There has recently been a spate of articles in Christian or Christian-leaning publications, such as First Things and Patheos, on why Christians should prefer Hillary Clinton to win in November (example here). These articles inevitably take the course:
- Donald Trump is an immoral man.
- The most immoral people in America support Donald Trump
- Christians cannot in good conscience join with such sinners.
- Therefore, we should prefer for Hillary to win so we can rebuild a truly moral Republican Party.
Of course, this is an obnoxiously stupid argument, but that never stopped anyone. What's going on here is that the writers of these articles are looking for ways to signal their own righteousness. Letting others know that you're righteous is very important to Very Serious Christians, as opposed to the normal sort who merely go to church on Sunday and try to raise decent children. The GOP is aware of this, so they've typically been very good at nominating candidates who put on a good image of looking and acting like a guy you'd feel comfortable next to in a pew, regardless of how many wives they'd had or how recently they supported abortion. The point is that Christians like to fancy that everything they do stores up treasure in heaven, and a guy like Ronald Reagan or Mitt Romney makes you feel like you're a good person for voting for him.
Unlike GOP candidates since Reagan, Donald Trump doesn't act like a Christian. It's not that he sleeps with more women, cares less about abortion, or is more narcissistic, it's that he doesn't look, act, or sound like a church guy. Trump's presentation doesn't give the Very Serious Christian a sense of righteousness. You won't be able to post credibly on social media about how voting for him was a deep act of faith that expresses your union with Christ in the earthly realm. Nope, the best you can say is that you think Trump's policies are overall more favorable to you than Clinton's, and that' s not enough for the Very Serious Christian.
That is simply not good enough. Just living in the world and making the pragmatic choices that face us every day lacks the fierce moral urgency of finally getting an answer to that question which has plagued the faith since its genesis: "Lord, who among us is the greatest?" A Christian can't answer that question by voting for a guy who made fun of a very nice and virtuous man until he almost cried!
But what a Christian can do is write sanctimoniously about how voting at all in this election is a moral evil that stains your soul with the unrighteousness of the candidate. So in this election, the Very Serious Christian is conscience-bound to help elect a woman who arms Islamic jihadists to destroy the world's most ancient Christian communities, lies about it, throws an innocent man in jail to cover for her lies, personally destroys sexual assault victims when they obstruct her power, speaks before Latino nationalist groups with openly genocidal ambition, and promises that the people chanting "What do we want? Dead cops!" that they'll have the run of the place if she gets power.
That is, of course, the Christian thing to do.