The election cycle of 2015-16 has been beyond unpredictable, and to say the least, just plain weird.
If you had placed bets on the current political scenario just one year ago (Donald Trump as the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton still battling Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination), political pundits would have laughed at you.
Nevertheless, this is where our nation is. Donald Trump has secured the Republican nomination, and Hillary Clinton will almost assuredly win the Democratic nomination. As of May 29th, Gary Johnson is the Libertarian nominee. There have been talks of an independent candidate, but as of yet, that has not materialized.
All of this has led many Christians to ask: “How should I vote?”
Many Christians will argue that, even though Trump is certainly not the ideal candidate, he is the “lesser of two evils.”
On the opposite end, many Christians in the “Never Trump” crowd have voiced their support for Clinton over Trump or are still waiting for a 3rd party independent candidate to run. Although Gary Johnson fits this 3rd party description, his recently stated platform against certain religious liberties has caused issues with many potential Christian voters.
While I certainly am not an authoritative voice on how Christians should vote, I have decided that I will not be supporting any of the three previously mentioned candidates. I will be waiting for a 3rd party candidate who hopefully represents my values and principles, and if that does not come to pass, then I will likely write somebody in.
I can understand the arguments made by those who argue that Trump is the lesser of two evils. Hillary, a vocal supporter of furthering abortion rights and a lady whose time in powerful positions has led to her reputation of dishonesty, is certainly not a candidate that many Christians will support.
However, I do not believe that Trump is necessarily the “lesser evil.”
A simple look through Trump’s comments and tweets reveals how he uses personal intimidation to silence those who criticize him – a characteristic no leader should have. He has, on countless occasions, said despicable things in public settings during his campaign – be it his mocking of a disabled person, taunting a war veteran, or spreading conspiracy theory lies about opposing candidates).
Not only has he done these things, but he has also proven to be reluctant to take strong positions on several key issues. For example, Trump changed his stance on abortion five times in three days.
Without making this simply a hit piece on both party’s nominees, it is essential that Christians search the Scriptures daily for guidance on every issue they will be voting on. The party identification of the candidate does not matter so much as their individual character and their positions on policies.
I know that many people will disagree with my simultaneous “Never Trump” and “Never Hillary” positions. However, I encourage each Christian to pray and seek Godly wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to their vote, and to follow their conscience the best they can.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)
Moreover, Christians are commanded to submit to authority (Romans 13:1-7) and to pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Regardless of who becomes president, we must commit to these undertakings.
God cares about the daily affairs of His creation, and we live in a nation that allows us to participate in its own decision making. It is a privilege that should be taken seriously.
Most importantly, Christ is King over all, and no earthly authority can overrule His decisions. We can take eternal comfort in that.
UPDATE: By using the phrase “lesser of two evils,” I do not mean to imply that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton are, in fact, “evil.” I am simply using the terminology I have heard many fellow Christians use to justify voting for either of the two candidates. In reality, all of humanity is in some way evil, with no person being clean from the stain of their own sin (myself included). Thankfully, Christ has justified believers through His death, burial, and resurrection.