Charismatic Christians make up a crucial segment of President Trump's widely reported "evangelical" support base. But many people aren't sure what to think when evangelical leaders oppose Trump because of his "moral character."
Mark Galli, as editor of Christianity Today, published a strong, clear statement of this "character objection" against Trump ("Trump Should Be Removed from Office," Dec. 19, 2019), and he also touched on the Ukrainian phone call, which is at the heart of the current impeachment process. I am writing this as a respectful response to Galli and everyone else who agrees with his anti-Trump viewpoint.
I appreciated Galli's statement that the approach of Christianity Today is to "allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square." That is what I am doing, because thoughtful interaction among people with different ideas is essential to a healthy democracy. Thoughtful interaction shouldn't make us angry with one other, but should help us to think more carefully about political issues.
Finally, I should explain that I am writing as an evangelical Christian who has taught ethics as a professor at the college and graduate school level for 42 years, and as the author of a major textbook on Christian ethics and another widely used book on the relationship between politics and the Bible. I am writing to explain why I am still (more strongly than ever) an evangelical supporter of President Trump.
Galli's Reasons Why Trump Should Be Removed
Galli gives six reasons why Trump should be removed, either by impeachment or at the next election: (1) He attempted to "coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of his political opponents," and this was "a violation of the Constitution." (2) This action was also "profoundly immoral." (3) "He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals." (4) He has "admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women," and he "remains proud" about these things. (5) His Twitter feed contains a "habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders," and this makes it "a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused." Finally, (6) although the president has admittedly done some good things, "none of the president's positives" can outweigh his "grossly immoral character." Later he says that Trump has a "bent and broken character" and is guilty of "gross immorality and ethical incompetence."
He concludes by warning evangelicals who support Trump not to "continue to brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency," because this will damage "the reputation of evangelical religion" and "the gospel."
These are strong words indeed. But are they true? Consider them in order:
(1) Did Trump violate the Constitution?
Galli fails to say exactly what part of the Constitution he thinks that Trump violated. He claims that Trump tried to "coerce a foreign leader," referring to a phone call from Trump to President Zelensky of Ukraine on July 25, 2019. Here is the transcript of what Trump said:
There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me.
The background to that comment is that a Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin had been investigating Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company, and that company had been paying Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, around $600,000 per year to serve as a member of its board. But Joe Biden boasted that, when he was vice president and on a visit to Ukraine, he withheld $1 billion in loan guarantees in order to force the Ukrainian government to fire that prosecutor.
In fact, Joe Biden can be seen on a YouTube video from Jan. 23, 2018, (which was subsequently reported on by The Wall Street Journal) saying this: "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a [expletive]. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time."
When I understand that background, it seems to me reasonable for officials of the U.S. government to investigate whether there was any corrupt dealing connected to Hunter receiving more than half a million dollars a year, the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the company that was paying him and Joe Biden withholding $1 billion in loan guarantees until that prosecutor was fired. I do not know if there was any corruption involved or not. My point is only that the situation raises enough suspicion to warrant an investigation.
Regarding the Constitution, I claim no specialized expertise or legal knowledge. Like Galli himself, on this point I write as an interested citizen, not a legal expert. But I read in the Constitution that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed" (Art. II, Sec. 1, 3). That implies the president is empowered to investigate allegations of illegal activity. And (I speak here as an ordinary citizen, not an expert) I know of nothing in our Constitution or laws that says there is anything wrong with seeking help from a foreign government in investigating possible corruption.
"Oh, but the situation is different because Joe Biden is a political opponent and President Trump was asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden for the sake of personal political benefit," some critics have objected.
My response is that I see nothing wrong with the president doing things that will bring him personal political benefit. In fact, I expect that every president in the history of the United States has done things that bring him personal political benefit every day of his term. Every time any politician holds a campaign rally, holds a town hall meeting or holds a fundraising dinner, it brings him personal political benefit. It is preposterous to claim that it is unconstitutional for the president to act in a way that is politically beneficial. In addition to that, when someone announces that he is running for political office, that does not mean he can no longer be investigated for prior wrongdoing. The opposite should be true.
