Platform Integrity Project seeks to preserve a pro-life stand in the GOP

“the initiative encourages the public to encourage and pray for Republican National Committee delegates to preserve the ‘strong pro-life, pro-family and pro-freedom’ elements of the Republican Platform as they meet to draft a new platform in Milwaukee from July 8-9.” - CPost

Discussion

However, you are right about one thing. Religious conservatives are responsible for electing Trump in the primaries. So what does that prove? That's why we need a Holy Spirit empowered revival. Until that happens, there is no solution to the election of poorly qualified candidates. Which is why, if we are wise, we will vote to keep the worst candidates out of office by electing those who are not quite as bad. It's not ideal, but that's the reality of America today. Refusing to vote or voting for third party candidates only helps the most evil candidates obtain the power they need to destroy us. I fail to understand how that could be considered wise. Politics is a lot like a game of chess. You want to block your opponent before he destroys you.

G. N. Barkman

With regards to getting better candidates, my take is that you support the best plausible candidate in the primaries, and then you vote for the least worst candidate in the general. We forget too quickly that, per GN's comment about Trump, that there were 15 or so other candidates on the GOP side in 2016, and unfortunately, too many "Christians" pulled the lever in the primaries for a guy who was on his third wife and owned strip clubs.

A corollary principle is that believers ought to be "looking at the bench", because a lot of political leaders start at the level of "precinct committee", "school board", "city council", and the like. You do one job at a good level, somebody says "Hey Bob, why don't you run for.....?"

Put differently, if you want good candidates, consider being one.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

>>With regards to getting better candidates, my take is that you support the best plausible candidate in the primaries, and then you vote for the least worst candidate in the general.<<

That’s generally my thinking too. I didn’t vote for a presidential candidate at all in the 2020 primaries, as there were no Republican challengers, and I never vote out of principle in any race where only one candidate is running. To me that’s a rubber stamp, not a vote. In the 2016 and 2024 primaries, I voted for non-Trump candidates both times, for all the good it did.

Dave Barnhart

The party that represents the greatest danger should be denied power even if a disappointing candidate is the only possibility for keeping them out of power.

If Trump were just "disappointing," you may have a point. Trump is flat out not qualified to be president. Period. This determination isn't coming from never-Trumpers or liberal wingnuts. This is coming from men and women who used to serve in his cabinet. This is coming from seasoned and experienced political (and republican!) leaders who have worked with him in the past.

Which is why, if we are wise, we will vote to keep the worst candidates out of office by electing those who are not quite as bad.

Your position is a form of utilitarianism: the end justifies the means. This is not a biblical position or philosophy. And, as I have been saying, this "best of the worst" approach is ultimately self-defeating and leaves you enslaved.

(And by the way, since when do "enslaved people" get to vote anyway?)

Enslaved people don't believe they have a choice for who and how they vote. That is the result of a "best of the worst" mindset.

Brothers, free yourselves from your shackles.

Bingo! In the world of politics, utilitarian is not only justified, it is actually what all of us do most of the time. We are only kidding ourselves if we think we only vote according to Biblical principles of righteousness.. Evaluations of who is fit for office are more subjective than objective. Was Romney fit for office? Some say Yes, and others No, both based upon a large dose of subjective reasoning. Does being a Morman disqualify him for office? Does a high standard of principled morality qualify him for office, despite being a Morman?

The Bible actually commends pragmatism at times. Think of the Hebrew midwives who lied to keep from killing babies. Was that utilitarianism? It's hard to categorize it any other way. Did it displease God? It's difficult to conclude that it did. If Christians voted to put a man of Trump's character into the office of pastor that would be sinful. The Bible gives us requirements for pastors but doesn't give us requirements for public office. Don't we all wish we had better choices! We choose between the candidates who appear on the ballot because one of them will end up in office whether we like it or not. Most of the time, its a matter of trying to keep the worst option out, even if it means putting a far from perfect option in.

G. N. Barkman

There is nothing comparable between Romney and Trump. It's laughable to even think about a comparison. Romney is not a Christian, but is an intelligent and decent man. Trump fits every single description of a fool found in Proverbs and has the morals of an alleycat (one thing Biden got right in the debate). Christians and Christian values are merely tools that Trump utilizes in his quest for power.

