Churches in the South get political. I’m not accusing them of violating their nonprofit statuses en masse, but growing up, there were always the voter guides provided by organizations like the Christian Coalition, which always leaned heavily conservative and heavily towards the Republican Party.
Of course, they would never claim to be endorsing a specific candidate, just a set of values, as they would argue. And of course, that is their right.
From the Jerry Falwell types and the Moral Majority to the 2004 election where every news show talked of "values voters" to the ongoing summits held by such a name, it was ingrained from an early age - character matters, values matter.
So after all these decades of preaching about voting for good character and family values, I must ask my Christian friends: what happened?
I know there are Christians out there who don’t support Donald Trump. I know there are Christians out there who will vote for him because of reasons such as Supreme Court nominees or because of party platform, or even simply because he’s not Hillary Clinton.
There are also Christians who think that way without being pro-Trump on social media. They are silent supporters. And I can even see that making sense to them, a way for them to vote for the “lesser of two evils” in their eyes, but without outwardly feeling hypocritical by promoting and defending a person who has shown time and time again that he doesn't share their ideas on character and values.
But this is for the Christians who are pro-Trump on social media. This is for the ones who don’t see the hypocrisy in their words and actions. And it is to them that I say this:
You are never allowed to talk to me about character or values again.
I do not share your religion. I do not share your set of beliefs. And if your values can be tossed away or ignored every four years, then I want no part of it.
We can still be friends. I’ll still show you the same respect I show those with whom I disagree on other issues. But the next time you think to question morality or values and you want to voice that to me, don’t bother.
If your “strongly-held” convictions can disappear when the next election cycle hits, then they must not be that real to you. And if they’re not real to you, how would you expect them to be real to anyone else?
About the author: Josh Carples is the managing editor for the Capital City Free Press.
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