A Christian and Conservative in the Age of Trump

Updated on January 15, 2020
Al Stine profile image

Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources with studies in Botany and Zoology.

Pastors from the Las Vegas area pray with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a visit to the International Church of Las Vegas, and International Christian Academy on Oct. 5, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nev.
Pastors from the Las Vegas area pray with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a visit to the International Church of Las Vegas, and International Christian Academy on Oct. 5, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nev. | Source

The presidency of Donald Trump, beginning on January 20, 2017, was propelled with a message of ‘Making America Great Again’ by breaking the status quo and exposing the lies of the ‘deep state’ and the ‘fake news’ media who were acting against the interests of the American people. This message largely resonated with Republican voters and, most importantly, white Evangelical Christians. This created a conversation about what it means to be a Christian in America if Trump’s message is able to resonate with this demographic and what identity will be left after Trump’s presidency.

Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ message was riddled in divisive rhetoric even before he took office; his opinions on race, gender, religion and other social issues lacked good reasoning and intent. His talking points were largely devoid of facts, and largely based on conspiracy theories. Despite all these flaws, his message was still able to resonate with Christians, largely white Evangelical Christians and Catholics, to be specific.

It is worth noting that 75% of polled American adults identified themselves as Christians in 2015, and the United States has the largest Christian population in the world, approximately 167 million Christians. This means Christianity as a religious demographic is a huge voting block. Christian denominations in the United States are usually divided into three large groups: Evangelical Protestantism, Mainline Protestantism and the Catholic Church. All Protestant denominations accounted for 46.5% of the population, with the Catholic Church by itself at 20.8%.

In a Trump-Clinton 2016 match-up, Trump was able to beat Clinton in the percentage of voters from all three large Christian groups. This is not surprising, considering previous Republican candidates have also done well in these groups due to the conservative nature of the Republican party. Conservatism in the United States is a broad system of political beliefs that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism and support for Christian values and morals. Conservatives have a deep regard for family values and the constitution and are more likely to take the moral high ground over their liberal counterparts. This broad system of beliefs is largely influenced and infused with Christian values; it is for this reason that most conservatives are more likely to be identified as Republicans. Therefore, it is nothing new for Christian-oriented voters to lean more Republican than Democrat.

The case of Donald J. Trump was an interesting litmus test for Republicans, conservatives and Christians on how far they are willing to stretch their core values and beliefs in order to accommodate this unorthodox candidate's nature. Donald Trump's conduct before the presidency is riddled in scandals, falsehoods, affairs and lawsuits; his bad conduct is well documented in the media, and Republicans are on record describing how inept and irrational his demeanor has always been. He ran on the campaign of exposing the evil elements of the deep state, globalists and the fake news media. Three years into his presidency, he claims to still be fighting those evil elements. He has painted it the fight of good against evil, light against darkness, and he has managed to mobilize a Christian brigade to fight his war. How he managed to convince the masses that propelled him to win the presidency is basic politics and campaigning on the wishes of the electorate. But how he managed to convince the Christian-oriented voters that he is the vessel that carries their message in the fight against evil leaves little to be desired for Christianity as a religion and calls for self-examinations and introspection for Christians.

Trump has preyed on the docile nature of Christianity as religion; in the past, Christianity has shown a readiness to yield to forces of control and has ended up used as a force for good or for bad. But in spite of the fact that religion-state unions are centuries old, they were not practiced by the early Christians, but rather were common traditions in lands like Egypt and by early Romans. Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity did not show a willingness to involve Christianity into the affairs of the Roman kingdom. On one occasion, his supporters tried to make him king, but he withdrew from that offer with good reason; his primary focus was preaching the good news, and he encouraged his followers to do the same.

If Jesus and his followers were infused in the affairs of the Roman kingdom, would the message they preached be accepted by the other lands that do not have a favorable view of the Roman kingdom? If an Evangelical Trump supporter preaches about Christian conduct and morals to someone in need of enlightenment, would that person accept the message if he doesn't hold Trump on those standards?

The bottom line is this: Trump attaching himself to Christians, but with no intention of conforming to their conduct and morals, in itself is an unholy marriage of convenience. Christians compromising their morals and values in support of a good economy and livelihood is a human thing to do, but after the Trump presidency, it's better not to preach to others about good morals and values without mentioning that there is a price at which those morals and values can be bought.

"United States has the largest Christian population in the world, approximately 167 million Christians"

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 AL

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    • profile image

      Kate 

      3 months ago

      Interesting article. I did not vote for Donald Trump in the year 2016 and I’m not voting for him in the year 2020.

