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Can Christian adherents of the the freedom philosophy support Trump?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 17:35
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There has been much chatter recently about whether Christians with libertarian or conservative convictions can, in good conscience, support Trump.

At the American Conservative, Rod Dreher says no.

Over at Chronicles Tom Piatak challenges Dreher’s reasoning.

Walter Block, who is behind the Libertarians for Trump movement, says that “The Donald is the most congruent with our perspective” (meaning the freedom philosophy–not necessarily a Christian worldview).

This, in my opinion, is matter where we must give our friends on the Right much leeway. One’s pulling or refraining from pulling the lever for Trump should not be a litmus test for who is a “true” libertarian or conservative (of the non-neocon variety).

The New Testament paints with broad strokes how Christians are supposed to respond to government. Romans 13 teaches that the institution of government is something that God ordains because of evil in the world. We owe respect to the governing authorities to the extent they do not contradict God’s decrees. In light of a Christian’s duties towards government, it naturally follows that when we have a chance to influence government in elections or otherwise, we should seek the good. But what is the good?

A believer could reason that Trump, for all his faults, is the lesser evil than Hillary and thus cast his ballot for the Donald. A Trump administration would not be so hostile to orthodox Christian tenets about marriage, sex, etc., as a Clinton administration. It also would probably be less likely to involve us in foreign wars and nation-building.

But under the broad canopy of reasonableness it is also possible to conclude that Trump’s vulgarity, licentiousness, and claim that he needs no forgiveness from God, prevent a Christian from casting a ballot for him. One can make a case that Christians should disassociate from such a man and that we cannot trust his judgment on important matters of state.

For Christian conservatives and libertarians, this election is not an easy call. With the post-modern destruction of western society, perhaps we have the two candidates we deserve. Let each of us make decisions on this election in good conscience and without demonizing a fellow traveler who makes a different decision in this unusual political season.


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