If we reject Trump, we may be inviting persecution

But aren’t Christians all about asking God for exactly that — more than we deserve? If it sounds like I’m saying that the election of Donald Trump might be a moment of unmerited grace for the United States of America. … Yes, given the only live alternative, that is exactly what I mean.

I think that some Christian resistance to backing this candidate comes down to simple distaste — some of it justified. This is a man with multiple divorces, a flashy and hedonistic lifestyle, a penchant for juvenile insults — the list could go on and on. It can wear down the soul just to think about it, and that’s for a simple reason: It’s gossip. The sins of other people aren’t meant to be fodder for our spiritual reflection, though the devil tells us otherwise. The flaws that matter in a political leader are those that connect to his likely performance in office, compared to the real-world alternatives. When we say we prefer the hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, racist agnostic Winston Churchill, we mean compared to Adolf Hitler. It’s nonsense to line up every leader next to Jesus or even our ideal politician. I promise you, they will all fall far short.

Besides, there’s a long history of Christians humbly setting aside their craving for a fully admirable leader, in recognition of a stark reality: In a fallen world, we are subject to violence. Those we are called to protect, from our own children to those in the wombs of desperate strangers, demand that we find a way to defend them. If we look at the sword which God has left in our path, and sniff that it isn’t shiny enough or might be caked with mud, and leave the innocents to suffer — make no mistake, we will answer for it.