This Isn’t Funny Anymore: and Really Never Was!
My name is Carl Schulz. I’m an ordained minister. I speak here on my own behalf, and not on behalf of any denomination or congregation. I speak as a Christian, husband, father, and American. I’m writing this now because there is too much at stake to remain silent. I do not believe that pastors and churches should endorse political candidates or political parties. I love the fact that people of every political persuasion go to our church, and that my friendships are trans-political.
I don’t get into party-politics for three key reasons. First, Jesus is Lord. The passing of power from one politician to another does not change that. So why be anxious about such things? Second, no political party or politician has ever fully represented my Christian beliefs. Most don’t even come close. Third, politics divide Christians. If I were to support a particular candidate, it could harm my relationship with Christians who think otherwise (I know this from experience). And, my support wouldn’t make any difference to the result of a national or state-wide election, so why do it?
I do believe in talking about issues. When I do, I try to do so through the lens of the Gospel, focusing on God’s mercy and grace, while highlighting personal responsibility. So, if (for instance) I talk about abortion, I’m assuring forgiveness and mercy to those who have had one, but also encouraging people not to have one. I focus on adoption, and care of unwanted children as well as mothers-in-crisis. And, if necessary, I’ll talk a little about the government.
All that to say, there is an issue I have decided I need to say something about. And that issue is Donald Trump. I oppose his election as President, and believe that any other candidate now running, from either party, would make a better President. I believe his election would be dangerous to our country, and to the Church.
I do not believe that Donald Trump has the best interest of our country in mind. Rather, I believe he has shown concern only for himself and his personal advancement. His focus on himself as a “winner” and others as “losers,” his obsession with polls, his demagoguery (“I could kill someone and people would still support me”), and more lead me to this conclusion.
Donald Trump is endlessly entertaining. If this election were a reality show, I’d watch every episode. But it’s not. This is too important. This isn’t funny anymore.
I believe that Donald Trump holds and proclaims racist, sexist, and violent attitudes that are in direct opposition to the Christian message, and to the good of our nation. Things he has said about women and minorities (in specific and in general), his mockery of a disabled man, his foul language directed at opponents, his declared desire to punch people in the face, his call for America to commit war crimes (by killing the families of terrorists), and more—all of these lead me to this conclusion.
I believe that Donald Trump is taking the Name of the Lord in vain. He is misusing the Faith by claiming to be “a great Christian” while his actions—not seeking forgiveness from God, mocking the Sacrament, barely pretending to know the Bible, supporting abortion, divorcing twice, cynical pandering to evangelicals, ownership of a strip club, his hatred for Muslims and others—belie this claim.
I believe that Donald Trump has lowered the level of political discourse to that of a school yard. He acts like a bully. I believe that if he succeeds, this level of vitriol and obscenity will become the “new normal,” if it hasn’t already.
I also happen to disagree with Donald Trump on some actual issues, but that isn’t the point. I disagree with all the candidates on certain issues. My opposition to him is not about his political party or his political beliefs; this is about his character. That character matters to the Church and to the world.
Presidents have limited power in domestic issues; they have to deal with the congress and the courts. But their power is far greater in foreign affairs, particularly in the use of the military.
If Donald Trump is nearly as aggressive as he claims he will be, I believe he will use military force in ungodly ways. He could make America into a true villain on the world stage, which will only raise up countless new terrorists and destabilize an unstable world. He will have the power to separate us from our allies and strengthen our foes. All of this he could do in the name of Christ, a Name he pulls out whenever it suits him. I have no reason to believe he will show anything like godly restraint. He will be the face of America, and the face of Christianity, to billions of people around the world. Can you imagine Donald Trump in charge of our nuclear arsenal?
On Election Day I will be voting against Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. I feel very much the same about our other choice. I would prefer to vote FOR someone. I would prefer to find the candidate who most closely aligns with my Christian beliefs. But, this seems like an impossibility this year. This year I’m choosing to do what little I can to protect us from a Trump presidency, and that may mean voting for a much less than good choice.
This is my choice, and I am not telling anyone else what to do. Everyone is free to make their own decision, and follow their conscience.
Prayer is the most powerful tool I have, and I’ll be doing that too. I pray for Donald Trump, and all of those running.
Jesus is Lord. He reigns no matter what, and nothing can shake his Throne. And, at the same time, evil triumphs when good men remain silent. I trust in the Lord, and I must speak out.