Why Christians should consider faith with their vote: every other religion does
Within the general Christian community in the United States, even the most devoutly faithful often proclaim the separation of church and state as the reason they don’t take faith into account with their votes. This is silly because in for every other religion, faith is a top consideration. Even atheists and agnostics hold the secularism of candidates in high regard.
Why do so many Christians feel that politics and religion shouldn’t mix?
The rise of Donald Trump among Evangelicals and Catholics is a perfect example of this dynamic at play. Even Trump’s Christian supporters will admit that he claims Christianity for the sake of political expediency, but since he promises to protect Christians and make department stores say “merry Christmas,” that’s enough faithful credibility for them. To those of us who practice our faith daily, this is insane and utterly obtuse.
Don’t take this as an attempt to dump on Trump. He’s a good candidate with some strong ideas, but his support does highlight the abandonment of faith as an important factor in the minds of many churchgoers. Other faiths don’t see it like this. Hindus and Buddhists maintain a separation from politics as a lower concept, a necessary evil, but they always take the faith of their politicians into account and often favor the most spiritual with their votes. As noted, atheists and agnostics (yes, they practice a form of religion) will eliminate candidates from consideration altogether if they sound too “churchy” or indicate that their faith will play a role in their governance.
Jews and Muslims have faith deeply ingrained in their political decision making, though in completely different ways. Jews are divided between two groups both in the United States and in Israel. Ethnic Jews who do not practice their religion regularly still take faith into account, but in ways that are similar to atheists and agnostics. Faithful Jews look at the relationship between their leaders (whether in the US, Israel, or other nations) and their perspectives on the well-being of the nation of Israel itself. For Muslims, there is no separation of religion and government. Islam is government. Even in the United States, over 70% of Muslims would embrace some variation or melding of Shariah law into the American political structure. As impossible as that may seem today to those who aren’t watching, it’s actually unfolding in many places around the country. One need only look at Dearborn, Michigan.
— Foxo (@FoxoSteven) February 1, 2016
Some view the problems we’re facing in America as requiring secular answers. The problem with that argument is that our downward trend can be traced back to after Ronald Reagan left office. Reagan was the last truly faithful Christian to sit in the White House. We’re in the middle of the most secular administration the country has ever seen. Donald Trump will not be asking for forgiveness from the Father nor will he be asking for guidance from the Holy Spirit. He may bring about a more secular government than we’re seeing today.
Christians who vote for a secular leader like Donald Trump can do so because of his strong sales pitch, his success in real estate, or any number of other reasons. However, they shouldn’t try to convince us that he’s faithful. He uses religion as a campaign prop, not an actual guiding force. In that way, he’s just like President Obama.