Rand Paul and other Trump defenders are lying to you about the sixth amendment

"The scope and reach of the Sixth Amendment has been extensively litigated, and it most assuredly does not apply to the House’s impeachment inquiry." - David French

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Mark_Smith's picture

and misstatements, and not mention the massive paranoia and exaggeration on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, LA Times, et al, then please have the courage to admit you are a never Trumper and be done with it.

Mark_Smith's picture

The whistleblower is not some heroic figure fighting to save future generations of Americans from the evil scourge of Trumpism. He (we know who he is) Who  Is Not To Be Named is a partisan hack who at minimum worked with Schiff and other Democrats, and likely a few ex-CIA officials, to drop this on the public. All the while attempting to use the whistleblower law to shield his identity. Legitimate whistleblowers do not file carefully crafted K street legal complaints, nor do they collude with House Intelligence committee chair staff for the timing of their complaint.

Mark_Smith's picture

"I heard a guy say that he heard a guy say on a phone in a restaurant that..." accepted as evidence?

TylerR's picture

Editor

Why are Christians so angry about politics?

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Ken S's picture

TylerR wrote:

Why are Christians so angry about politics?

In my opinion, it's because most American Christians have not fully understood what it means to have their true citizenship in heaven, and they willingly attribute the power and authority that belong to Jesus Christ to America and its government instead. Americans tend to think that Jesus' power and influence should be funneled through the American government rather than the church. If we changed this perspective, we would be significantly less tied to never-ending political wranglings.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Mark_Smith wrote:

and misstatements, and not mention the massive paranoia and exaggeration on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, LA Times, et al, then please have the courage to admit you are a never Trumper and be done with it.

None of this is in an any way relevant, if you're on the side of truth. The saddest thing in all of this is everyone thinking they have to side with a political party or perspective rather than siding with truth--and Christians doing this in particular. Christians should know better. It's all very disheartening.

Those interested in truth focus on questions like:

  • Does the US House of Reps have the legal authority (Constitution + its own rules) to do what it's doing?
  • Does the House have the legal authority (Constitution + its own rules) to do it the way it's doing it?
  • What are the facts of the case as far as Trump's conduct is concerned?
  • Were his actions legal and/or ethical?

That's it. Media error is irrelevant. Republican vs. Democrat is irrelevant. Left vs. Right is irrelevant. Obama, Hillary, et al. are irrelevant. "Never trumper" or not, is irrelevant (as for that, I openly claimed that label in 2016, defined what I meant by it, and have never seen anything to change my mind about it in the slightest.... nor is that likely.)

Thoughtful people know that what label people slap on you (or what label you claim) doesn't have any bearing on whether you're telling the truth or not. Truth claims have to be evaluated on their merits, not on their source.   ... unless one is more devoted to one's tribe than to truth, of course. In that case, by all means, decide what's true based solely on the group a source belongs to or champions. (If you're a Trump defender these days, that means changing your views on various truth claims every other day! But hey, if that's the ship you want to go down in, it's a free country.) I've never been a "truth by club membership" guy my entire life. It's incompatible with my faith.

Bert Perry's picture

It's technically correct that the 6th Amendment does not strictly apply to these proceedings, but French certainly knows that real justice depends on things like cross examination as well.  So Schiff can technically be "legal" about the proceedings, but miss the entire point of justice.  It is my prayer that the electorate will--as they arguably did with the Kavanaugh proceedings where Dianne Feinstein did Mike Nifong one better in doing things like withholding and distorting evidence--see this and conclude "when Democrats get power, this is what they will do to you.", and vote accordingly.

This has a lot to do with the actual evidence.  What we have so far is that the evidence of quid pro quo rests on hearsay testimony of people who made an educated guess about what the President wanted, and we have a horrendous breach of confidentiality (calling the President from a restaurant in Ukraine on a tappable phone) by one of the key witnesses.

And along those lines, I'm not persuaded that even if the President did hold the military aid hostage to an investigation of Biden, that that would qualify for impeachment.  Ugly fact here is that real evidence, not hearsay, suggests very strongly that the Obama administration not only gave Biden's family a multimillion dollar payoff through Burisma and the Chinese, but also used the Ukrainians to create and sustain the Mueller investigation.  Given that, I really don't think Trump is wrong to say "folks, we gotta investigate this."  

Worth noting as well; the Obama administration withheld military aid altogether from Ukraine, as if they could defend themselves with blankets.  In my view, this is a classic Democratic "SQUIRREL!" exercise.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

And along those lines, I'm not persuaded that even if the President did hold the military aid hostage to an investigation of Biden, that that would qualify for impeachment.  Ugly fact here is that real evidence, not hearsay, suggests very strongly that the Obama administration not only gave Biden's family a multimillion dollar payoff through Burisma and the Chinese, but also used the Ukrainians to create and sustain the Mueller investigation.  Given that, I really don't think Trump is wrong to say "folks, we gotta investigate this." 