    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR

      AL 

      7 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      Wba,

      Let's say the video of Trump mocking the handicapped was taken out of context, but can you say his constant use of profanity on his Twitter feed to attack his opponents is also taken out of context by the Media?

      Your point on neither candidate reflecting the accurate character of Christ is true because obviously we are humans, but the whole point of Christianity is to be Christ-like not to become Jesus Christ. Jesus set a model for Christians to follow, his words and actions were in constant agreement. He did not heal the sick and insult the Pharisees at the same time. For someone claiming to be Christian oriented like Trump, his words can do better.

      Your point on Obama's hostility towards Christians again goes back to my earlier argument, if you're presented with views or beliefs that are different to your Christian beliefs, is it hostility to you as a Christian? If it is, then Christianity is a very hostile religion towards other beliefs. Hostility is, if Obama enacted policies that forced Christians to abort their babies or become homosexual. If those policies are aimed at people that do not conform to Christian beliefs, good for them, it doesn't affect your personal rights to be Christian does it? Or maybe those policies make it harder for you to be a Christian. Please explain.

      Your data on supposedly Obama's hostility towards Christians through the years is still an issue of differences in beliefs. If me and you have differences in beliefs and opinions on a lot of issues, why would you allow me to come and speak at your wedding?

      Christianity isn't the only religion in America, if Obama broke the constitutional rights of Christians, that's an issue. Otherwise he had no constitutional obligation to pander to Christians.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 

      7 months ago from upstate, NY

      Al Stine

      “On your second point about accusations aimed at Trump, they are not unjustified or exaggerated if the words are coming out of his own mouth and twitter feed”

      The problem with your analysis is that anyone can isolate a comment out of context. Consider trump's alleged mocking of the handicapped. Another part of that same speech, in which Trump imitates a flustered general. Guess what? He does the exact same arm flailing. In another speech, Trump pretended to be a timorous Ted Cruz. Again, he does the exact same arm flailing.

      “Your third point about the bible emphasizing actions over words. If Jesus performed great miracles and went about insulting people that did not agree with his message, would people be willing to listen to his message?”

      Strange you should mention this point because it highlights the exact argument I made. Neither candidate accurately represents the character of Christ but I would choose the candidate whose policies are more in line with Christian principles over a candidate who observes an outward display of piety and decorum but whose policies trample Christians and Christian principles.

      “The fourth point on hostility towards Christians during the Obama administration because of his pro-abortion and homosexuality is very narrow-minded.”

      I doubt God would see condemning the sanctioning of the murder of innocent unborn children as narrow-minded. The same could be said for sanctioning Homosexual behavior. I hadn’t even begun to list the specific hostile actions and attitudes of the Obama administration towards Christians and Christian principles. Dozens of deeply troubling actions by the Obama administration are listed on the link I provided you. https://wallbuilders.com/americas-biblically-hosti...

      Here are just a few examples:

      May 2016 – President Obama appoints a transgender to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships — an act of overt disdain and hostility toward traditional faith religions.

      January 2013 – Pastor Louie Giglio is pressured to remove himself from praying at the inauguration after it is discovered he once preached a sermon supporting the Biblical definition of marriage.

      December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights.

      August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception.

      March 2015 – A decorated Navy chaplain was prohibited from fulfilling his duty of comforting the family (or any member of the unit) after the loss of a sailor because it was feared that he would say something about faith and God. He was even banned from the base on the day of the sailor’s memorial service.

      October 2013 – A counter-intelligence briefing at Fort Hood tells soldiers that evangelical Christians are a threat to Americans and that for a soldier to donate to such a group “was punishable under military regulations.”

      August 2013 – The Air Force, in the midst of having launched a series of attacks against those expressing traditional religious or moral views, invited a drag queen group to perform at a base.

      October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House.

      August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location.

      May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.

    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR

      AL 

      7 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      A B Williams, the article is not for or against the support of Trump. if you pay attention to my arguments i avoid mentioning the supposed good or bad policies Trump has enacted since he was elected. Am more interested in Trump as an individual and his recent ties to Christianity. The article is intended to be an introspection for Christians regarding what is an acceptable level of standards we expect our leaders to adhere to.

    • abwilliams profile image

      A B Williams 

      7 months ago from Central Florida

      Al, I never suggested that we are to "follow" Donald Trump. I would no more follow him than I would have "served" Obama, when the petition to 'pledge to serve him' was circulating on FB. I follow Jesus Christ and I serve God.

      My point is, Trump is far from perfect, but he is working for the people, not against us and I support him in his role as our President.

