Jesus never told us that when faced with two evil choices, we should take the one that is less evil

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G. N. Barkman's picture

It seems to me that we pick from the lessor of two evils in just about every election.  It's just a matter of degrees.  That's the way it is in a fallen world.  I choose to cast my vote as effectively as possible to try to stop the greater of two evils.

G. N. Barkman

JNoël's picture

Pretty sure it is agreed that arguments from silence are not a good practice in Christian living.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Steve Picray's picture

It's difficult to show exactly what to do in elections from the Bible due to the fact that in the Bible GOD is the only one doing any electing.   We are told the king's heart is in the Lord's hands, that we are to pray for our leaders, that we are to obey God rather than men when the dictates of our authorities (civil and religious) tell us to disobey God.     

But we are never told what guidelines we should use in deciding who to vote for.  So it is a very personal process, with varying and conflicting views held by people of like faith.  I recognize that not everybody will agree with me.  I hold no ill towards those who are voting for Trump in order to stave off Hillary (although I don't believe he is going to win no matter what).  I simply have expressed why I personally am not going to vote for him.  I'd like to think my position is based on biblical principles, albeit loosely due to the subject matter not being covered in Scripture, but if someone can show me otherwise, I am always willing to listen.  

JNoël's picture

This comes up every election cycle, and, as Steve just said, I, too, am always willing to listen to the arguments. I have yet to have anyone bring a solid scriptural answer to the dilemma. At this point, it is still a personal choice, and both sides have valid arguments.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Mark_Smith's picture

Why are you assuming that voting for someone other than Hillary or Trump is better than them. What do you know about the Constitution party candidate? Even if you think you do, do you really?

What about the Libertarian party? Gary Johnson is a Lutheran who calls himself fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

What is good about any of that?

Steve Picray's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Why are you assuming that voting for someone other than Hillary or Trump is better than them. What do you know about the Constitution party candidate? Even if you think you do, do you really?

What about the Libertarian party? Gary Johnson is a Lutheran who calls himself fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

What is good about any of that?

I'm not assuming anything about anybody else.  I have merely examined the two leading candidates and found them wanting in the areas that I believe would make a good President, and therefore they do not have my support.  I agree with some Libertarian values, and not others.  Just as I agree with some of Ayn Rand's ideas (people deserve to keep what they earn), I don't agree with other ideas of hers (like her idea that altruism, even voluntary altruism, is wrong).  

Gary Johnson is still in my "possible" category.  I still don't know what I'm going to do in November, I just know what I'm NOT going to do (Hillary or Trump).    

Have you seen http://stepstopoliticalepiphany.com/?

jimcarwest's picture

"In every  lesser of two (three, or four) evils, there is always one other choice.  There is the choice to support none of the evils.  Now if one of those choices is not really evil, but rather it is just not preferable by someone, or is not convenient, or is too costly, or is less favorable to the public good, those motivations for not voting must be judged against whether one's reason is simply prejudicial or whether it is hurtful to one's neighbor.  

To oppose a candidate for possessing a more flagrant sinful nature than another candidate may not be sufficient reason unless one believes none of the candidates meets the minimum bar for office as established by the Constitution.  Both are sinners, and both may have failed in some measure in their personal lives, but one candidate's ideas may be more beneficial for the public good than the other's.  The choice may thus be made on the basis of which of two sinful candidates supports the ideas and programs that benefit the greatest good or are prejudicial to the most evil.  One may lament the choice that is required, but one can with good conscience support the one that advances the greatest good and resists the greatest evil.  Does any of this make sense to anyone?

Mark_Smith's picture

the political reality is you have three options. You can vote for Trump. You can vote for Hillary. Or you can not vote for one of those two. Traditionally, do the last option is a vote for the Democrat.

THe same applies this year.

You can complain about morality, as I have done. You can complain about ethics as I have done. But in the end you have two choose between two candidates. 

In any other election I wouldn't mind so much if people sat out, but in this case a Hillary presidency would so dramatically transform America that to me, that option is unconscionable.  

