Rich and Barb Heki have been involved politically for a number of years, mainly as advocates for homeschooling in their home state of Iowa—typically a key "battleground state" every four years in the presidential election.
in 2008, and again this year, the founders and directors of Grandparents of Homeschoolers were avid supporters of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee during the Republican presidential primary process. And while they understand why some fellow evangelicals may have problems voting for GOP nominee Donald Trump, they took the time Monday morning to explain why the New York businessman needs our votes.
Here's what they wrote to their followers on Facebook:
We are officially, publicly supporting Donald Trump for president. We have been planning to vote for him since he became the Republican nominee this summer, but because we know people who are talking about writing in Mickey Mouse, or their candidate who lost or just not voting for president—for conscience reasons—we need to say this: Our consciences will not let us give Hillary the presidency! Our consciences compel us to do everything we can to promote the one candidate of the two who will protect our country, our religious liberties and our freedom to freely share the gospel. That's the bottom line. It was the bottom line with our Founding Fathers, too. We MUST protect our freedoms, not lose them for the sake of making a point.
Have Rich and I changed our convictions to support a candidate who doesn't mirror all of ours? Not one iota. We are much more conservative than Mr. Trump on the social issues. In fact, we are ultra-conservative on the social issues. We did not even agree with very conservative candidates when they said that states have the right to redefine what God has defined (marriage). Nothing has changed in our beliefs.
But here's the difference: Primary vs. General. It's a game-changer. We have to make the best decisions we can with the choices that we have. We only have two choices at this point because one of the two WILL lead our country. And Mr. Trump is far, far, far better for our country and our freedoms than Hillary. That is an undeniable fact. He's surrounded himself with Christians as advisers and is heeding advice from Constitutional conservatives at Heritage and the Federalist Society for his Supreme Court picks. His running mate is an evangelical Christian. He understands the threat of Islam and is willing to use the word "Islamic" with the word "terrorist," unlike Hillary, who has received so much money from the Arabs that they own her. Trump will stop illegal immigration while Hillary will expand it. Mr. Trump is pro-Second Amendment and has the support of gun groups. He is far more pro-life than Hillary, and in this election (and probably any election), those of us who are pro-life from conception to natural death, without exceptions, are not going to get what we want, so we get what we can. For anyone who cares at all about parents' rights to direct the upbringing of our own children, you need to know that Hillary has long championed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will transfer decision-making power from parents to an international government if our Senate ratifies it; that's all that's left for this to happen, and Hillary wants to finish the job her husband started when he signed this treaty.
This election is the most crucial election for our freedoms and liberties that we've ever had in the history of our country. This fact cannot be overstated!
In the primaries, we had the opportunity to choose the candidate who came closest to the highest standards we hold, who best fit the biblical qualifications that God set down for choosing leaders in the national of Israel and in the church (even though we are choosing leaders in a secular "Rome"). In the primaries, I crossed candidates off my list for reasons that no longer have any relevance now that we're down to just two choices in the general. For instance, if they took a stand that opposed parental rights in a particular area, or if they favored exceptions that allowed abortions, or if they would give states rights to change things like marriage that God had ordained, or if they had voted for legislation that would take away some of our liberties. That's how I narrowed down my choices—eliminating those who fell short in even one area.
Now, in the general election, I could easily have supported probably all of those I eliminated during the primaries. That's the way it works. We all chose our ideal candidate from the 17, and when the game changed, we needed to regroup and choose from those who were left. In Iowa, we had the privilege of choosing from among all 17. Other states had to choose from smaller pools as candidates dropped out. If their first choice was no longer in the race, they had to re-evaluate and choose the best from those that remained. We did that as a nation until we got down to one final choice on the Republican side—Donald Trump.
As an aside, I want to make an important distinction between endorsement and support. I endorsed Gov. Mike Huckabee for president, so I won't be endorsing anyone else this election cycle. I believe that an endorsement means I am giving my 100 percent confidence in a person's integrity, experience and capability of leading our country, and I did that for Gov. Huckabee. With him out of the race, any candidate I now choose to back gets my support, and that candidate, for such a time as this, is Donald Trump.