On the first bit of that, I agree. The way the system is supposed to work is that the popularly elected House does what it believes ought to be done. The Senate then renders its verdict and "sentence." I'm for letting that process run its course as it should. Does the Ukraine quid pro quo in itself warrant impeachment? I'm not sure it does, but I'm definitely in favor of Congressional examination of this kind of Presidential behavior.

What the Obamas did is an entirely different question, though it does have some relevance as context. Was Trump trying to avoid corruption or was he trying to defeat a political rival? This is the central question. The latter is clearly unethical. The former is, at best, a good intention very improperly executed.

Context: speaking of context, though, the particular case occurs in the context of an administration that is a public disgrace every day of the week (all I need to say about that is Twitter), despite a handful of very good (random...) policy decisions. (Broken clocks--right twice a day). So, though the Ukraine question is what's on the table (in this case, the floor) it's a question surrounded by heaps of unleaderly (and often unfit) conduct that makes defensibility of any questionable action much harder.

The day Trump was elected I started praying for something better, and that continues to be my prayer.

On the plus side, if it can be called a plus.... the whole business has exposed just how superficial and self serving much (most?) of the conservative movement has become. It's only a plus because it was there and thoughtful conservatives didn't know it was there--to that degree. And now we know. Knowing is good, though the reality of the situation is very bad for the country.

mmartin's picture

Ken S wrote:

 

TylerR wrote:

 

Why are Christians so angry about politics?

 

 

In my opinion, it's because most American Christians have not fully understood what it means to have their true citizenship in heaven, and they willingly attribute the power and authority that belong to Jesus Christ to America and its government instead. Americans tend to think that Jesus' power and influence should be funneled through the American government rather than the church. If we changed this perspective, we would be significantly less tied to never-ending political wranglings.

Respectfully, I feel this is an over simplification.  Should Christians understand and live as belonging to Christ and not to a given government?  Yes, absolutely!  Is America our savior and where we will spend eternity?  No, definitely not.

But, I don't feel that means Christians should be entirely passive either.  Jesus didn't say to render only to God and forget entirely what may be due to Caesar.  True, Jesus' comment was a specific answer to a question about taxes, but I think you can make an argument that comment also includes reasonable proactive involvement in government.  Joseph and Daniel are just two examples of godly men deeply involved in government.  I feel Christ's command for Christians to be "salt and light" does/can include being involved in politics.  Not that all Christians are called to that specific mission, but all Christians are called to be salt and light.

Also, as an American citizen, I have the right to speak and call into question corruption, hypocrisy, unethical & illegal activities by our government (no matter the party) and hold them accountable.  Between that and being salt and light, I feel this has its importance because it goes to providing for my children's future, caring for others, standing up for righteousness, and respecting those who have gone before us, many of which have fallen in battle for our American values and way of life.

I acknowledge you may be addressing specifically the anger by some/many Christians and are not saying Christians should not be concerned at all with their government.  To that point, I agree that Christians can be involved and speak out, but without doing it in an angry manner.

mmartin's picture

Aaron,

Will you acknowledge that a vote for Trump as a vote against Hillary or other Democratic candidate (who most likley supports abortion, trillion dollar health care for all including illegals, open borders, anti-Christian laws and policies, pro-LGBTQ policies at the expense of Christians) . . . .

is NOT the same as thinking Trump is The Chosen One and are blind to his many faults?

Will you acknowledge that?

Bert Perry's picture

One thing that comes to mind here is that in diplomacy, you are rarely if ever going to get conclusive proof that a party did something for the sole reason of political gain.  Diplomats thrive on this ambiguity because they're trying to preserve the peace--when you get clarity from diplomats, you very often are delivering a declaration of war.  (like the old proverb says, diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to Hell in such a way that he will look forward to the trip)

In this case, the mere reality of Biden's corruption ought to take this off the table for that reason.  He and his son don't get a pass simply because Dad was running for office.

I also don't see the Trump era as a capitulation of the right to realpolitik or "the ends justify the means."  I rather view it as an admission that if the left isn't going to follow the rules, the right isn't going to bow down anymore and take whatever abuse they dish out anymore.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

mmartin wrote:

 

Ken S wrote:

 

 

TylerR wrote:

 

Why are Christians so angry about politics?

 

 

In my opinion, it's because most American Christians have not fully understood what it means to have their true citizenship in heaven, and they willingly attribute the power and authority that belong to Jesus Christ to America and its government instead. Americans tend to think that Jesus' power and influence should be funneled through the American government rather than the church. If we changed this perspective, we would be significantly less tied to never-ending political wranglings.

