Untangling Problems With Character & Policy in Politics

Oct 23, 2020

This is our third post on politics. The first two are found on our Pastors’ Blog page.

It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness. — Proverbs 16:12

Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne. — Proverbs 20:28

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. — Proverbs 14:34

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. — Proverbs 21:1

You don’t have to be a Christian to know in your gut that a nation is probably going to be in better shape when someone of good moral character leads it. My European history teacher taught us that the most efficient form of government is a dictatorship because a dictator can make a decision and have it implemented the same afternoon. If it turns out to be a bad idea, he or she can change it instantly. A country ruled by a wise, benevolent dictator is going to experience the good fruit of his or her wisdom and character. The problem is that the good and wise dictator will die, and the next dictator may be neither good nor wise.

I’ve seen a lot of political discourse lately, but I’ve never seen anyone argue that President Trump has impeccable character. Who doesn’t hate his boasting, his past sexual immorality, his meanness, and his lies? Like most people, I was shocked that he won the Republican nomination in 2016. I think he got it primarily because he was the first Republican in recent history to speak candidly about the opposition. Previous Republicans have tried so hard to be nice that they whitewashed what the opposition was doing in attempts to be diplomatic. That is so not President Trump’s style. So he won the nomination and then the office. Would I have preferred someone more godly like Vice President Mike Pence? Absolutely. But I didn’t get to choose between Trump and Pence. The primaries were meaningless by the time we got to vote in St. Louis, so our only choices were between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Or, of course, voting for a third party candidate with no chance to win or abstaining altogether.)

Now we are facing a similar choice: Trump vs. Biden. If Biden was a man of impeccable character, we would be compelled to vote for him. But his character is as bad as Trump’s — in fact, it is worse. Does that sound shocking? Outrageous? Biased? I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so. Please give me just enough grace to explain.

Both Trump and Biden lie constantly. Biden had to drop out of a previous presidential race when he was caught plagiarizing another politician’s speech. He got caught doing it again this year, but by now our sense of moral outrage is so dead that we don’t seem to care. If a politician in 1980 got caught in a bold lie just once, it could have ended their political career. Today we expect them to lie, and we only get outraged when we have already chosen our candidate and it is the other one lying.

Both candidates have a sexually immoral past. We all know about Trump’s divorces and affairs. We know about his shameful locker room braggadocio about women. But not everyone knows about Biden’s. The ex-husband of Biden’s wife claims that she and Biden were having an affair while she was still married to him. Multiple women have accused Biden of conducting himself inappropriately. He has had to apologize publicly for his inappropriate physical approach to women and then has repeated that behavior on camera within days of his apology. So neither gets the faithful husband award.

Both have said and/or done things that could be interpreted as racist. No one called Trump a racist before he began asking President Obama to release his birth certificate. Was he being racist? God only knows. But from a strictly pragmatic perspective, one didn’t need to be racist to wonder if indeed President Obama was not a natural born citizen in light of his family history, his spotty records and the swirling circumstantial evidence of inconsistencies in his backstory. Unfortunately it was a paradise for conspiracy fans! But before that Trump was frequently hanging out with prominent African Americans including Jessie Jackson, Mohammad Ali, and Al Sharpton. Oprah once encouraged him to run for office. None of them accused him of being a racist back then. He was given multiple awards by Jewish organizations which would certainly be odd because white racists always seem to hate Jews as much as they hate Blacks. But Trump’s opponents painted a bullseye on him with accusations that he was racist toward Hispanics because of his insistence that illegal immigration is bad for our country and that we need a border wall. His decision to act regarding Covid by stopping incoming flights from China and his insistence on following the practice of labeling the virus by its place of origin were labeled racist against Asians. So too he was called an Islamophobic racist because of his earlier decision to act against Middle Eastern nations.

When rioters began tearing down statues and a physical fight broke out involving Antifa and members of the Proud Boys, the Proud Boys were labeled racists and Trump was misreported as saying that there were good people on both sides. The misreporting in this case was simply taking his words out of context. He was talking about not talking about racists and non-racists. He was talking about people on both sides of the debate over whether such statues were racist and need to go and those people who say they are important historical reminders that need to stay.