So what happens to Galli's claim that the president violated the Constitution? His article provides no basis for this claim, and my conclusion is that it is incorrect.
(2) Was Trump's phone call "profoundly immoral"?
Galli also fails to show how Trump's conversation with the president of Ukraine was "profoundly immoral." It is not immoral to investigate possible corruption—it's what governments should do.
In the New Testament, Peter writes that government officials are sent "to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good" (1 Pet. 2:14, ESV).
But is it wrong to investigate possible wrongdoing by someone's political opponent? Apparently the Democrats do not think so, because the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has been investigating President Trump for the entire past year. I do not see how it could be "profoundly immoral" to request information about possible corruption on the part of Joe Biden. I do not even see how it could be "minimally immoral," and certainly not "profoundly immoral." Galli uses strong words, but, so far, he has not given us any convincing evidence to back those words up.
(3) What about Trump's association with convicted criminals?
Another reason to remove Trump from office, according to Galli, is that he hired and fired people who later became "convicted criminals." This is a new argument. Previously, I was under the impression that our country holds a person responsible for his or her own wrongdoing, but not for the wrongdoing of others (unless the supervisor knew about the wrongdoing and failed to do anything about it). However, now Galli is implying that Trump should be held accountable—and removed from office!—for the wrongdoing of people who worked for him. This is the unjust principle of "guilt by association." I'm glad that God did not hold Jesus to that same standard (remember Judas, who served as treasurer for the 12 disciples and Jesus—see John 12:6, 13:29). In the Old Testament Scriptures, Ezekiel says this: "The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezek. 18:20).
Back to the Constitution: It says that a president shall be "removed from office" on the basis of impeachment for and conviction of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" (Art. II, Sec. 4). It does not say, "or the crimes of those who worked for him." Galli is arguing that Trump should be "removed from office" on the basis of grounds that are not in the Constitution, and not even morally just. It seems ironic that, in an editorial urging Trump's removal because of "ethical incompetence," Galli condemns Trump on the basis of a standard (guilt by association) that is itself ethically unsound.
(4) Immoral actions before Trump became president
Galli also wants to remove Trump from office because he has admitted to "immoral actions in business and his relationship with women." At this point Galli must be referring to actions done before Trump was elected president, because he has not admitted to any immoral actions while in office. In addition, I am not aware of Trump admitting to any immoral actions in business, so Galli's accusations seem overly broad.
But regarding "immoral actions ... with women," Galli is correct. He is apparently referring to the Access Hollywood tape released Oct. 7, 2016 (the tape contained a recording of lewd comments made by Trump in 2005 about kissing and groping women). Trump released a videotaped statement the following day saying, "I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. ... I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down." So on what basis does Galli say that Trump "remains proud" of these things?
Then Trump's wife Melania issued this statement: "The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."
Do Evangelical Leaders Brush Off Trump's Immoral Behavior?
Galli claims that evangelicals "brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior." But I know of no evangelical leader who "brushed off" Trump's words and behavior, for they were roundly condemned.
I myself wrote on Oct. 9, 2016, on Townhall.com, "I cannot commend Trump's moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election. His vulgar comments in 2005 about his sexual aggression and assaults against women were morally evil and revealed pride in conduct that violates God's command, 'You shall not commit adultery' (Exodus 20:14). ... His conduct was hateful in God's eyes and I urge him to repent and call out to God for forgiveness, and to seek forgiveness from those he harmed. God intends that men honor and respect women, not abuse them as sexual objects." My call for Trump to withdraw made headlines in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNN and elsewhere.
But Trump did not withdraw, and I voted for him anyway, because in the end I thought he would make a far better president than Hillary Clinton.
So what should the American people do now? Does Galli still want us to remove him from office because of some vulgar comments and actions back in 2005? The problem with this is that the American people were aware of those things in the 2016 election, and we elected him anyway. Claiming that we should remove him now for those things is simply an attempt to overturn the results of the election.