Thanks, Ken, for illustrating my point. You approve of Romney, considering him a good candidate for president. Other Christians would never vote for Romney because he is a Morman. Such evaluation is subjective, even though it is often thought to be principled. You consider Trump unfit for office. That's your subjective evaluation and you have the right to make that decision. However, please give others the courtesy to subjectively form a different opinion because they think it is the right and righteous choice. Since Trump is the only choice that can keep Biden out (or whoever runs as the Democratic candidate), some of us may decide that the righteous choice is to vote for Trump to try to deny the office to someone whose unrighteous political positions will promote greater evil in our nation.

G. N. Barkman

I find it ironic that the people who kept screaming that the GOP was too far to the right is are now upset that the GOP platform is much more centrist. These are also often the people who have consistently been telling people not to vote GOP long before the platform change.

GN, from the way that you are arguing for a utilitarian perspective (especially in debating Ken over Romney vs. Trump) it makes you sound more like a subjective ethical relativist where whatever one thinks is right for them really is right for them. That's a road you really don't want to travel when making moral decisions, even when it comes to voting. And then to say that some of you believe "the righteous choice is to vote for Trump to try to deny the office to someone whose unrighteous political positions will promote greater evil in our nation" comes across like you believe that right and wrong in politics is determined by the outcome of the action rather than the morality of the action itself. Consequentialist ethics like this is a scary proposition as well.

I don't believe its a sin for you or anyone else on Sharper Iron when you cast your vote for Trump. There is no one idolizing him on Sharper Iron, no one that I remember who believes Trump is the last line of defense/champion to protect Christianity, religious freedom or conservative values. By and large, the Trump voters on Sharper Iron are "nose-holder" voters. Regarding ethical choices like voting, one's motive is important, and I believe yours and that of others seem good.

However, I am concerned about the ethical justifications that conservative Christians make for their choices. They assume they are doing "the righteous thing" when you could argue that they've been deceived by moral relativism and an outcome-based view of right and wrong (consequentialist ethics), thus the spirit of the age.

If you're wondering where I'm coming from, it's more of a critique of Norman Geisler's Graded Absolutism, which I suspect (without any proof) has influenced the Christian Ethics within much of Fundamentalism.

Here is why I vote 3rd Party (American Solidarity Party). It stems from the belief that the government's most fundamental obligation is to protect life, which we see in the Noahic Covenant (Gen. 9:6) and from the apostle Paul where he writes about human government, where its most fundamental duty is protecting the innocent from evildoers (Romans 13:7). Will the candidate use his power and influence with their office to protect innocent life in all contexts? As I've mentioned several times, Trump's multiple MAGA stump speeches about how he will deal with crime are anti-Christian, anti-life, and built on a spider-web of blatant lies that justify his anti-Christian position. In his attempt to protect innocent life, the unintended consequences of his policies would lead to many more innocent lives lost by giving even more unchecked power to law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, etc... I am blown away by so many conservatives who think that the power of big government is dangerous in all areas, except policing and criminal justice.

And now Trump has become pro-choice, plain and simple by having the GOP remove abortion from its platform and refusing to draw a line in the sand even for a 16 week ban. He is not doing anything to protect pre-born babies, but leaving it to the states. Even though Trump did his part in the short-term helping overturn Roe vs. Wade, long-term he will go down as the president that killed the Pro-life movement.

Let me end my soapbox with one of my favorite Charles Spurgeon Quotes where he said, "Of Two Evils, Choose Neither." When it comes to protecting life, I will chose neither one of the two evils.

