To my Evangelical friends ...

Opinion: Columns

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By Tom Holmes

Dear Friends,

Polls show that the majority of us have already made up our minds on who we're voting for, so I'm sending you this letter not to convince you as much as to feel at peace with myself.

Because you and I both share the belief that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, I'm going to try to base everything I say on Scripture.

I'm not going to vote for Mr. Trump because he has broken the Eighth Commandment — Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor — over 20,000 times in the three plus years he's been in office. According to a non-partisan fact checker, he made 15,843 false or misleading claims during his first two years in the White House.

He criticizes the press for printing "fake news" but his tweets and public statements are in fact the primary source of fake news. One example: "When it gets a little warmer, [the virus] miraculously goes away."

When I ask my Evangelical friends how they can vote for a man like that, they reply, "OK, the guy exaggerates sometimes, but I can tolerate that part of his character because of issues like abortion, Supreme Court judges, the economy, and law and order."

So taking that argument seriously, I checked the facts regarding all the good he has done for America and all the harm that he says Mr. Biden will do if elected, and I found that almost everything he bases his campaign on is fake news and violates the Eighth Commandment.

More importantly, I also compared Mr. Trump's positions with what Jesus said and did.

 

Abortion

Mr. Trump has appointed over 200 conservative judges and will likely appoint a conservative judge to replace Ruther Bader Ginsberg. Those are the facts about which conservatives can feel good.

One of many things we should feel bad about is that he disseminates fake news about Democrats when it comes to that issue. For example, in a March 2 speech, he claimed, "Democrats have unlimited support for extreme late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother's womb, right up until the very moment of birth."

FACT: As a senator, Joe Biden voted in favor of a bill banning late-term abortions. What Biden has said is that he accepts his Catholic Church's position that life begins at conception but does not think that his religious view should be imposed on others. In that sense, pro-lifers would have in Biden an ally in the effort to reduce the number of abortions in this country.

JESUS: I don't think Jesus would approve of abortion as a way to do family planning, but have you noticed that in the gospels, he never uses government at any level to bring in the Kingdom of God?  One of my Evangelical pastor friends said, "When Evangelicals seek power, they lose Jesus."

 

Crime and Police Reform

Vice President Pence, speaking for Pres. Trump, warned, "The hard truth is you will not be safe in Joe Biden's America." 

 FACT: In Vice President Biden's America 2009-2017, crime went down and in Trump's America 2017-2020, crime has gone up. During much of Biden's 47-year career — during which Mr. Trump claims he did nothing — Biden sponsored the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.

Biden has repeatedly stated that he is not in favor of "defunding the police," even though the Republican fake news contends he does. What he does favor is giving the police more support in the area of social work. The police officers I talk to welcome this kind of help.

JESUS: In the gospels, Jesus seems to take for granted that one of government's roles is to maintain order in society. I cannot, however, imagine Jesus condoning a police officer shooting at point blank range a man in the back seven times. I think he would condemn violence on the part of everyone.

And regarding gun control, can you, in your wildest imagination, picture Jesus pointing an assault rifle at anyone? Jesus was consistently pro-life.

 

Economy

Vice President Pence, speaking at the Republican National Convention, claimed that the Trump administration inherited "an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the Great Depression." The implication was that in Biden's America the economy would lose everything it had gained during the Trump administration.

 FACT: Statistics published by the U.S. government reveal that during the time when Joe Biden was the vice president,

  • The economy gained a net 11.6 million jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to below the historical norm.
  • Average weekly earnings for all workers were up 4.2 percent after inflation.
  • After-tax corporate profits also set records, as did stock prices. The S&P 500 index rose 166 percent.

All of the other issues Mr. Trump campaigns on like health care, immigration, and climate change are based on fake news and a false narrative. What's more, much of what he does, what he says and how he lives is terribly inconsistent with what Jesus taught and how he lived.

 

Make America Great

I'm pretty sure that Mr. Trump considers Jesus to be a loser. Jesus, in contrast, responded to his disciples arguing about which of them was the greatest by telling them that in his kingdom, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."  The two seem to be polar opposites.

George W. Bush once said in an interview that the most important trait of a great leader is humility. Can you recall Mr. Trump ever saying he was wrong or I'm sorry?

Mr. Trump refers to Gen. Colin Powell, Sen. Mitt  Romney, Gen. James Mattis, Gen. John Kelly, John Kasich, Jeff Flake, Charlie Dent, Christine Todd Whitman, Bill Kristol, Carly Fiorina, Chuck Hegel — Republicans who have endorsed Joe Biden — as "human scum."

When I look at the ever-growing list, what I see are Republicans with character.

I therefore cannot vote for Mr. Trump because of my Bible-based faith.

In Christ,

Tom

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Arun Gupta  

Posted: September 30th, 2020 8:02 AM

Thank you for laying it out so clearly, and standing up for decency and values.

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