Galli does not claim that Trump has "admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women" during his three years in the White House. Shouldn't we evaluate Trump primarily on the basis of his time as president? The Christian gospel includes the message that people can repent of past sins, ask God for forgiveness through Jesus Christ and (often gradually) become better persons (see Luke 24:47; Acts 20:21, 26:20). Does Galli think that such change is impossible for Trump? Or does he think that we, like Inspector Javert in Les Misérables, should hound a man for a lifetime because of long-past misdeeds?
If we judge President Trump on the basis of his conduct during three years as president, I think there is no basis for claiming that he has engaged in immoral conduct either with women or in business.
(5) Do Trump's tweets show that he is immoral?
But what about Trump's Twitter feed? Galli says it contains "a habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders," and is "a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused." But is this true?
Before people condemn Trump's tweets by merely reading about them in a hostile press, they should read them for themselves. Anyone can do this at Twitter.com. I just read through every one of Trump's tweets from the entire past week (Dec. 19-25), to see if Galli is correct in his accusation. Here is a representative sample of those tweets, in Trump's own words:
Dec. 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS!
2019 HOLIDAY RETAIL SALES WERE UP 3.4% FROM LAST YEAR, THE BIGGEST NUMBER IN U.S. HISTORY. CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!
Dec. 24: 187 new Federal Judges have been confirmed under the Trump Administration, including two great new United States Supreme Court Justices. We are shattering every record!
Dec. 23: STOCK MARKET CLOSES AT ALL-TIME HIGH! What a great time for the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats to Impeach your favorite President, especially since he has not done anything wrong!
NASDAQ UP 72.2% SINCE OUR GREAT 2016 ELECTION VICTORY! DOW UP 55.8%. The best is yet to come!
Nancy Pelosi, who has already lost the House & Speakership once, & is about to lose it again, is doing everything she can to delay the zero Republican vote Articles of Impeachment. She is trying to take over the Senate, & Cryin' Chuck is trying to take over the trial. No way!...
...What right does Crazy Nancy have to hold up this Senate trial. None! She has a bad case and would rather not have a negative decision. This Witch Hunt must end NOW with a trial in the Senate, or let her default & lose. No more time should be wasted on this Impeachment Scam!
Dec. 22: Melania and I send our warmest wishes to Jewish people in the United States, Israel, and across the world as you commence the 8-day celebration of Hanukkah.
Dec. 21: Last night I was so proud to have signed the largest Defense Bill ever. The very vital Space Force was created. New planes, ships, missiles, rockets and equipment of every kind, and all made right here in the USA. Additionally, we got Border Wall (being built) funding. Nice!
Dec. 20: Just had a great call with the President of Brazil, @JairBolsonaro . We discussed many subjects including Trade. The relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been Stronger!
Dec. 19: The reason the Democrats don't want to submit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate is that they don't want corrupt politician Adam Shifty Schiff to testify under oath, nor do they want the Whistleblower, the missing second Whistleblower, the informer, the Bidens, to testify!
My question for Mr. Galli is this: How can you say that such tweets are "a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused"? The expression "near-perfect example" suggests that something like 90% or 95% of his tweets reflect morally evil choices. But, after reading these tweets, it seems to me that Galli has made a false accusation. The most objectionable thing that I see in these tweets is that Trump labels his political opponents with derogatory nicknames (Crazy Nancy Pelosi, Cryin' Chuck Schumer and Adam Shifty Schiff), but that impoliteness is a comparatively trivial matter that comes nowhere close to being a "near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."
I see in these tweets a president who is rightfully proud of a healthy economy, a stronger military and the appointment of 187 federal judges who are committed to judging according to what the law says and not according to their personal preferences. Such accomplishments are morally good benefits for the nation as a whole, and they have been accomplished by Trump in the face of relentless opposition from Democrats. Far from being "morally lost and confused," Trump seems to me to have a strong sense of justice and fair play, and he is (I think rightfully) upset that the impeachment process in the House was anything but just and fair.
Are Trump's Tweets Full of Lies?
Galli also claims that Trump's tweets contain a "habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders." Do Trump's tweets contain lies? Galli himself gives no examples, but the Washington Post on Dec. 16 carried an article, "President Trump Has Made 15,413 False or Misleading Claims over 1,055 Days."
