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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Monday, November 14, 2016
Donald Trump’s Secret ‘GOD Vote’
Eighty percent of white, born-again voters went for Trump Larry W. Poland
The Catholic priest sitting before me as we chatted near Krakow, Poland, in the 1970s was passionate. He was briefing me on the Polish people’s courageous stand against the communists led by Polish hero Lech Walesa. “It was not just a political movement,” he said, “It was spiritual. If you check the demands the labor unions were making of the government, they were not about wages and working conditions. They wanted religious holidays and other concessions for their Catholic Christian faith. The massive strikes secured them. There was a spiritual awakening driving the movement.” To be sure, the faith component to the uprising was lost to the Western press.
This week’s stunning electoral coup which made Donald Trump President-elect of the United States also was driven by a faith component. What started out as a devil’s choice for evangelicals became a movement to save the faith in America. The awful electoral choice pitted lies and corruption on one side against vulgarity, bigotry and narcissism on the other. It put the devout in a bind of conscience like no other presidential race in memory … if ever.
I am an evangelical. I grew up in the community and have retained my involvement among the leadership for half a century. In fact, I’ve spent 35 years “demystifying evangelicals” to leaders in media in Hollywood and New York, leaders whose most nuanced understanding often was (1) little old ladies in the Bible Belt, (2) angry, homophobic, hate-filled abortion clinic bombers, or (3) that underground cult of Bible-believers who are largely invisible until some politician realizes he or she needs to get the “evangelical vote” to get elected. The latter occurs rather predictably every four years. It happened again this year.
For the evangelical voter, this ballot box decision was about as comfortable as being water boarded. After the tapes of the Donald’s obscene boasts about his sexual assaults and his outrageous comments about Muslims and Hispanics, Hillary’s rather superficial Methodist claims looked pretty good compared to Mr. Trump’s more or less practical, if not philosophical, atheism. Mr. Trump was personally and morally unacceptable.
Then, quite apart from her serial prevarication, decades-long involvement in various corruption capers, and possibly felonious actions as secretary of State, Hillary supported the Big Three no-no’s of the biblical Christian faith. The Big Three, of course, are abortion on demand, institutionalized sexual deviancy in various forms, and Supreme Court judicial appointments which would overturn a host of 5-to-4 religious freedom decisions that largely are still in place because of Antonin Scalia, now deceased. Mrs. Clinton was by policies and by character unacceptable.
Christian online banter and pronouncements from evangelical leaders were all over the place. There were (1) exhortations to overlook character issues in the spirit of Christ’s forgiveness, (2) calls for believers to “stand for righteous behavior” by refusing to besmirch themselves by a vote for sinners on the high end on the peccadillo scale, and (3) directives to ignore all the personal zits of the candidates to vote for “policies” they or the candidates’ parties espoused which conformed best to biblical teaching.
The third option obviously won out. According to the Faith and Freedom Coalition, 80 percent of white, born-again voters went for Mr. Trump. The High Court loss of freedom to think, speak, and act in keeping with scriptural teaching — through appointment of justices — was, in my camp, the greatest fear — one personified by Mrs. Clinton. Considering the fact that between 80 and 100 million people in America own the label “evangelical,” they may well have put Mr. Trump in the White House. For them, the vote boiled down to obeying the mandates of God found in His Book versus focusing on other factors all of which are “trumped” by Holy Writ.