This election has been difficult for all Americans. We have been asked to choose between two candidates whose disapproval ratings are at all time highs. Rather than vote for a candidate, many people are voting against a candidate. People know who they don’t want, and they are reluctantly voting for who they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.
Where does a person draw the line? How far is too far? These are the questions some voters have been asking themselves during this election season, especially after the last few days. Christians have an ethic that sets us apart from the rest of the world. We are supposed to behave in a certain way. To be holy means to be different. Our different way of living should inspire people to be like Jesus. When we compromise our holiness, we compromise our witness. This means there is a line we can cross, but what it is it?
For me, one issue is above all others. It is a principle we find in the first chapter of Genesis, and its fingerprints are on the entire Bible.
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Every person has been created in the image of God. This fundamental fact is at the root of many of the commands we find in Scripture. Sometimes it is stated explicitly (James 3:8-9). Other times it is implied. It is the basis for loving our neighbors, loving our enemies, and helping people in need. This principle is the foundation of our ethic. We stand against abortion and racism both because we believe all people are created in the image of God. If a person denies this truth, then I cannot support them because it goes against everything I believe.
It is easy to see how Hillary Clinton rejects this precept in her support of abortion. Unborn children are the most innocent human beings on this planet. They are the least among us, and as Christians, we are called to be a voice for the voiceless. We must not allow other people to devalue these children. They are living humans created in the image of God, and they deserve the right to life. To end their life is murder.
Donald Trump denies the image of God in a different way. This is most evident in his comments concerning women that have recently appeared in the news. I think it is important to pay attention to exactly what he said. His words cannot easily be dismissed as foul language or “locker room talk.”
In 2005, the following conversation was recorded.
Trump: You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Unidentified voice: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.
In a 2006 interview with Howard Stern, the two had the following exchange concerning Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
Trump: My daughter is beautiful, Ivanka.
Stern: By the way, your daughter.
Trump: She’s beautiful
Stern: Can I say this? A piece of a**.
These are not the only disturbing comments that Trump has made. There are many more, but these are some of the most telling. They give us insight into his view of women. It’s obvious he thinks of women as objects. He believes his celebrity status allows him to kiss and touch women without their consent. He is unwilling to stand up to a radio talk show host who demeans his daughter by calling her a piece of meat. He even gives the host permission to speak of his daughter in inappropriate ways. This isn’t just what he thinks of a few women. This is how he sees all women, including his daughter. He doesn’t see women as human beings created in the image of God.
Failing to recognize the image of God in another human being dehumanizes them and ourselves. We lose part of our humanity when we treat people as objects. A society that does not acknowledge the image of God in every individual is a society that opens the door for violence (abortion, rape, sexual assault, slavery, etc.) to exist and thrive. Christians must take a stand on this issue. Christians must choose a leader who refuses to devalue any person no matter their age, gender, race, etc. This principle, more than any other, sets us apart from the world.
A vote for Hillary Clinton means we choose power over unborn children. A vote for Donald Trump means we choose power over women. We are not called to seek power or align ourselves with politicians. We are called to stand up for the least among us. We are called to take the side of the marginalized. We are called to speak truth to power and oppose anyone who seeks to use their power or status to take advantage of a human soul created in God’s image.
This election is more important than the economy, taxes, or Supreme Court justices. It is about the heart and soul of Christianity in America. Many will compromise their morals in some way. They will find some argument, and there are plenty available on both sides, that will excuse a vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate. There are no legitimate excuses. If a person votes for Trump or Clinton, all they can do is ask for forgiveness. Supporting either candidate will hurt our witness among the very people we are trying to reach. We must think beyond politics and consider the kingdom of God.
Politicians will always let us down. They offer false promises and false hope. Thankfully, we belong to a kingdom that is everlasting, and we serve a king that will reign forever. Politicians would like us to believe that losing an election is the end of the world, but it is not. The end has already been determined, and Christ is victorious. The most important thing we can do is stand with Jesus. He is faithful. He keeps his promises. He alone offers salvation. I cannot support Clinton. I cannot support Trump, but I can wholeheartedly stand behind the King of kings and give him my full allegiance.