Now that Trump has virtually won the Republican Presidential nomination, many of us are wondering what we do now. But first, let me back up a bit.
Many years ago, I began to align my voting with the primary current events that the Bible addresses. This includes the sanctity of life, the sanctity of design (e.g., design of marriage and gender), and persecution of Christians.
I am now in that voting block, which I will call the Morality Voters, that typically votes for Republican and Conservative candidates. Although many people are unable to distinguish us from Republicans or Conservatives, we are definitely different. Our allegiance is to Biblical causes, not to a party or secular ideology.
(My apologies to Democrats who are pro-life. I haven’t seen a pro-life Democrat run for office in 30 years.)
For the most part, I have been able to make my voting decision simply by finding the pro-life candidate. Those who are pro-life tend to align with us on the other issues as well. In many cases, this has been easy. However, this year’s Presidential primary has been different. We had so many solid pro-lifers running (e.g., Huckabee, Santorum, Walker, Cruz, Rubio, and others). And many of these were solid Christians. This was new. Most Presidential candidates in the past have been solid politicians with pro-life convictions, yet did not display the kind of Christian convictions we would like to see. Typically, they were good people, many of whom attended church regularly, but it was difficult to see the evidence of a deep faith. I don’t want to be overly critical of them, because they helped our cause tremendously.
However, the pro-life candidates we ended up with were people like Bush (both of them), McCain, Romney, etc. We morality voters typically felt they were okay, but they didn’t get us excited.
This year, we had a wealth of pro-life candidates who were also strongly Christian, including Rubio, Cruz, Jindall, and Huckabee. For others, their Christianity may not have been as prominent, but was present nevertheless, such as Walker and Santorum. And some were clearly secular, such as Trump and Fiorina. However, as one who has been around these elections for awhile, I was prepared to be satisfied with a candidate who was a strong pro-lifer, even if they weren’t strongly Christian.
As the primary season went along, it was disheartening to see some of the strong Christian candidates drop out. However, we still had some in the race. But it finally came down to Trump and Cruz. As a Morality Voter, I wasn’t thrilled about Trump, but at least he proclaimed that he was pro-life. And then Trump backpedaled on his position about abortion, under pressure, to say that he would leave our abortion laws and court decisions as they are. That is not a pro-life position, and it made it clear to any pro-lifer who was paying attention that Trump was not our man. And if you cave on the sanctity of life issue, you will probably cave on the sanctity of design issue.
Cruz, in contrast, was a great candidate for us Morality Voters. But he eventually was defeated.
This will mark the first time since Reagan when there was no Republican running on a credible pro-life platform. (Actually, Romney was a bit suspect because of things he did as governor of Massachusetts, but he spoke the pro-life language convincingly. Trump has no credibility here.) For those who believe Trump is actually pro-life, I have to point you to the last time he was asked about abortion on Meet The Press. He said that the laws should remain the way they are. That’s not a pro-life position. It’s pro-abortion.
I will ignore here the fact that there are some Christian leaders who have endorsed Trump. I will not make any accusations about whether those leaders are making just decisions. But I will say that they are in the minority. Most of us in the Morality Block just don’t see how we can vote for Trump. Again, there may be reasons a Christian may want to vote for Trump, but for us Morality Voters, we are wondering what to do.
There are three primary ways to react. The first is simply to cave and vote for Trump, hoping that either we can win him over or at least he wouldn’t be as bad as someone who strongly embraces anti-life values, such as Hillary Clinton. My wife thinks that Trump would at least nominate some good judges. I don’t buy it.I understand that it may be possible to win Trump over if we work with him, but he was able to win the nomination without listening to us. I want a political party that will work for my vote rather than just assume I will be part of it out of fear of the other side. Also, I don’t want to be responsible for voting for someone who has already indicated he’s not pro-life, just hoping one day that he will do something good.
The second possible reaction would be to ignore politics altogether. There are many Christians who have done that. Many evangelicals, including Southern Baptists, took that approach for generations. Billy Graham was one of the most prominent. They refused to get involved in changing our laws and legislators, and we have ended up in a society with moral free-fall. Most of those evangelicals have now become activists. If we refuse to be a voice, then only those who oppose us will have anything to say. I realize it’s not easy to remain involved in a political debate that has a lot of turmoil, but anything that is worth doing will have struggle.
The third option is to continue to vote our conscience. In this election, it will be not voting for either the Republican nor Democratic Presidential nominees. We can continue to vote for pro-lifers for other offices. My state has a very strong pro-life legislature, and I need to continue to support that. Although I am an avid news reader, I will simply avoid reading about the Presidential election, since I know what I’m going to do. However, I need to put more time into efforts to strengthen the pro-life cause. This means learning how to be truly generous to those who need my help, whether time or money. We need to show what it means to be Christian. The world needs to see that we are serious about our convictions, regardless of who is in the White House. The pro-life movement has been gaining steam. We need to push forward with our efforts to truly help and educate others. And it means preparing for the next election cycle, where we may be able to get our voice back.
And if The Donald does things that promote the sanctity of life, I will be glad to applaud and support that. Not holding my breath here.