His most recent evidence of racism came during the first debate when he told the Proud Boys to “Stand down and stand ready.” We all recognize that phrase from military movies or actual military life. If he used it with that as his intention then he was not denouncing them at all. But here’s what I said about that in an email:

Going back to the debate, when asked if he would denounce racists and white supremacist groups, he answered “sure.” Does anyone believe that sure means anything other than “yes”? That was itself a denunciation of racists. But he had denounced such hatred numerous times before. Then he asked, who in particular do you want me to denounce? When Biden said “Proud Boys” his response became a rallying cry for people to say he wouldn’t denounce them. I watched the clip, and it sounded to me more like a Trump gaffe than a militaristic order to be ready for trouble. Remember that English is Trump’s second language. His first language is Trumpism, which as we all know is the language with all the bestest words, all the biggest words, all the bestest, biggest words. No one who has ever listened to Trump speak for more than 2 minutes needs to be told that he is not eloquent. His inability to sound like an average adult, much less polished, is well known. So I would not doubt that he was trying to say to the Proud Boys, “Back off.”

I could go on and on with evidence that actually contradicts the image portrayed of him as a racist. I’ve seen a video montage of him denouncing racism and racist organizations repeatedly over the past few years. I’ve seen him denounce racism flat out, only to then have the interviewer immediately pretend that he didn’t and claim that he was dodging the question. Oh the SNL skit they could have written about that! Fox News’ John Roberts went on a rant about Trump “refusing to definitively denounce white supremacy during Thursday’s White House press briefing” even though Roberts’ own wife, an ABC reporter, had tweeted the day before, “Just now: Donald Trump tells me he DENOUNCES white supremacists.” Much of this stuff is easily found on Youtube.

But what about Biden? During the Democratic primaries Kamala Harris accused Biden of pandering to the “reputations of segregationists.” That’s because of his repeated praise for several men known for their racism and even participation in the KKK. He has said things like:

  • “Poor kids are just as smart as white kids.”
  • “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
  • (Talking about then-candidate Barack Obama) “You got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
  • When asked by a Black CBS reporter if he’d taken a cognitive test, Biden took that as an attack and countered by asking if he would take a drug test and then asked, “Are you a junkie?”
  • “Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things.”
  • “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Do these statements prove he’s racist? Well, let’s just say that when you look at the two side by side he doesn’t have a moral leg up on Trump on this ground.

Still, Trump seems a lot worse than Biden. Why? It’s simply because he is so in-your-face with everything he does and because the media emphasizes both his worst behavior and anything that can be portrayed as such. No one can pretend that the media is fair. The days of that illusion are long past. As a communication student in the early 80s, I remember taking journalism classes and noticing even back then an underlying attitude that was being disseminated. It was one of cynicism in general, but particularly toward conservative politicians and people. I never picked up on such an attitude toward liberals, but the attitude toward conservatives was such that you could see that the unspoken reality in the room was that making snide comments about Republican politicians gained you entrance into the cool club. For decades polls of journalists always showed that the number of them who were Democrats exceeded well over 90%. Now even Fox News, lambasted as the lone conservative television news source, is moving more and more away from conservatism.

So how can I say that Biden is morally worse than Trump? Because even if Trump was guilty of all these things and Biden was innocent of them all, Biden is guilty of the most despicable of all moral crimes: murder. Biden has promised his support for the murder of innocent children as the solution to unwanted pregnancies. Nothing else compares. Every sin is sinful, but not every sin is equal. In Leviticus 18, God goes through a long list of relatives whom we are not allowed to see naked. He is prohibiting both incest between blood relatives and even a man and his aunt by marriage. All condemned in like manner. But then he says in verse 22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” All these things are sin, but this sin is worse than the rest. It is an abomination. In chapter 20 He again makes this distinction when He says that a couple caught in adultery shall be put to death. He then says that the men caught in a same-sex act shall also be put to death, yet He again adds that they “have committed an abomination.” Consider a few more verses that show how God demonstrates that not all sins are equal.

