August 15, 2017

Trump Is Who He Was

There's rightly a lot of anger about President Donald Trump defending white nationalists, neo-Nazis, alt-rightists, and other racists in the aftermath of the rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. But we shouldn't be surprised. Trump is being who he has always been - a racist. 

Just over a year ago, I published my book on religion and politics in 2016 presidential election (Vote Your Conscience: Party Must Not Trump Principles). I identified five reasons why Christians should not consider it possible to vote, in good faith, for Trump: vulgar misogyny, religious bigotry, promotion of violence, authoritarian, and racism.

"If white evangelicals back Trump in large numbers, it may set back efforts at racial conciliation among Christians," I wrote after detailing some of the racism of Trump. "Racism is not a minor detail about Trump; it’s who he is and what he built his campaign on from the beginning. So we must reject Trump's vision of the supposedly-great 'again' he wishes to make America. To say we'll overlook Trump's racism and vote for him anyway because of opposition to abortion (even though his track record is shaky) is to deny a truly pro-life position. If we believe in the sanctity of human life, believe that all people are made in the image of God, and believe that Jesus loves and died for all people, then we cannot support or condone the blatant racism Trump preaches. Racism is evil. Not a lesser evil. Just evil."

The fact that 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump will be a stain on the Church's witness for a generation (or longer). It's not that everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, but that racism was not a deal breaker for them. We got what we voted for. May God forgive us.

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