by Stuart Shepard
You’ve heard the argument:
“Aha! So you think (fill-in-the-blank) is the right candidate? Well, I’m very surprised and disappointed that you – as a Bible-believing Christian – would be in full support their long history of (fill-in-the-blank-with-every-shortcoming-the-candidate-has-ever-had).”
We’ve been hearing this a lot lately, especially in social media. We thought it would be helpful to unpack the false premise of that argument. Essentially, it suggests that the act of comparing two candidates and explaining why one is a “better” choice for policy reasons means we fully ignore/excuse/endorse every flaw of that person.
This particular ruse is a variation of “Rule #4” from community organizer Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals:
“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
Under that premise, any candidate we identify as the better of two must live up to every line of the Bible – as interpreted by those who most want to criticize us.
Abraham Lincoln: Christian convictions were not clear
Ronald Reagan: Married Twice
George W. Bush: Owned the Texas Rangers
Followed to its logical conclusion – and this is how it’s regularly applied – we should never identify any candidate as “better” than another; never support any candidate’s campaign; and, worst of all, never vote. Ever.
That’s simply untenable.
We believe Christians should vote in every election.
We also know that all candidates are human beings. Each one is flawed, some deeply. We understand that Christians regularly must make distinctions between two unpleasant candidates in order to vote.
Part of our work at Family Policy Alliance is explaining those differences. We believe it’s essential to point out who is pro-abortion and who is pro-life; who sees value in religious freedom and who wants to curtail it; who understands the importance of family and who wants to redefine it.
And then we believe every Christian should choose wisely – and vote in every election.
Even this one.