This post is in response to Why Voting for Donald Trump is a Morally Good Choice by Wayne Grudem
I remember the first time my now husband, Luke, told me that he was a Christian Democrat. We were taking a walk on the shore of Virginia Beach, where we met at Regent University, which was founded by conservative evangelical, Pat Robertson. I was a divinity student and Luke was a government student. As we were getting to know each other, we walked and talked up and down boardwalks and sandy beaches.
Luke was and is one of the most selfless Christians I have ever met, so I found myself greatly challenged when he told me proudly that he was a Christian Democrat.
At that point, I knew of only one Christian Democrat, my Aunt Jeanie. Aunt Jeanie, who is now elderly, founded a ministry in her younger years, out of the trunk of her car. She had a fire for social justice and a profound calling from God to the poorest and most marginalized people in our community. Through the years, I have watched her ministry grow into an organization that has fed and clothed thousands of people plagued with poverty. Due to this ministry, Aunt Jeanie has led hundreds of people to Jesus Christ. One of her favorite sayings is, “To God be the glory.”
My father is not a political man. He avoids these sorts of conversations, so I received most of my political training from my conservative republican mother. My mother is a good woman. She has spent her life reaching out to those without a spiritual mother and those without a friend. My mother is perhaps the hardest worker I have ever known. She is full of integrity and keeps her promises. She has never been a fan of democratic policies, and she has never been afraid to say it. Needless to say, Bill and Hillary Clinton are not her favorite politicians. And so, neither were they mine.
I took my mother’s opinions with me to graduate school, as many young Christians do.
I had never voted, but I was certain that “republican” and “Christian” went hand in hand. This opinion of mine had never been challenged before, as I went to all conservative Christian colleges. Yet, here I was, hand in hand with a young man, who was telling me that he was a democrat. I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness, I am dating someone who is not even a Christian. I am going to have to break things off.”
My very first comment was, “What about abortion? Do you believe in murdering babies?” Luke, in his laidback nature, smiled and said, “No, I do not believe in abortion, but I do think it’s weird that the government has any sort of say over a woman’s body.” I about fell on the ground. I had never even considered this viewpoint. He also said, “I am not a single issue voter; the Bible speaks to many issues.” I was discouraged by his words; I didn’t understand, because I was brought up to think so differently.
Luke and I married in 2009, and I am still a registered republican. I planned to vote republican this year, mostly because I am pro-life, but something happened. Donald Trump came along and forced me to evaluate my biased and narrow beliefs.
When Donald Trump was asked about his views on abortion, his first response was that women should be “punished” by law if they have the procedure done. The pro-life movement has never advocated for women to be treated as criminals, if they had an abortion. Conservative republicans, for the most part, have always maintained the position that the doctors who perform the abortion should be criminalized. When Trump said this, the pro-life movement was shocked and I was too. Within the next couple of days, Donald Trump changed his position on abortion about five times.
In those days, I realized that Donald Trump does not care about this issue that I have kept close to my heart for years.
Over the last few months, I have watched Donald Trump make fun of a disabled reporter, call women vicious names, call for a ban on all Muslims, imply that all Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers, and the list goes on. He has stirred racial division in our country in a way that I have never seen done in my lifetime. Yet, Christian leader Wayne Grudem said, “Voting for Trump is a morally good choice.” Now, if one wants to vote for Trump due to their political convictions, that is their prerogative; but, to strongly imply that voting for Trump (or Hillary) is somehow a “moral conviction,” is plain wrong and an abuse of religious power.
I don’t know Wayne Grudem personally, and I am sure he is a good man in many ways, but he has spent a lifetime creating doctrine that excludes and marginalizes girls and women.
This doctrine is known as complementarianism, and it is the belief that women are never called by God to lead men in the home, church, and even society (although some complementarians disagree with the society portion). This doctrine limits our female children and marginalizes women in the evangelical church. Under this doctrine, girls can never dream of becoming pastors or presidents. This is why I am particularly stirred by this statement of Grudem’s:
“These incidents show that it is not an exaggeration to say that, under a liberal Supreme Court resulting from Hillary Clinton’s election, Christians would increasingly experience systematic exclusion from hundreds of occupations, with thousands of people losing their jobs. Step-by-step, Christians would increasingly be marginalized to the silent fringes of society. Is withholding a vote from Donald Trump important enough to pay this high a price in loss of freedom?”
As a young, conservative, evangelical girl, I was called into ministry. God chose me to lead both women and men in the Church, and here is the fact of the matter. The conservative evangelical church has systematically excluded me from hundreds of pastoral occupations, and I have struggled for years to find suitable jobs – even with a master’s degree from Regent University. I was silenced by the evangelical conservative church, marginalized, and pushed to the fringes of society.
It is in the fringes that I found my voice and have been warmly embraced by others that the Church has excluded. It is among the marginalized that I was valued and empowered.
Wayne Grudem does not include girls and women to the degree that he includes boys and men. My hunch is that he has a real problem with a woman becoming our next president. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has spent her entire career fighting to include everyone. Do I agree with all of her political stances? No, I do not.
But I do know that Donald Trump and Wayne Grudem are much more likely to leave girls and women behind than Hillary Clinton is.
Further, studies have shown that abortion rates do not go down when abortion is illegal (source). Women will still get abortions at the same rate, but it will be unsafe and we will lose women to death. Our only hope in ending abortion is to address the root reasons as to why women have abortions – such as poverty. We cannot legislate the hearts and minds of humans.
I do agree with Grudem that a vote for a third party or not voting at all is unwise (though not immoral) in this situation, which is why #IAmWithHer.
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