloaking his teachings to keep them from the prideful.

    Barack pretty clearly does not spend sufficient time with the word, and so it’s meaning is not revealed to him, with God knowing his commitment is not true.

    Before you become disheartened by yet another Obama failure, continue on in 2nd Peter and be reminded of how God delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.

    Or a few verses down, when he reminds us that the elements shall be melted with fervent heat, yet according to his promise we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    It is true Peter also talks about the conduct of the believer in these passages, asking what manner of persons ought we be?

    Well, essentially he is saying, never is a good time not to have faith.

    I will add to that sentiment and ask, of what value is faith if it is never to be put into practice?

    As for Trump versus Hillary, if you can’t see just how evil Hillary is, then you have been lulled to sleep by the machine. Trump is far from perfect, but he isn’t Hillary and that is enough.

  • Carrie Craft Parry

    I disagree that a third party vote is wasted. Even if your candidate doesn’t win, it sends a message period, that more and more people are not satisfied with the options. Did you realize that in some elections as much as 40% or MORE of the population doesn’t vote? Most probably don’t vote bc they feel their one vote doesn’t matter. You may not feel that one vote matters, but 40% matters. As for me, my one vote matters because it says something about who I am. I will not put my name on someone I feel isn’t right. As for just saying our vote doesn’t matter because “God decides who rules our earthly kingdoms” what? God can, but doesn’t dictate who rules just as he doesn’t dictate what we do. He gave us free choice. People choose to do right or wrong. People choose to do no harm or to murder. Yes, God is able to use leaders. He can make people do whatever he wants to. That’s like saying that if you see someone getting murdered, that you have no responsibility as a Christian to step in to help, because well God can make the murderer stop. Evil does exist in this world. It’s our job to not only stand up to it when it is flagrant, but to also not lend strength to it. Prayer is great, but better when paired with action.

  • syfynut

    I don’t agree with you George, but I can’t begin to put words on paper as eloquent as you do, but there are posts here that do have good words of wisdom to them! You need to read them!

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