What exactly are these alleged lies?
The Washington Post article contains a link to their "Fact Checker" webpage, where the "lies" are listed by category. The most common one (repeated 242 times) is Trump's claim that that the U.S. economy is now "perhaps the strongest economy in our country's history." But the Post says this is a lie because "By just about any important measure, the economy today is not doing as well as it did under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson or Bill Clinton – or Ulysses S. Grant."
What the Post doesn't tell you is that it depends on what you are measuring. The total economic output of the United States in Eisenhower's last year (1960) as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) adjusted for inflation, reaching a record high of $3.26 trillion. By 1968 (Lyndon Johnson's last year) it had risen to $4.8 trillion. In Bill Clinton's last year (2000), GDP was up to $13.1 trillion. The current projection for 2019 is that GDP under President Trump will reach $21.4 trillion. Therefore, judging by the total economic output of the United States, it is completely true to say that we are currently living in "the strongest economy in our country's history." Trump is not lying, but the Post is using some other measurement (such as percentage growth rate) in order to claim that Trump has told this lie 242 times.
USMCA Trade Agreement
Another supposed "lie" is Trump's claim that the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which was signed by the leaders of these three countries on Nov. 30, 2018, and has now been ratified by the House and awaits certain ratification by the Senate, is "one of the greatest trade deals ever made for our country." The Post calls this a lie because, while it "gives some wins to US farmers and blue-collar workers in the auto sector," and does modernize some trade rules, it is still 85% to 90% "the same as the old NAFTA."
The problem here is that trade agreements are incredibly complex, containing hundreds of specific details about individual products. It is entirely possible that the USMCA agreement retains 85% to 90% of the provisions of the old NAFTA agreement and also, because of significant improvements, is still "one of the greatest trade deals ever made for our country." The Post says that Trump repeated this lie 73 times, but it is not a lie.
Record Military Spending
Another supposed "lie": Trump's statement, "We've also just reached a deal with Congress to invest a record, $738 billion more into our great military." The Post calls this a lie because "in inflation-adjusted dollars, this is not a record." Well, Trump never said it was a record in "inflation-adjusted dollars." Trump's figure of $738 billion was accurate and was, in fact, the largest military budget in U.S. history. In fact, $738 billion was the exact number used by the Post itself in several news articles. I see calling this a lie as a blatant example of astoundingly hostile bias in the media's coverage of everything Trump does.
July 25 Phone Call
One more example of a "lie" is President Trump's claim that "there was absolutely nothing done wrong" in his phone call to the Ukrainian President on July 25, 2019. The Post says this is a lie that Trump has repeated 106 times, but, as I explained above, I think that Trump is telling the truth about this phone call.
And so it goes with one supposed "lie" after another. Upon closer inspection, the accusations do not hold up.
Do I think that Trump has ever intentionally told a lie? I don't know. Perhaps. I admit that he often exaggerates and boasts that something is the "biggest" or "best," a habit that probably comes from his years in promoting his Manhattan real estate deals. In some cases, I think he has made incorrect claims not because he was intentionally lying but because he was given misleading information (as in his claim that the crowd at his inauguration was the biggest ever), and I think that the White House should correct any such inaccurate statements. But do I believe that he intentionally and habitually tells lies? Absolutely not.
(6) Does Trump have a "grossly immoral character"?
Galli's final reason for removing Trump from office is that "none of the president's positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character."
It is a deeply serious matter to accuse someone of having a "grossly immoral character," for if the accusation is believed, it destroys a person's reputation for a lifetime, and a good reputation is more valuable than untold riches. "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold" (Prov. 22:1). Therefore, before anyone makes an accusation like this, it is important that the accusation be based on an abundance of clear and compelling evidence, for false accusation inflicts substantial harm on another person. God commands, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Ex. 20:16), and the Mosaic law code imposed strict penalties on anyone who made a false accusation (see Deut. 19:18-19; compare Prov. 6:19). Has Galli adequately considered whether he is making a false accusation against the president of the United States?
