WARNING: Coming from a girl who spends her time clumsily learning practical ways to strengthen relationships and creating resources that inspire StrongLuv.com readers to do the same, the tone and tenor of this post may surprise you. You may want to unfriend, unfollow and unsubscribe — you may even hate me at the end. If that is the case, I assure you, the feeling is NOT mutual. StrongLuv is not a religious website nor is it a political one. It is, however, my tiny platform to share my heart and thoughts with those who will listen. I can’t guarantee everything I say is “right” but I can assure you it comes from the right place. This is, by no means, an endorsement of Hillary Clinton. It is a love letter to my family, friends, and fellow Christians regarding the upcoming election. It’s written with sobriety and sadness. It’s not meant to stir up a debate, and I have no intention of engaging in one. It’s delivered with the direct purpose of causing every Christian who reads it to stop and consider what they’re doing before they head to the ballot box in a few weeks. I understand these views are in the minority. I expect many of you to come up with different conclusions. I only ask that you read it with an open mind and remember that I consider you a friend (Proverbs 27:6).
Regarding the Election: A Love Letter to My Friends, Family and Fellow Christians
A small sampling of the attributes that qualify you to be the Republican Nominee for President of the United States in 2016.
I am shocked and saddened that so many fellow followers of Christ are supporting, defending, and making excuses for Donald Trump and his reprehensible behavior.
Conservative Christians were outraged when Bill Clinton lied under oath about having sex in the Oval Office. They demanded he be impeached and said he was unfit to lead. So why is there not a collective chorus from the right insisting Donald has disqualified himself after being caught on tape perpetuating the rape culture and admitting to sexually assaulting women he finds attractive? Do Christians not see sexual assault as being worse than an elected official lying about having consensual sex with another adult? Where’s the integrity in that?
A speck and a log come to mind. (Matthew 7:1-5)
If character matters for one party, it matters for all parties.
If you’re a Christian, Donald Trump’s behavior should alarm and disgust you. It goes against EVERYTHING we believe in. Everything Jesus taught. Everything Christianity represents.
I understand making concessions for a candidate that doesn’t hold all the same values… but THIS???
How far we have fallen.
Why is there not an outcry from every believer so loud it cannot be ignored? Is it not our obligation to stand against blatant injustice?
Conservatives complain that there aren’t more Muslims speaking out against suicide bombers and terrorists who’ve hijacked the face of Islam. They say their silence is deafening and contend, by remaining quiet, mainline Muslims seem to be supporting these acts of terror.
Where, then, is the collective Christian voice renouncing allegiance to a man and party that divorced itself from our values long ago? Where are the men and women with the moral fortitude to speak out against such deplorable behavior no matter the cost?
There are barely whispers.
It seems clear that many Christians are far more concerned about filling a Supreme Court seat and keeping people out of our country, than in representing Christ well to a watching world.
Is the Christian not called to raise the standard? Why then are so many of us exalting a man who has no standard at all? Are we not first and foremost commissioned to serve the poor, strengthen the weak, encourage the hopeless, love the unlovable and be ambassadors of goodness, righteousness, humility, and peace on the earth? That in all our actions Christ would be exalted?
What view of God do we convey to our friends, family, co-workers and neighbors by turning our back on everything we claim to value to vote for a vile man? Does our unwillingness to stand against such extravagant filth not expose our belief in a god who, rather than being strong and mighty, is too weak to work outside the current two party system?
Trump supporters say “God can use anyone”! Yes, of course, God can speak through a donkey, but does that mean we should vote for one and pray to God he’ll perform the same miracle he did in Balaam’s day?
I don’t care how many Christian leaders come up with persuasive arguments about why it’s okay — even righteous — to vote for The Donald. The same “prophets” who’s prophecies never come true, share their latest dream about how God is raising up Trump to lead the nation, and it gets shared and emailed a zillion times to every church-going, God-fearing American.
How do you suppose we look our daughters in the eyes and tell them we’re rooting for a man who’s devoid of basic moral ethics to lead our country? HER country! If he thinks it’s okay to grab the genitals of women simply because he’s famous, what will he do when he’s the President of the United States?
What does it communicate to our sons to cast a vote for a bully who steals, cheats, and lies incessantly? Do you think we can convince them that character matters when we choose to elect a man utterly bankrupt of it to the highest office in our nation?
Do you think they’ll take our word for the importance of developing self-control when our presidential pick can’t restrain himself long enough to refrain from making fun of disabled people on television? And how will we explain his impulse control issues to them? “Putin said something that pissed off the President, so now you get the privilege of fighting on his behalf. Be careful out there son!”
One needs nothing more than common sense to see the error in that. Why are so many of us betraying our values by voting for a human being with a horrible track record? Why are so many ready and willing to hand the leadership of our nation over to a reckless degenerate? My best guess to the question “why?” is FEAR.
It all comes down to fear. It always does.
I’m 37, and I’ve heard the exact same rhetoric my entire adult life. “If you don’t vote for _________ the sky will fall. There’s no coming back from it… in four years it’ll be too late!” Both sides do it, and everybody is sick if it, so WHY are we still falling for it? It’s nothing more than slick marketing.
