Most people won’t take the time to read the entire extensive length of Chris Buskirk’s column “Yes, Christians Can Support Trump Without Risk to Their Witness.”
That’s a shame because they will miss out on some lovely score-settling with Never Trumper David French and his wife Nancy. Moreover, unless readers were prepared to traverse three dozen paragraphs of biblical exposition, theological and political history, and moral interpretation, they would have been deprived of the sheer joy of Buskirk coming up with this lonely lackluster justification for voting for Mitt Romney in 2012: “he’s polite and he doesn’t curse!”
Buskirk is publisher and editor at americangreatness.com and obviously well-grounded in hermeneutics but also has the common sense that David French sorely lacks. French, of course, declined the opportunity to be the Never Trumpers’ sacrificial lamb in 2016, an honor that eventually went to Evan McMullin. But that has never prevented the traditional (i.e., Fake) “conservative” French from sniping at President Trump for his, well, for his, um, for his being President Trump.
Although most of us who are conservatives would never read it because it appeared in National Review, French recently excoriated evangelical Christians for supporting Trump even though Trump is not “Christian enough” (the only phrase I can come up with to describe this pharisaical hypocrisy). In a piece entitled, “Franklin Graham and the High Cost of the Lost Evangelical Witness,” French got on his high horse and claimed that support for President Trump was ipso facto proof of the abandonment of Christian principles. God only knows what French would make of Jesus mixing with publicans and prostitutes.
Then a couple days later, Nancy French rushed into the fray with her piece in the Washington Post headlined, “Romney was never Christian enough for some Republicans. Somehow, Trump is.” What Nancy and her sanctimonious husband don’t understand is that the real majesty of God would be revealed by correcting the headline. It should have read, completely without irony, “Romney was never Republican enough for some Christians. Somehow, Trump is.” That “somehow” is better known to Christians as “by the grace of God.”
Buskirk does a fine job of skewering the Frenches, including this bit:
He [David French] claims that Graham abandoned “Christian principles,” but what principles does he claim were abandoned? He doesn’t say, so one can only infer. I suspect the Frenches don’t think Donald Trump is very nice. He’s loud, he’s aggressive, and he attacks his political enemies. They oppose his policies too—both are on the record as war hawks who believe in an aggressive American military posture abroad, both believe in mass immigration of the Paul Ryan variety, and both seem content to follow like a shadow behind liberalism’s relentless march—never objecting very much to the direction, just the pace.
But mostly it seems to be about taste: Trump is brash and politically heterodox politically, while the Frenches are defenders of the status quo. Fine—but why try and theologize it? Why try and wrap a legitimate (if wrongheaded) personal political preference in Christianity? Perhaps they think it makes them appear stronger—more moral, less self-interested? In fact, it does just the opposite. It belies an underlying weakness. Worse, it misuses the Gospel.
Cutting to the chase, Buskirk marshals the very best evidence that God doesn’t just employ “good Christians” or “good Jews” or let’s just say “good people” to accomplish his will:
Instead of demonstrating that only those with the highest personal ethics can lead, the Bible is full of examples of craven, ruthless, merciless sinners successfully leading their nations. Yet God chose to use them.
Was David disqualified from leading Israel because he murdered Uriah in order to take Bathsheba as his wife? Certainly not. In the Psalms, he is called the apple of God’s eye.
Did Joseph undermine his public witness as a prophet of God by serving Pharaoh even as he held the Israelites in captivity? What about Daniel, who served the fantastically pagan Nebuchadnezzar? Or Esther, who married the murderous, libertine emperor Xerxes? Again, the answer is plainly no.
So why do Trump supporters come in for such scorn? Are Trump’s sins greater than any of these?
This is good stuff!
Of course, Buskirk wasn’t the only one outraged by the Frenches’ two-pronged attack on Christian Trump supporters. They heard from plenty of others, and more than 50,000 people signed a petition started by the American Family Association that condemned French for his character assassination of Franklin Graham.
I’m afraid the Frenches just keep digging their hole deeper though. David responded with puzzlement to the AFA petition in a column entitled, “Christians, Sign the Petition. Condemn . . . Me?” Nancy”s response was, if anything, even more vitriolic as she wrote obliviously about “What happened after my husband was attacked for critiquing Franklin Graham’s Pete Buttigieg tweets.”
What’s particularly galling about both of the Frenches is that they seem to share Hillary Clinton’s disdain for us Deplorables. I’ll let Buskirk have the last word as he sums up the argument:
… not only is Orange Man Bad, so are the Orange Man’s supporters—and especially the Christians.
HeartlandDiaryUSA.com hosts the commentary of Frank Miele, former editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. Your support for this blog is appreciated. Please consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon. My new book is “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake?” — a look at Fake News from the perspective of a small-town newspaper editor. In addition, my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy documents the downward spiral of the USA that made Trump’s presidency so important. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Go here for a free sample of “The Media Matrix”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/sitb/B07PDQBJM4