When during a Hillary presidency with her SCOTUS appointments running things, don't complain to me when it is a hate crime to preach Romans 1 if you voted for Gary Johnson!

Bert Perry's picture

....can be inferred from the conflicts between the Zealots and the Romans--Jesus did not encourage the former, but rather gave unto Caesar what was Caesar's.  The Romans were no great shakes, but He seems to have recognized that open rebellion would have been a worse evil, and that His kingdom was not of this world.  

Granted, He does not say this "point blank", as far as I can tell, but this is one of a number of places where He was indeed confronted with a choice of the lesser of two evils, and He appears to have quietly taken it.  I think we need to be "wise as serpents but innocent of doves" in what is a horrendous point for our country.  How can we use this new set of Emperors for God's glory?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JNoël's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

In any other election I wouldn't mind so much if people sat out, but in this case a Hillary presidency would so dramatically transform America that to me, that option is unconscionable.  

When during a Hillary presidency with her SCOTUS appointments running things, don't complain to me when it is a hate crime to preach Romans 1 if you voted for Gary Johnson!

 

First, Obama was as drastic a liberal choice as Hillary, so the argument during this presidential cycle is no different than it was for the past 2 cycles.

Second, the Supreme Court is already liberal. It is not a divided court. Look at the members:

Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer : 100% reliable liberals

Alito, Thomas: 100% reliable conservatives

Kennedy: Swing

Roberts: Anybody's guess. Sort of conservative, but has certainly made some liberal decisions, too, so he can only best be described as another Swing vote.

 

If Hillary wins, she will appoint another activist liberal and, also, likely get to replace Ginsburg and, possibly, Thomas. But it really doesn't matter, because the court is already lacking enough conservatives to be considered anything but a liberal court.

 

Third, I'm glad I live in a state that has only voted 2 times for a Republican in the past 10 cycles - Nixon, in 72, and Reagan, in 84. I can vote for whomever I please and my state will still elect Hillary. Not so easy for those of you in states that can still actually be considered swing states - there are so few remaining.

 

 

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Darrell Post's picture

Here is the roster of states by category, as suggested by current state polling. As is obvious, there are relatively few swing states, and Clinton is headed for a blow-out win against Trump. So in this case of the lesser of two evils, it is easy to vote for neither of them as it is going to be a landslide win for Hillary Clinton anyway.

Safe Trump: AL, ID, LA, MS, OK, WV, WY

Likely Trump: AR, UT, NE, ND, SC, SD, TN

Lean Trump: GA, IN, MO, MT, TX

Tossup for Trump: AK, AZ, KS, KY, NC

Tossup for Clinton: OH, PA, VA

Lean Clinton: FL, IA, OR

Likely Clinton: CO, NV, NH, WI

Safe Clinton: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NY, RI, VT, WA

JNoël's picture

I'd say PA isn't in the Tossup category any longer, it is at least Lean Clinton, if not Likely Clinton. PA stopped being a swing state when the greater Lehigh Valley shifted to the entitlement mentality. Once that region was lost to liberalism, the state was lost.

In general, I estimate the liberal fascists (yes, that is what they are) have reached the proverbial critical mass. Too many generations of public grade school and college level indoctrination has successfully twisted conservatism into a lie (that we are a bunch of hate-loving, war loving, backward extremists) and peddled fascism using palatable terms, ignoring the historical facts of the inherent evils of such political policy.

But, of course, the problem is not the politicians - they are simply people put in positions of power by a people who have long since turned their backs on God. The correct people (i.e. those who God ordains) will be put in office, so most of this discussion is unimportant, as God will accomplish his will regardless the individual for whom we vote.

I'm more interested in how so many so-called evangelicals bought into Trump's lies. Delusion sent by God to help bolster his campaign and keep some of the other far better candidates from winning in the primaries?

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Darrell Post's picture

JNoel, these rankings are based on actual polling and no doubt will change throughout the summer, likely in favor of Ms. Clinton.

Here is a web page that records the current polling for each state:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statewide_opinion_polling_for_the_United_S...

But you are right, it is probably better to classify PA as Likely or Lean Clinton as recent polls there have gone more strongly her way.