"You Are a Bad Person" Strategy of the Left
Although I do not believe that Galli himself is part of the political left, it is also important to realize the kind of political climate in which Galli's claim occurs. One Fox News commentator rightly observed that the political left has realized that it can't beat conservatives by arguing, "You have bad policies," so it has shifted to attacks that take the form, "You are a bad person." And the result is that President Trump has been the target of incessant character assassination by the media for the past three years (as have many other conservatives).
But Jesus told us how to evaluate someone's character: We should look at the fruit that comes from his life. "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush" (Luke 6:43-44).
Judging Donald Trump's Character by the Results of His Presidency
We now have three years of results (or "fruit") that have come from Donald Trump's presidency, and, in my judgment, the fruit has been overwhelmingly good.
- The appointment of two Supreme Court justices, 50 judges to federal circuit courts of appeal and 133 federal District Court judges (plus two other judges to specialized courts). All of them are committed to interpreting the Constitution and the laws according to the original meaning of the words and not according to their personal policy preferences. This is a good result of immeasurable benefit to the future of the country, for it guarantees that laws must be made by elected legislators who are accountable to the people, not by judges who are appointed for life and have no effective accountability to the people as a whole. Many of these judges will serve for decades to come.
- Significant tax cuts that have resulted in remarkable growth in jobs and wages. The good results are already seen in the paychecks of millions of workers, with the highest percentage growth occurring in low-income jobs, the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, and the lowest black and Hispanic unemployment rates ever recorded.
- Massive elimination of wasteful government regulations, giving a strong boost to business and job growth.
- Strengthening our military with passage of the largest defense budget in our history.
- Standing up to China and firmly opposing their long-time theft of our intellectual property, including much copyrighted and patented information.
- Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and in general being a strong friend of Israel.
- Supporting laws and actions that protect the unborn child's right to life, including permitting states to defund Planned Parenthood, reinstating and expanding the Reagan administration's Mexico City Policy that halts funding to groups that promote abortion overseas, strengthening conscience protections for individuals and organizations that have sincerely held religious beliefs about the sanctity of human life, and requiring insurance companies to disclose to customers if their plans cover abortions.
- Building as much of a truly effective border wall as could be built in the face of intransigent opposition by Democrats.
- Withdrawing from the misguided Paris Climate Accord, which would have significantly increased energy prices in the U.S.
- Issuing executive orders that protect religious freedom, such as rescinding the Obamacare HHS mandate that forced groups such as Little Sisters of the Poor to provide access to abortifacients through their health care plans or face massive fines, finalizing new rules that protect the rights of conscience for pro-life medical professionals and the Department of Justice issuing 20 principles of religious liberty to guide the Administration's litigation strategy and protect religious freedom.
- Revoking the Waterways of the U.S. regulation, which wrongly took control of millions of acres of people's private property.
- Gaining approval for the Keystone pipeline, the Dakota access pipeline and oil exploration in a tiny section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Finally retaining energy independence for the United States (we now produce more energy than we consume).
- Rescinding Obama-era regulations that required schools to allow biological boys to enter girls' restrooms and locker rooms in high schools.
- Driving ISIS out of large areas that it had controlled in Iran and Syria.
- Supplying Ukraine with needed weapons to defend itself against Russia.
- Persuading several NATO allies to increase their defense spending.
- Protecting freedom of speech on public university campuses by denying federal funding to institutions that do not protect student speech.
- Promoting more ability for parents to be able to choose their children's schools by appointing Betsy DeVos, a veteran school-choice advocate, as secretary of education.
Many more items could be listed.
I do not think a man of "grossly immoral character" (as Galli alleges) could produce this many good results. "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit" (Luke 6:43-44). Trump's character is not perfect, and I will not try to defend every single thing that comes out of his mouth. Sometimes his words are coarse and even vulgar, and I object to that. But no leader is going to be perfect, and such coarse language fades in significance compared to these massive actions for the good of the nation. Therefore, I still think these results show that he is a good president. A very good president. And I am eager to vote for him again in November.
What About the Negative Results?
