A pro-Trump argument often represented in the media by self-confessing Christians goes essentially this way: what he’s doing makes it worth our while to put up with the terrible person he is.
This argument is a variation of “the end justifies the means,” which philosophers and other wise teachers have long considered illogical and unethical. (Both the end and the means must be good!)
For a “Christian” supporting Trump the justification requires having to put up with a lot of questionable “means.” “He’s only human.” “Everybody sins.” “Everybody lies.” “Lots of good people use profanity and make fun of others.” “So what if he’s not really against abortion, he’s appointing judges who are.”
For many “Evangelicals,” the last argument appears to be their most frequent talking point: it’s the long-range objective that’s most important, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. Rightly or wrongly, they believe Trump can achieve their objective for them.
Let’s be as honest as we can be:
These “justifications” for supporting the president stink. They wreak from their bearing of the malodorous aroma of unconfessed religious hypocrisy.
Of course, Jesus did say, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (the good guys). But he clearly was referring to good fruit stemming from good actions and healing words.
Paul was a pretty bad guy, according to the New Testament, when he was Pharisee Saul and seeking out Christians in order to have them killed. But as most every Christian knows (except maybe Donald), “Saul the Single-Minded Inquisitor” was miraculously transformed into “Paul the Great Apostle” on his way to Damascus, there to search out and destroy “the followers of the Way.”
True, the “unjust judge” in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18) does finally do the right thing, but only because a persistent widow kept haranguing him to do so.
By contrast, Trump “Christians” are woefully meek and obsequious toward him, as though he alone is their god.
True as well, King Herod at the time of Jesus’ birth was a capriciously evil ruler. Remember him? When he was told about the birth of the Messiah, and fooled by the Wise Men,, he ordered all the male children in Bethlehem to be killed (Matthew 2). Nowhere is Herod praised or said to be deserving of allegiance based on that order, even though, some historians say, he maybe did a bit of historical good by maintaining peace in his realm.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find a hint of biblical praise for evil in any individual, ruler or not. But kings are often singled out for their devious natures. In fact, kings like Herod, Saul and Ahab and a queen like Jezebel are not given even a fool’s ounce of devotion for their weaknesses. And not even the greatest of kings, David, escapes biblical condemnation for the “means” he used, killing off the husband, in order to get “the end,” beautiful Bathsheba.
God is merciful. And God’s mercy surely must extend to such as Donald Trump; I sincerely pray that, as for myself. But mercy toward individuals is not the same as the acceptance of evil in them. As the old saying goes, “God loves the sinner, but not the sin.”
One of the biblical references in support of the “he means well” argument could possibly be Paul’s writing to the Corinthian church, “ I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (I Corinthians 9:22)
Then he added, however, “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Paul was a preacher, not a president and not a king. He used good means to serve the Greatest Good, with humility and self-discipline.
Donald J. Trump does neither. His End is ultimately Self-Glory. Listen to him talk about his own advocacy for peace. It’s about HIM! His achievement! Nothing less, and absolutely nothing superior.
In no way is Donald J. Trump deserving of my support.