    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR

      AL 

      7 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      A B Williams, In my article i had argued against religion-state unions, mixing the will of the electorate with the will of God. Yes God has used flawed people in the bible, but there was a specific reason and a lesson to be taught and he made it very clear. Saul used to persecute Christians, and later God transformed him and he became Paul a person God used to advance Christianity. Paul is constantly mentioned in the bible as model for Christians to follow because he is no longer Saul, but rather now known as Paul a different person. Trump was Trump before he became president, does his twitter feed or messages suggest that he is a different Trump that is being used by God now?. And if we are to follow the direction of every flawed person God used in the bible: God on occasions had used Kings that did not worship him to advance his message and show his power, on several occasions he had hardened the hearts of these Kings. Do you consider these Kings flawed people that God used and deserve to have your Christians devotion today?. God once used a Donkey to speak to Ba'laam, Do you follow the Donkey's example today?.

      The point is God used flawed people in the bible, but didn't make them all disciples or apostles to be followed today, did he?

    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR

      AL 

      7 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      Wba, on your first point, if you read my article am looking at Trump from a Christian's perspective. Yes it is okay to vote for a flawed person because all humans have flaws.. But if trump was gay, your reason for not voting for him would be that it conflicts with your Christian beliefs. So talking about flaws from a human standpoint is different to a Christian's standpoint.

      On your second point about accusations aimed at Trump, they are not unjustified or exaggerated if the words are coming out of his own mouth and twitter feed. If i see a video of Trump mocking a disabled person at a campaign rally and you're telling me the media is exaggerating what i am seeing and hearing with my own senses, its basically saying i am unable assess what is in front of me on my own, that in itself is insulting.

      Your third point about the bible emphasizing actions over words. If Jesus performed great miracles and went about insulting people that did not agree with his message, would people be willing to listen to his message?. And the bible also mentions that "in abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks". Meaning what is in the heart is what comes out of the mouth. So basically you can use the bible to justify any point.

      The fourth point on hostility towards Christians during the Obama administration because of his pro abortion and homosexuality is very narrow minded. I am a Christian by the way, and if someone presents views that go against my Christianity it is not hostility, same as i have my own Christian views that go against the beliefs of other peoples beliefs. If Obama barred Christians from attending worship and torched their bibles, that is hostility towards Christians. If Trump introduced a Muslim ban, that is hostility towards Muslims.

      Lastly your point on Trump fulfilling the wishes of Christians since he became president. If you read my article, that is the reason he is president, he knows the electorate that propelled him to victory and he is basically repaying the faith and trust they had in him.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 

      7 months ago from upstate, NY

      AB- Absolutely, the media has become unhinged supporters of the Democrats. It's so obvious now that even some democrats admit how one-sided they've become. He's accomplished so much and taken on a corrupt media establishment at the same time.

      He's actually done what he said he would, a rare occurrence in today's political environment! I also lift him and his family up in prayer often because of the righteous stands he's made on many issues.

    • abwilliams profile image

      A B Williams 

      8 months ago from Central Florida

      Well stated wba.

      God has been using "flawed" individuals since the beginning of time.

      Only God knows Trump's heart and soul, through and through.

      It is such a shame that some never gave him a chance...from Day One, to prove himself. Even today, in light of his many successes, he gets no credit, only scrutiny!

      As one who was reluctant in the beginning, I've seen for myself what he has been able to accomplish. He is the person who was needed and therefore used, for this moment in time and he has my full support.

      He, his family and this Nation are always in my prayers.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 

      8 months ago from upstate, NY

      There is nothing morally wrong with voting for a flawed candidate if you think he will do more good for the nation than his opponent.

      Many of the accusations hurled against him are unjustified. I think these are unjust magnifications by a hostile press exaggerating some careless statements he has made. I think he is deeply patriotic and sincerely wants the best for the country.

      lack of decorum to me is less of a concern than the actions of an individual. This is also consistent with the biblical principle that actions are more important than words.

      Consider the hostility towards Christianity, Christian values and Christian institutions during the Obama administration. The promotion of Abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism. President Obama confessed that of course religion would inform an individual's politics, yet his policies embrace a radical separation of church and State not intended by the founders. Instead, it sought complete removal of religion from the public square, such as was the case in the former Soviet Union and other communist nations. https://wallbuilders.com/americas-biblically-hosti...

      Now consider the actions of Trump. He has become the first US President to ever host a meeting at the United Nations on religious freedom. Trump recommended conservative Justices to the courts who support religious freedom and first amendment rights for Christians. He’s supported and defended Israel. He’s pledged to work to repeal laws that have used the IRS code to silence pastors from speaking on political issues.

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