At this point someone will ask, "But what about the negative fruit from Trump's presidency? Isn't he responsible for the toxic, highly polarized political atmosphere we now live in?"
I don't think there is only one cause, and I'm willing to admit that Trump's name-calling is one factor. But remember that it is the political left, not conservatives, who have rendered themselves "the Resistance" and have continued to do everything they can to prevent the Trump Administration from even functioning.
I have no objection to both parties making their best arguments in the public square and attempting to persuade others of their viewpoint. This is essential for a healthy democracy.
But it is quite another thing to "resist" the legitimate government through violence and intimidation. It is not conservatives but the political left that supports sanctuary cities (hindering enforcement of immigration laws rather than seeking to change the laws through the political process). It is the political left that has instigated shouting at Trump Administration officials and their friends until they are driven out of restaurants and their families are terrified in their own homes. It is the political left that has repeatedly disrupted congressional hearings with shouted protests.
It is the political left that has abandoned established procedural rules and precedents, fair play and due process in congressional hearings. It is the political left that has organized mass protests to prevent conservative speakers from even being heard on university campuses. It is the political left that has attacked innocent people and made thousands of conservatives (including me) afraid to say they support Trump, or wear a MAGA hat or put a Trump bumper sticker on their car. These actions do not belong in a healthy society, for they are not part of acceptable political opposition, but are characteristics of the Resistance.
Yet the New Testament tells us, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment" (Rom. 13:1-2).
Others may disagree, but it seems to me that these actions, driven by an apparent hatred of Donald Trump, are primarily responsible for our toxic political culture.
Harm to the Christian Gospel?
Galli concludes by warning that evangelical Trump supporters will harm "the reputation of evangelical religion" and "the world's understanding of the gospel." My response is that it is not correct for Galli to say that character "doesn't really matter" to evangelical Trump supporters, for we have roundly and universally condemned his past immoral behavior. Character matters. But the moral character that Trump has demonstrated while in the White House, his unswerving commitment to his campaign promises, his courage and his sound judgment on one policy issue after another are commendable.
And the future of the nation also matters. It matters a lot—not only for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren, but also for the rest of the world, for whom a strong United States is the primary bulwark against tyranny and oppression. And it matters for the future of the church, for which freedom of religion remains a precious benefit not shared today by Christians in numerous other countries.
If evangelicals fail to support Donald Trump after he has delivered on so many issues important to Christian values, many people will conclude that we really do not care about conservative judges; the protection of the unborn; the protection of gender distinctions; religious freedom; conscience protections for Christians in the workplace; a strong enough military to protect us against threats from China, North Korea, Russia and Iran; jobs; wages; economic opportunities for minorities; a secure border; Israel; affordable energy (especially for the poor); energy independence; the protection of property rights; expanding parental choice for schools; revitalizing NATO; protecting freedom of speech on campuses and many other things. Galli dismisses these concerns with the label "political expediency," but all of these issues affect people's ordinary lives. These issues really do matter.
On issue after issue, President Trump is changing the direction of the country for the better. When I weigh these results against his sometimes imprecise and coarse speech, there is no comparison.
What Is the Alternative?
What is the alternative to President Trump? The current Democratic candidates are proposing much higher taxes, significantly more regulations, no border wall, reduced defense spending, protecting abortion rights up to the very moment of birth, compelling Christian businesses and parachurch organizations to affirm same-sex marriage and approval of transgender sexual identity, imposing massive restrictions on coal and oil, a wealth tax, Medicare for all (which brings us government-run health care), and a general movement toward a kind of socialism in which more and more businesses and industries are placed under government control. The common theme running through these proposals is taking away more and more of our freedoms, with the government controlling more and more details of our lives.
I prefer freedom. I agree with our Declaration of Independence that liberty is an "unalienable right" that has been bestowed on us by our Creator. I'll vote again for Trump.
Wayne Grudem is distinguished research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary in Scottsdale, Arizona. The opinions expressed here are his own and should not be understood to represent the viewpoint of Phoenix Seminary.
This article was adapted from a piece first published at Townhall.com, Dec. 30, 2019. Used with permission from author.
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