Thanks, Ken, for illustrating my point. You approve of Romney, considering him a good candidate for president. Other Christians would never vote for Romney because he is a Morman. Such evaluation is subjective, even though it is often thought to be principled. You consider Trump unfit for office. That's your subjective evaluation and you have the right to make that decision. However, please give others the courtesy to subjectively form a different opinion because they think it is the right and righteous choice. Since Trump is the only choice that can keep Biden out (or whoever runs as the Democratic candidate), some of us may decide that the righteous choice is to vote for Trump to try to deny the office to someone whose unrighteous political positions will promote greater evil in our nation

GN, I agree with you that our evaluation is subjective. No matter how good the candidates are we will still be choosing between flawed people. But even if we disagree on where exactly the line is that disqualifies a candidate, doesn't there have to be a line somewhere? To make an extreme illustration: If our choices are between Hitler and somebody worse than Hitler, would we pull the lever for Hitler since he's the lesser of two evils? I can't imagine that we would.

My point is that it feels to me that Christians/evangelicals are disregarding a line they may have previously drawn in order to vote for Trump. Christians who drew a line on character for Bill Clinton are eagerly voting for Trump. It's inconceivable to me to think that Biden falls outside of the line, but Trump is within the line. I understand that his policies may be more appealing to a Christian, but how is Trump, the man and his character, within the bounds of acceptability to a Christian? There is no possible comparison between him and Romney. Trump is a Proverbs fool and makes merchandise of Christianity for his benefit, literally taking God's name in vain in doing so.

My point is that it feels to me that Christians/evangelicals are disregarding a line they may have previously drawn in order to vote for Trump. Christians who drew a line on character for Bill Clinton are eagerly voting for Trump. It's inconceivable to me to think that Biden falls outside of the line, but Trump is within the line. I understand that his policies may be more appealing to a Christian, but how is Trump, the man and his character, within the bounds of acceptability to a Christian?

Ken, I agree with you regarding Trump's character. What is equally concerning to me is that most of those who served in his cabinet during his first term, including his Vice President, have made it clear that he is unqualified to serve a second term as President. Even prominent republican leaders who helped him during his first campaign have come out against him. And now, he has removed most of the conservative social agenda from the RNC platform.

But, none of this matters to those who are enslaved like GN. Based on his stated beliefs, he has no choice but to vote for Trump. He is a slave to the repub party. He will vote for any candidate the repub party puts forward.

But, none of this matters to those who are enslaved like GN. Based on his stated beliefs, he has no choice but to vote for Trump. He is a slave to the repub party. He will vote for any candidate the repub party puts forward.

I think this kind of language is unacceptable here. To call a brother a “slave” because he differs with you on this is to take a role you don’t have. I would urge you to change your tactics on conversation here.

I think this kind of language is unacceptable here. To call a brother a “slave” because he differs with you on this is to take a role you don’t have. I would urge you to change your tactics on conversation here.

Larry, how would you describe this thinking? I only vote for republicans because no matter how terrible and unqualified the republican candidate may be, he or she is better than a democrat.

So, Larry, who controls my vote? Who determines the candidate for whom I vote? Is it me or the republican party?

The definition of slave is "a person held in servitude as the chattel of another." That is what the republican party has accomplished with most Christians with regards to voting. As I mentioned before, this is similar to what the dem party has done with African Americans.

To pretend otherwise is not being honest with yourself and with others. It's time for evangelical Christians to unshackle themselves from the republican party.

That said, I'll stop beating my drum and conclude my comments on this thread.

Joel, I understand your and others strong dislike for Trump. If he were the whole issue, I'd be right there with you. But there's so much more at stake, and I think it is wiser and more righteous to look at the big picture.

It is righteous to resist the LBQT movement promoted by the Left. It is righteous to endeavor to stop government-sponsored abortion. It is righteous to support law and order, simple enforcement of laws on the books rather than selective enforcement of the laws we like and ignoring those we dislike. It is righteous to choose a candidate who will appoint conservatives to the supreme court and defeat those who want to remake the court with progressives. It is righteous to stop the tidal wave of illegal immigration with all its attendant problems. It is righteous to promote the arrest and prosecution of shoplifters rather than give them a pass. I could go on, but I think you get my point.

As bad as Trump may be, he's the only "game in town" who can, at this particular point in American history, defeat a candidate who will continue to sanction policies that are bad for America and opposed to Biblical justice and righteousness.

Don't let your never-Trump myopia deceive you into wasting a vote that is needed to stop a flood of unrighteous behavior. Let's be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

G. N. Barkman