JNoël's picture

Certainly wasn't arguing with your stats, Darrell. Didn't mean to come across that way. Smile

 

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Steve Picray's picture

Darrell, I just plugged the "Safe Clinton, Likely Clinton, and Lean Clinton" states into the calculator, and those states give her 281 votes.  Why are we even discussing this then? The current projections have her winning 347 to 191.  I am hopeful that the delegates in Cleveland in two weeks develop some guts and decide they don't want to nominate someone who can't beat Clinton (i.e. Trump). 

jimcarwest's picture

"In every  lesser of two (three, or four) evils, there is always one other choice.  There is the choice to support none of the evils.  Now if one of those choices is not really evil, but rather it is just not preferable by someone, or is not convenient, or is too costly, or is less favorable to the public good, those motivations for not voting must be judged against whether one's reason is simply prejudicial or whether it is hurtful to one's neighbor.

 
To oppose a candidate for possessing a more flagrant sinful nature than another candidate may not be sufficient reason unless one believes none of the candidates meets the minimum bar for office as established by the Constitution.  Both are sinners, and both may have failed in some measure in their personal lives, but one candidate's ideas may be more beneficial for the public good than the other's.  The choice may thus be made on the basis of which of two sinful candidates supports the ideas and programs that benefit the greatest good or are prejudicial to the most evil.  One may lament the choice that is required, but one can with good conscience support the one that advances the greatest good and resists the greatest evil.  

Does any of this make sense to anyone?
 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Whenever He says to do good, He is telling us to choose the lesser of evils when that is actually what we are presented with. This is the case because less evil is always more good, by the laws of coherent language. It's tautology.

But a choice between Trump and Hillary is not a choice where the lesser evil can be clearly identified -- if one looks beyond the short term results of a single election.

... but honestly, one need only exercise the imagination the tiniest bit to see how Trump could be as bad or worse even within a few months.

Oh yes, I've heard the logic that says "We know what Hillary will do and Trump might do better." I am not personally able to give that might anything like a high degree of probably given how much damage he will certainly do to the ethos of conservatism for decades to come.

Darrell Post's picture

I updated the list moving VA and PA:

Safe Trump: AL, ID, LA, MS, OK, WV, WY

Likely Trump: AR, UT, NE, ND, SC, SD, TN

Lean Trump: GA, IN, MO, MT, TX

Tossup Trump: AK, AZ, KS, KY, NC

Tossup Clinton: OH

Lean Clinton: FL, IA, OR, VA

Likely Clinton: CO, NV, NH, PA, WI

Safe Clinton: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NY, RI, VT, WA

D 332 / R 206

jimcarwest's picture

You seem to be saying that, when comparing Hillary and Trump, it may be difficult or perhaps impossible to determine which one is the lesser of two evils.  So the choice then boils down to a pragmatic one, and the premise is changed.  If both may be equally evil, each in his/her own way, then the decision is which one will produce the best result.  Here again, there is no room for agreement.  It resorts to a being a matter of personal choice.

Bert Perry's picture

For my take, I have trouble getting beyond the fact that Trump has been good friends with the Clintons for decades, and until recently, his positions were hard to distinguish from theirs.  Add to that the fact that Trump talked with Bubba before filing, and I smell a rat.

But that said, there is a huge advantage in pulling the lever for Trump; a large portion of Republicans hate his guts and would not hesitate to impeach and remove him from office if he gets too out of line, an endeavor in which the Democrats would gleefully join.  On the flip side, we know from recent events that Democrats won't pull the eject lever for one of their own even if it includes perjury, obstruction of justice, lying to investigators, and deliberate exposure of confidential information--and that in a woman who pretty clearly obstructed justice in the Whitewater case by hiding her billing files, was shown the door during Watergate for ethics violations, and who has covered for her philanderer/rapist husband for decades.

In other words, there is at least a chance that Republicans would deal with Trump.  No such chance for the Democrats and Mrs. Clinton.  What I can do now is pray, as it seems that the left is "worshipping a god of fortresses" as is described in Daniel 11:38.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.