I used to be a NeverTrumper until I stopped my condescension towards his raw personality and obsession with his tweets. Read why Evangelicals support Trump on the issues.
The religious left is still looking down on conservative Christian peons for supporting imperfect, feisty Trump. Throughout social media and elsewhere, the left accuses us of compromising our faith and standards.
Prof. Randall Balmer of Dartmouth University recently posted an opinion piece at the Los Angeles Times with the ironic title “God Is on Team Trump? Let’s take a quick check with the Bible.” The sarcasm is seen when God is on Trump’s team, not the other way around. Then he proceeds to dismantle — at least in his mind — evangelical support for Trump.
He starts off with more sarcasm that God put his thumb on the scale of the election, so that Trump barely won and only by the Electoral College. Some victory for God! In reply, just because we cannot figure out the details of how God works in an ocean of humanity does not mean God does not have his purposes and works them out. Prof. Balmer seems to assume that if a victory is not a landslide, then God was not at work. Since he wrote a book about evangelicals, he must know that some of them with a more prophetic gifting predicted long before the November 2016 elections that Trump’s victory would stun the world. It did.
Next, Prof. Balmer tackles immigration and summarized some verses in Leviticus and one in the epistle to the Hebrews (since Heb. 13:2 is talking about household hospitality — not on a national scale — and the possibility that an angel could be a guest without our knowledge, let’s skip past his wrenching that verse out of context). It is difficult to find mass migration in the ancient world (Jews being deported to Babylon might work, but the numbers are small, relatively speaking), but let’s assume that millions and millions of immigrants moved into ancient Israel in 20-30 years. And let’s assume that a certain percentage of them raped and assaulted women and children at the border and transported some sort of ancient, mind-altering drugs. Yes, protect the innocent, but there would be nothing wrong with building a wall back then, much as Israel has done today, to good effect. Obama and other Democrats in the past have said there was a crisis at the border. And there is nothing immoral with securing our borders today with a wall or updating the one that is already there. In any case, these are two different contexts, so let’s move on.
Then Balmer brings up separating children from their parents at the border. Yes, it happened, but it is a sure thing that he knew that under the Obama administration, the border authorities did the same thing. It is also a certainty that Balmer wrote at least a dozen opinion pieces denouncing Obama’s same policies, since the professor was concerned back then about human rights and not just scoring political points against Trump today.
Balmer turns his attention to the environment. Yes, God cares for his creation and called it good, but alarmism from faithless, panicky humans is a concern too. Neither he nor I is an expert here, but surely Balmer has read outside his Dartmouth blue bubble and found a huge number of credentialed climate scientists who are skeptical about all the alarmism from the left, as embodied nowadays in Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s recent prediction of earth-shattering disasters by 2030 and her recent green new deal, which would slam the American economy so hard that Dartmouth might lose its big funding and lay off some of the faculty.
Then the professor goes on to the standard leftist notions about tax cuts for the rich and quasi-socialism or its full-scale version as the only expression of justice, and quotes Isaiah. However, taxes were cut for a large number of people on a variety of social levels, including the middle class. When “we the people” keep our own money through lower taxes, then the economy grows and jobs become plentiful because we can spend or invest or give away our new wealth, as we see fit. Businesses can reinvest their capital in their own companies, upgrade, and expand. When businesses expand, they hire new people. And sure enough, this explains, to a large degree, why the economy is booming right now, with record low unemployment for everyone, including an historical low for black Americans.
So the best biblical justice is not rapacious taxes on the producers in society — the ones who started businesses that grew into major corporations that then fund universities like Dartmouth — but limited government, lower taxes and financial liberty for the people.
Here’s an easy-to-remember formula for biblical economic justice:
Leftist economic policy = slow economy = less prosperity = injustice
Conservative economic policy = growing economy = more prosperity = justice.
It was especially reassuring for us believers when in his recent SOTU address Pres. Trump denounced socialism as contrary to America’s founding in liberty. So true. So magnificent. It is gratifying to see that 76% approved of the speech and 72% liked his proposals on immigration, showing once again how anti-commonsense leftist professors are out of step with commonsense Americans.
The obligatory mention of adultery and the seventh commandment: sigh. Everyone who voted for Trump knew about his multiple affairs and marriages. No one saw him as a saint. But we also know, as does Balmer, that the sweep of the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is about salvation, redemption, and forgiveness, and God helping broken humanity to live better lives. There is no evidence that Trump has turned the White House into a Personal Pleasure Palace, anything like JFK and Bill Clinton did. Just the opposite. The president often invites numerous evangelical leaders into the White House, and prayer meetings happen often enough.
It is telling that one area that Balmer overlooked is the snuffing out of prenatal life, up to birth. He knows that New York now has a bloodthirsty law that allows third trimester abortions. If Hillary Clinton had won, the court system would have been stockpiled with judges and justices who would gladly reinforce the bloodguilt in America. The courts and abortion are the major reasons evangelicals voted for Trump.
And they are amply satisfied with his support for Israel; his picks of judges and justices who may give the innocents a chance for life and protect religious freedom; his willingness to negotiate with dictators like Kim Jung Un (Balmer would have applauded Obama had he done this, since leftists value dialogues, trialogues, tetralogues, pentalogues, and so on); Trump’s economic policies; and his support for churches against legalistic attacks from leftists.
I used to be a NeverTrumper and even wrote articles against him (I won’t link to them, but search for them in the search box), until I set aside my Pharisaical self-righteousness and gave the man a chance. No more condescension.
So, a look over the past two years makes it easy to believe that God indeed chose Trump, and believers are genuinely grateful to God that Hillary Clinton is not in the White House.