They know that fear causes people to do illogical, irrational things — like vote for a madman! Have we not been freed to live outside the economy of fear? Can we not discern that a man with a robust history of deceit will say whatever voters want to hear to get elected? Do you really believe he’s a Christian? Have you seen a shred of evidence he’s surrendered his life to the leadership of Jesus?
Hillary Clinton claims she’s a Christian too, but most religious conservatives don’t believe her. If you won’t take Hillary’s word for it, why are you taking Trump’s? Yes, I know, he vows he’ll overturn Roe v. Wade if he gets elected, but what makes you think he’ll be faithful to his vows to the American people when he can’t keep them for his own wife?
Each of us has the right and privilege of voting according to our own convictions, but no one should make you feel obligated to discredit your witness by checking the box for a candidate whose values stand directly against EVERYTHING you value yourself. Regardless of how many Pastors, Politicians and Pop-Stars tell you it’s unamerican to write in a candidate, vote third party or sit this one out entirely — it’s NOT! Do not betray yourself! There are candidates on a state and local level that can represent you on the issues that matter to you most.
We’ve gathered around the same old poisonous political well, scraping the bottom for a few drops of water, praying for the chance to live another day. We’ve been conditioned to believe the putrid well is our only source, so we justify abandoning our values and practicing hypocrisy because we see no other way.
We will fall, time and again, for the same deceptive marketing and fear mongering until we realize that WE CAN DIG OUR OWN DAMN WELL!
The way to “Make America Great Again” won’t be accomplished by spending our time slandering Democrats and delivering a case for how terrific Trump is. Making our nation a better place begins by putting down the remote, turning off the television, spending time fortifying our families and sowing into the strength of our marriages.
We transform our nation by engaging with our neighbors and investing in people outside our race, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. We become more unified and less afraid when we see their faces, know their names, and hear their stories.
As the election nears, I’m confronted with the reality that I cannot change culture, I cannot change Washington, I cannot change the hearts of our leaders or the constituents who vote them into power, I cannot change the media, and I cannot change the will of the people.
The ONLY thing I can change is me. So when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand on their political podiums promising “change,” I understand the only real change within reach is my own.
Accepting the things we can’t change and turning our attention toward the things we CAN, takes our future out of the hands of egomaniacal political figures and places it back squarely in our own. Right where it should be.
Here’s what I know:
We CAN change our future.
Our lives CAN be better than they are now.
Our families CAN thrive regardless of what’s happening beyond our four walls.
The lives we touch can be better if we want them to be.
So here, in a small town outside of Seattle, I’m casting a vote for… MYSELF! And I sincerely hope you’ll do the same.
Let’s vote to:
- Practice more kindness, patience, and gratitude on a daily basis
- Make ordinary life more meaningful
- Experience more grace in our marriages
- Have a redemptive perspective in the midst of difficulty
- Know others deeply, allow ourselves to be known
- Choose our friends wisely
- Become more self-aware
- Forgive freely even when it hurts like hell
- Have better sex & more overnight dates
- Take more family road trips & plan more staycations
- Be more intentional with our kids
- Show them how they can make a difference, appreciate diversity, and practice humility
- Spend more (quality) time around the table
- And help the broken, beat down, and marginalized
There is so much work to be done, friends. Exhausting, exhilarating, transformative work.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren’t powerful enough to accomplish that kind of work for us. They cannot save us. How many election cycles will it take before we realize politicians are not the change we need. The change we need comes from within. And that’s great news if you ask me because we can do something about that!
If you’ve been more preoccupied with “patriotism” than with picking up your cross and following the path Christ paved for us, dream with me for a minute. What would it look like if all 100 million Christians in our country rejected fear and demonstrated their faith in Jesus by taking their allegiance to the ways of Christ more seriously than their commitment to a political party?
What would it look like if only conservative Christians (1/3 of all Republicans) did?
Do you think the political landscape might look different next time around? Do you think the Republican Party might make more of an effort to practice the values they preach? Do you think, by drawing a line in the sand, your friends might notice YOU practicing what you preach?
It’s admittedly more difficult. There aren’t huge media outlets devoted to keeping us motivated or super-celebrities pumping us up and handing out gold stars. The example we have to follow is of one simple man who lived two thousand years ago.
Jesus showed us that leadership looks like radical humility, lifting others up, and fighting injustice. He turned the religious and political system upside down and revealed a better way. His road was narrow and unpopular yet He reached out his hand and said: “Follow me.”
The way to make America great again doesn’t begin in the White House; it begins in OUR house.
Defending Donald Trump, regardless of how reprehensible his behavior is, and has been for the past 70 years, is wrong. He has a healthy history of hate, and his mouth is full of gravel. It’s an insult to the faith and discredits our witness.
This election will quickly pass, but the integrity of Christians who scream their support or stay silent on the matter will not easily be restored.
The world is watching. I wonder if anyone cares.
TAKE ACTION: For those of you who read this and agree, break your silence now by sharing it with your friends, family, and church family. Tell your people!