How Christians REALLY Feel About Donald Trump

This election cycle has been something else, I’ll give you that. It has looked more like reality tv than a political race. Indeed, the last Republican debate seemed more like a wild west shootout, with the exception that the gunslingers used angry words in place of six-shooters.

And through the smoke and chaos of the OK Corral (or the cause of it?) emerges one candidate who has consumed the political landscape.

donald-duck-973226_1920The Donald.

No, this post won’t be an evaluation or critique of the man and his policies. Rather, I’d like to look at how Christians feel about him and respond to him and to his message. So, doing what I like to do, I took to social media to ask a simple question:

As a Christian Republican, if Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee:

a) I will vote Trump
b) I will vote Democrat
c) I will not vote at all

The results of roughly 130 people (yes, yes, I’m not some big-time pollster) have been counted and tallied – there are not more hanging chads to argue about. This was the basic breakdown.

~ 41% said they would vote for Trump.
~ 20% said they would vote Democrat.
~ 39% said they would not vote at all.

Of course, Facebook responders also responded with several lengthy dissertations on why Conservatives are God’s chosen people. And other responders had lengthy dissertations on why Trump is the devil incarnate. What it really comes down to is recognizing that there is no monolithic Christian perspective when it comes to the presidential candidates.

I know fervent Christians who will be voting for The Donald.
I know fervent Christians who will be voting for other Republicans.
I know fervent Christians who will be voting for Bernie Sanders.

I haven’t met any fervent Christians who claim Hillary, so if you’re out there, drop me a line and let’s chat – you must exist somewhere in the Cosmos, and I’d like to hear your perspective.

white-house-451544_1920The point is this: though we have a say in electing our government officials (which is more than many Christians through history could say), a lot of us are going to not have our candidate of choice be the next leader.

And that’s okay. Or it should be.

Ultimately it comes down to trusting God to manage the affairs of the world no matter what human is running the show. In an era of the Roman Empire, where Christians were a persecuted minority, the Apostle Paul wrote:

Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:2-4)

If Paul can urge Christians on to good conduct in spite of the authority at the helm of the government, should we do any less? Sometimes we act as if we, as American Christians, are above the biblical call behave decently even towards those with whom we radically disagree. We treat political opposition in a vile manner. It’s like the presidential candidates who pretend to be God-fearing evangelicals in order to win the evangelical vote yet are horrible to each other on the debate stage, acting in ways that do NOT honor Christ.

This isn’t supposed to be who we are. Our politics are not supposed to trump (low-case “t”) our faith. We can rise above the political muck and mire and still treat people decently. We don’t have to name-call. We don’t have to slander. We don’t have to rail against people.

We can live out a Christ-like faith in a God who is in control of human history, even when things seem dark and desperate. At least, that’s how I interpret WWJD.

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How about you? Did you vote in our poll? How do you respond to the candidates?

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America – A Review

ERADICATE (Front Cover)

It’s a normal desire to want to live in a place where people share your values. It’s a normal part of humanity to see your culture and way of life as normative and everything outside the norm as a problem to be fixed. This is the basic premise of David Fiorazo’s Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America.

David Fiorazo
David Fiorazo

I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review of the book. Even though I was reading to write a review I was anticipating reading. As a moderate Evangelical Christian pastor and a Chaplain in the United States Army Reserve the idea of a society that is slowly taking God out of the picture disturbs me. My hope was that this book could provide a vision for the way ahead – showing Christians how to move forward in the culture in which we live and live as people of faith in a world that does not share that faith.

Alas, this was not what happened.

From the outset, Fiorazo confuses patriotism with faith. He is what I have termed an “Americhristian” – someone who believes that being a citizen of God’s kingdom and a citizen of the USA are one and the same. When that confusions takes place, we place nationalism on the same plane is faith. What the author desires is not necessarily Christian, but conservative American values that may or may not necessarily be Christian. Time and again he reveals his cultural bias. In the introduction he states:

“In spite of all its failures, America is still the greatest, most exceptional demonstration of faith, family, and freedom in the world.”

Such a statement is cultural bias, not fact. If God is the God of all nations then the emphasis of faith should be living, to appropriate the Bible, as strangers in a strange land. All Fiorazo does is call people back to conservative ideology. His talking points are the same you can hear daily from Rush Limbaugh or Mike Gallagher. His primary areas of concern:

1. Education
2. Planned Parenthood / Abortion
3. President Obama
4. The Media
5. Any form of Christian faith that isn’t old-school Christianity

Regarding education, Fiorazo is not an educator. He’s a media personality. He offers no curricular evidence when he talks about modern students learning “a much different history than you and I once learned in public schools.” He offers no data to verify what he says when he claims, “Parents studied the Bible and took its application seriously.” As a pastor I can tell you that I have not seen the overwhelming majority of ANY generation study the Bible and teach it to their kids. In the end, Fiorazo is merely upset that modern education pushes all of the things he is bothered by, including: environmentalism, illegal immigration, man-caused global warming, social justice, and the Democratic Party (pg. 31). He never stops to consider the possibility that one can be a faithful Christian and support environmentalism or be a Democrat. As I said, he’s confusing faith with politics.
Fiorazo’s chapter on Planned Parenthood and abortion is actually one of his better chapters. He takes an historical look at the development of the organization and its fight for abortion and the pro-choice position.

Then the author returns to his political attacks and writes on President Obama. His thoughts are nothing new and reflect what most in the conservative right already believe – that Mr. Obama is not a Christian and is working to undermine Christianity in America. One of the problems of this book is its dated material. Written before the election, Fiorazo talks about the upcoming election between Obama and Romney and urges people to vote for Romney. Ironically, while he rails against the “unchristian” Obama, he never really touches on the fact that Romney is not a Christian. Again we see politics coming into play above faith. It’s really not a faith issue for the conservative right. Has it ever been?

Fiorazo spends a good deal of time talking about corruption and bias in the media. “We must understand some news outlets are definitely biased, and we need to listen, read, and watch!” (pg. 131). He never addresses the fact that conservative outlets are just as biased as liberal outlets. HE throws around the same pejorative language as Limbaugh and Gallagher, referring to media “elites.” He brings up the media’s love for Mr. Obama, proving once again that his real concern is political, not spiritual.

At the end of the book, Fiorazo rails against any form of faith that does not conform to his understanding of traditional conservative values. He brings up the Emerging Church, New Age, Oprah, Yoga, multiculturalism, contemplative prayer, and every other issue that is seen as a hot-topic issue for the conservative right.

When all is said and done, Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America is more about political ideology than it is about faith and spirituality in culture. You will not find any content that is unique and cannot be heard every day from conservative talking heads.

It is merely the battle cry of conservative Republicans.

You can find the book on Amazon from author David Fiorazo.