So, are Rich and I choosing the lesser of the evils? Absolutely. And that's exactly what we did, and what all of you did, during the primaries when there were 17 candidates. Choosing the very best of the available options is exactly the same as choosing the lesser of the evils. Because the Bible says we are all evil. So ANY vote is going to be for the lesser of evils. I used to think that I couldn't vote for the lesser of evils because that is still voting for evil. And that's true. But the other half of it is that the only way to avoid voting for the lesser of evils is to never vote. Ever! Not for president and not for dogcatcher. I refused to vote for the "lesser of evils" in the past, along with many others, because I thought both candidates were evil, and the result was an eight-year reign of Obama that has been the most destructive to our liberties and to the Constitution of any presidency. I apologize. And I take responsibility for that. I don't intend to ever make that mistake again.
For those who say they don't need to vote for Trump to keep Hillary out because God is sovereign: I agree that God is sovereign, but it is clear throughout Scripture that God works through people. If you believe that you don't need to vote for Trump in order to prevent Hillary from becoming president, because of God's sovereignty, then you need to apply that same argument to every election and not ever vote—not ever—because after all, God is sovereign and doesn't need you. There are sects in our society that believe this and follow this; they do not vote. If this is what you believe for this election, then it applies to all elections.
Our vote for Trump is not just a vote to keep Hillary out. We believe that Trump will make a really good president and a strong leader, and that right now, in the climate that America has become, he is probably the only one who truly can make America great again ... with God's help and our prayers. He aligns with evangelicals on probably ¾ or more of his policies.
And we have an opportunity that we've never had in my lifetime, and maybe not since the Founding era: We can have a president who has never been an elected official, who won't cow-tow to the establishment, who doesn't owe a bunch of favors to donors, and who is rich enough that he can't be bribed. To be quite honest, this is positively refreshing, and Rich and I are looking forward to seeing what someone like that can accomplish for the cause of freedom as he serves the people instead of the politicians.
This election is not a game. And it's not an opportunity to make a point or a statement. And unless God is truly speaking directly to YOU, saying, "Don't vote for Trump," then this is not the time to try to act super-spiritual, spurred by peer pressure, as if opposing Trump somehow makes a person a godly individual.
Sunday in church, the story was told that you've all probably heard, about the man who had a chance to escape a flood by rescuers in a canoe, a boat and a helicopter, but he turned down all of them, saying that he chose instead to wait for God to save him. He died, and in heaven he asked God why He had not saved him. God responded that he had sent a canoe, a boat and a helicopter.
While this story is fictional, it makes a very good point. We are fools to presume we know what kind of "protection" God will provide and to turn down anything that doesn't fit our image of what that is.
Our country is on a fast-track to socialism, from which it will be nearly impossible to return if we have four years of Hillary on top of the eight years we've had of Obama. Our hope is always in Christ, and Christ alone, but we still have to live under whichever leader comes into power. Only one of those two—Donald Trump—passionately loves America and is equipped and steadfast in his resolve to defend and protect our country and our liberties, and most importantly to us as Christians, our religious liberties. The other one—Hillary Clinton—is determined to destroy America, Christianity and all the liberties for which our Founding Fathers gave their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
Just as our Founding Fathers acted for the future of this country, this election is not just about us, but about our children and grandchildren and the preservation of freedom—not just personal freedom, but freedom to share the Gospel, because that is our calling as Christians, and that's the bottom line, most-important aspect of all. For this reason, and all the other reasons explained above, Rich and I wholeheartedly support voting for Donald Trump for president.
And apparently, we're in good company. Many evangelical leaders we highly respect are (or were) going to vote for Trump for the same reasons we are: James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Sen. Bob McEwen, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Jerry Falwell Jr., the late Phyllis Schlafly, David Lane, Wayne Grudem, Mark Levin, Gary Bauer, Sarah Palin, Penny Nance, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Ralph Reed, Jim Garlow, Dr. Alveda King, Eric Metaxas, Janet Parshall, Bishop Harry Jackson, Robert Jeffress, Phil and Willie Robertson, and obviously Mike Pence.
I'm pretty sure that all of them are praying the same prayer that we are: that God will grab Mr. Trump's heart and guide him in every decision he makes.
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