February 10, 2020

SO MY PROBLEM WITH DAVID FRENCH’S CLAIM that Christians shouldn’t vote for Trump is that if you take it seriously, Christians shouldn’t vote for anyone because no president in my lifetime was Christ-like enough to meet French’s standard. (No, not even Jimmy Carter, whose public piety is merely cover for a poisonous personality). Now if you want to argue for monastic exclusion from politics, that’s fine (though to my mind stupid). But if you want to argue for it only when Trump is president, then I question your sincerity, and French’s rather pharasaical tone doesn’t help.

But despite his argument, I think even a serious pro-life Christian might conclude that, given a choice between an un-Christ-like politician who is loudly and vigorously in favor of abortion (i.e. any Democrat these days), and an un-Christ-like politician who is without doubt the most pro-life president we’ve ever had, it’s okay to support the latter. French attempts to engage this argument but to my mind he is not successful. I doubt many will find the piece all that persuasive but I think that French’s main intended audience was David French, whose faith in neverTrumpism may need bolstering at this point. And I’m not sure it’s impossible to love your enemies while still trying to kick their ass.

On a broader note, so long as we’re talking about sin, I’ll note that pride and envy seem to play a major role in the NeverTrump movement in general: Pride in (self-proclaimed) moral superiority, and envy of Trump’s accomplishments, which make him by any reasonable measure the most conservative president of my lifetime. I’d suggest some self-reflection on this point.

Related: Christian Just Voting For Whichever Political Party Less Likely To Make His Faith Illegal One Day. Yeah, this second piece is satire, but is it really?

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