Monday, July 18, 2016

Someone Who Is Neither Christian Nor Conservative Can't Really Be The Christian Conservative Candidate

Somebody named Mark Burns, oh excuse me Pastor Mark Burns, was on Fox and Friends yesterday and declared one Donald J. Trump to be the "Christian conservative candidate"...

"He is the Christian conservative candidate. America, if you're a Christian, if you're a conservative, this is the party you need to be voting for."

I don't have a clue who this Mark Burns fellow is but he must be relatively famous and be willing to use his credentials as a "pastor" to speak at the Republican National Convention in favor of Donald Trump. Since many Christians automatically place a great deal of trust in the credibility of what someone says if they are identified as a "pastor" or "minister" or "reverend", it makes sense for the RNC to drum up someone who will say the right things on stage. It will make it easier for rank-and-file Christians to vote for Trump if someone who is a "pastor" tells them it is OK. In a society where many people give immediate credibility to something said by someone in a position of authority, it is incredibly dangerous to have people who are allegedly supposed to be shepherding the sheep using that influence to promote secular political candidates.

If you want to support and vote for Trump, be my guest. I get why you would do so but what I really wish Christians would do is to state that while Trump is not a Christian in any sense of the word, he is a better pragmatic choice than Hillary Clinton. My view is that while Trump might accidentally do some stuff right if he is elected, we can be sure that Mrs. William Clinton will make the wrong decision 100 times out of 100. For what it is worth, I am not voting for either of them.

We have a problem though when Mr. Burns (no relation to the owner of the nuclear power plant in Springfield) uses the term "Christian conservative candidate" to describe Trump. The problem is that he apparently doesn't understand what 2 of those 3 words mean. He is correct that Donald Trump is a candidate for President. But a conservative? Unless you actually believe that Trump has had a complete change of heart on every single issue, most notably abortion, you have to recognize that he is not a conservative as it is understood by anyone who has thought it through. A pragmatist, sure. A sort of nativist/populist demagogue for certain. But a conservative? Please. The claim he is a Christian is even worse. Being a Christian means being born-again, being a new creature in Christ. Saying "Imma 'strong' Christian" and waving an obviously unopened Bible around doesn't make you a Christian, nor does having the term applied to you by James Dobson. We are told that we will know Christians by their fruit but Trump is the more or less exact opposite of every single fruit of the Spirit. I wish Christian "leaders" would quit trying to turn Trump into a Christian to make it our obligation to vote for him and just be honest, Trump is the less awful choice in what is traditionally a strictly two party contest and it says a lot about Mrs. Clinton that she can make Trump look like the better choice. I am hoping that Gary Johnson gets on the debate stage, he is not exactly a dynamo and is wrong on some issues but at least he would be honest about who he is, a marked contrast to the two serial liars representing the two major parties.

"Conservative". "Christian". Mr Burns keeps using those words but they don't mean what he thinks they mean.

Of course I might add that someone who uses his ecclesiastical title to try to influence members of the church to vote for Donald Trump might add another word to the list of words he doesn't understand, "pastor".

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