Leviticus 5:4-7
Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters. And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing; and he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin. If he is not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring to the Lord, for his trespass which he has committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons: one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering.

(So although every sin is sin, under the Law some sins were minor enough that the sinner need only confess his sin and offer a lamb or a goat so the priest can make atonement for him. This is the case for many sins, including theft. In fact, God was even gracious enough to say they could skip the lamb and just offer up two nearly worthless birds if the sinner was too poor to afford a lamb. But some sins were so grievous to God that He would not accept any sacrifice other than the sinner’s own life. Abortion falls into this category.)

Deuteronomy 18:9-12
When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

(There’s that word abomination again. The practice of making a child pass through the fire was an act of human sacrifice done by the inhabitants of the land as part of their worship to a false god. Was it simply the idol worship part of this that God found abhorrent or also the killing of the children?)

Exodus 20:13
You shall not murder.

(Notice that there are no conditions here. It doesn’t say that this command doesn’t kick in until the child’s head has left the womb.)

Exodus 21:22-25
If men fight and hurt a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

(So if the child is born prematurely but with no problems, they will only pay whatever the baby’s father decides is appropriate. But if the mother or baby dies, so does the one who caused it. This is like a manslaughter abortion; the man did not mean to cause the abortion, but he did cause it as a result of his violence and is held accountable as a murderer. This is like our current laws in which the getaway driver is charged with murder if his accomplice kills someone inside the store he is robbing.)

On top of this sin, Biden’s support for abortion takes it a step further because it is part of an effort to tell young people that their sex outside of marriage is not the problem, the unwanted pregnancy is. The Pro-Choice proponent is not only guilty of murder but of deceiving and recruiting young people into becoming murderers as well. Jesus said that anyone who misleads a little one would be better off being drowned than being allowed to live. That’s serious. And that’s what Biden is doing both by promoting and protecting abortion and also by promoting LGBTQ. He actually said that he approves of helping an 8-year-old child to go through gender transition drugs and surgery. That is child abuse of the greatest extreme.

Experts who haven’t succumbed to the science-less agenda tell us that many young children have gender dysphoria until they go through puberty. That means they change their minds. Society has always recognized that children are too young and undeveloped to make adult decisions. That’s why laws forbid sex with a minor. That’s why each state has set a minimum age at which a minor may get married, and some states may insist on a parent’s approval for a marriage of a man or woman who is in that age range considered too close for a blanket law, giving the parent the opportunity to attest that their child is mature enough or is not. How much more serious is the need to protect pre-pubescent children from following through with unchangeable medical procedures based on their undeveloped minds?

The policies that the candidates support and promote speak about their character just as their words and past actions do. And not all issues are equal. What if Biden proposes giving more financial help to the poor, could that make the difference between life and death for some? Possibly in some cases, but not terribly realistically in most. (Did you know, for example, that hospitals never rejected patients for their inability to pay, even before the ACA? The ACA has actually had a horrible effect upon the health care of many, but that’s a topic for another writer.) But even if Biden did make such proposals and they would help, that cannot overcome the guilt of willingly, willingly helping people murder innocent children. No amount of good deeds can wash that blood off the hands of the abortionist, the mother who goes into the clinic, the father who urges her to go and drives her to the clinic, the politician who legalizes it, or the voter who gives that politician the power and authority to make it happen.

So let’s review.

  1. Both candidates are poor moral leaders.
  2. All sin is sinful, but some sins are worse than others.
  3. Participating in or approving of the murder of children is as bad as it gets.
  4. Promoting gender reassignment of children is a form of child abuse in line with similar sexual abominations condemned by God in the Bible.
  5. Leading the youth to sin through rejection of God’s moral commandments regarding sex, gender and murder is deserving of drowning.
  6. No other issue — not programs for the poor, attempts to slow climate change, economic programs, international relations — can equal the outright murder of abortion.
  7. We have a moral duty to protect the vulnerable young people being led to slaughter.
  8. God will judge us by His standards, not ours.

May God have mercy on our nation and upon His Church and upon us individually. We all live in houses of broken glass. May we not use that broken glass to kill any more innocent children made in the image of God.

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