In the Washington Post of August 29, 2020 is an interesting article by Cleve Wootson who profiles a retired couple who live in Bloomington, Indiana. Mr. Wootson examines the struggle Mr. and Mrs. Mike Baker have concerning the coming presidential election. Most of the article focuses on Mike Baker’s struggle between the personality of Trump and his achievements. Baker says, “There’s so many of these issues that on the surface seem like this administration has somewhat delivered. I don’t think having a proper immigration policy is a bad thing. Total lawlessness is not a good thing. There’s a lot of these things that I think have happened that I think are good long term.”
The Bakers represent many voters, I imagine, but one more quotation from Mike Baker is of special interest to me. He is quoted by Wootson, “It’s all about the economy. If your family doesn’t have any money or a job, it doesn’t matter about your religion. It doesn’t matter about your politics if you can’t put food on the table.”
I suggest to Mike Baker that religion always matters and even more in a time of trouble. No reader of the Gospels can find where Jesus offers anyone a test based on moral equivalency. Every person He encounters is told to live a right life, to “ go forth and sin no more” as he tells the Samaritan woman He encounters at the well. His disciples are told over and over that His way is the narrow way, but one which leads to eternal life. As my mother would say, “Right is right and wrong is nobody.”
I have friends who profess to be Christ followers, and some of them offer me the same thinking as Mr. Baker. In fact, before Sunday School after Trump’s speech in East Carolina University, I asked a believer in Trump what he thought of his taking the Lord’s name in vain three times in his speech. The man calmly replied, “No one’s perfect.”
Indeed! But as Christ followers we are commanded to “sin no more”, and not to judge others. However, when we see someone act in mean, spiteful, lying ways, we are not to excuse that behavior by saying, “But, ….”
Take a moment and recall some of President Trump’s words and deeds: Sharing how he grabs women; saying that Senator John McCain is not a hero; his vindictiveness to Lt. Col. Vindman; his lies; his rudeness to reporters; his refusing to take any responsibility; his refusal to obey subpoenas; and more. These acts and words are a revealing Trump’s character. No rationalization can excuse him, and we are foolish to believe him and his toadies.
Mr. Baker, President Trump is not an honorable person. He cares only for himself and will lead us to doom if we allow him to by voting for him because we rationalize that he may be despicable, but he does some good. We should not be guilty of moral equivalency.