 

 

Respectfully, I feel this is an over simplification.  Should Christians understand and live as belonging to Christ and not to a given government?  Yes, absolutely!  Is America our savior and where we will spend eternity?  No, definitely not.

But, I don't feel that means Christians should be entirely passive either.  Jesus didn't say to render only to God and forget entirely what may be due to Caesar.  True, Jesus' comment was a specific answer to a question about taxes, but I think you can make an argument that comment also includes reasonable proactive involvement in government.  Joseph and Daniel are just two examples of godly men deeply involved in government.  I feel Christ's command for Christians to be "salt and light" does/can include being involved in politics.  Not that all Christians are called to that specific mission, but all Christians are called to be salt and light.

Also, as an American citizen, I have the right to speak and call into question corruption, hypocrisy, unethical & illegal activities by our government (no matter the party) and hold them accountable.  Between that and being salt and light, I feel this has its importance because it goes to providing for my children's future, caring for others, standing up for righteousness, and respecting those who have gone before us, many of which have fallen in battle for our American values and way of life.

I acknowledge you may be addressing specifically the anger by some/many Christians and are not saying Christians should not be concerned at all with their government.  To that point, I agree that Christians can be involved and speak out, but without doing it in an angry manner.

Just wanted to point out that both Daniel and Joseph who you cite were heavily involved in politics because they were kidnapped and forced to be so. I do believe they honored God in their respective positions though. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

mmartin wrote:

Aaron,

Will you acknowledge that a vote for Trump as a vote against Hillary or other Democratic candidate (who most likley supports abortion, trillion dollar health care for all including illegals, open borders, anti-Christian laws and policies, pro-LGBTQ policies at the expense of Christians) . . . .

is NOT the same as thinking Trump is The Chosen One and are blind to his many faults?

Will you acknowledge that?

There are two questions here. On the second one: I have long acknowledged that many voted for Trump believing that it was the least objectionable option, and they aren't Trump defenders. I can respect that, though I disagree with the ethical analysis, which is the first question. Lots of previous threads on that, though it gets lost in the, um, yelling. Smile

I do not believe the ethics of a vote can be reduced to an automatic either-or between two opponents who have the potential to win. To say it another way, I don't believe the ethical factors are exhausted when we've only looked at the outcome of the vote. An act can be wrong independently of its outcomes, and that has to be factored in. Also, outcomes beyond the election itself have to factored in.

I believe when these two additional sets of factors are understood it, at the very least, makes a vote for such a man highly questionable. I myself could not do it in good conscience, so I didn't.

... and never will. Hence, "never trumper" applies to me in that sense.

I don't expect a candidate to be perfect, or to be Christian, but there is a minimum character threshold I can't go below. Trump is not just below it, he is yards below it, and not just on one or two criteria of good character. On nearly all of them.

On the 'should we care about politics at all?' question

This is a very large topic... has to do with how one views the Christian's relationship with the created order and with civilization. I don't hold the view that citizenship in heaven makes our citizenship here below void or of no importance. In a sense, we are "just passing through" this life, but in another very important sense, we are stewards of every opportunity for good this life affords. So God's glory is not served only by our dying and going to heaven, or only by making disciples, or only by worshiping Him with His people. He has intentions for how we interact with His world, how we bring Him glory by demonstrating His creative likeness by working, by solving problems, by giving, by blessing people, by making the world a better place.

John E.'s picture

Aaron wrote:

I don't expect a candidate to be perfect, or to be Christian, but there is a minimum character threshold I can't go below. Trump is not just below it, he is yards below it, and not just on one or two criteria of good character. On nearly all of them.

First, thank you, Aaron. This is a good articulation of my position. Secondly, I once asked this question in an article - for those who claim to hold their nose while voting for a man like Trump, is there a minimum character threshold that would prevent you from voting from someone? If so, what is it? 

I've never received nor heard an answer. I'm still curious, though.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

John E. wrote:

...for those who claim to hold their nose while voting for a man like Trump, is there a minimum character threshold that would prevent you from voting from someone? If so, what is it? 

In my opinion, this question comes from the (unusual) luxury we have had in this country where Christian ethics have previously had some measure of effect on the greater culture.  We are moving farther and farther from this.  America is already a post-Christian society, and is quickly moving toward being an anti-Christian society.

Why do my previous sentences matter, at least to me?  I believe that more and more our candidates are going to be those who have absolutely no regard for God or his precepts.  They'll be like Pharaoh, Cyrus, or the Caesars that Paul ministered under.  So the way I see it, unless there is no discernable difference between the candidates that can actually be elected, in which case, I won't vote, and since I believe that we still should have a "salt and light effect on society around us, I'll always vote for one I perceive to be a lesser evil, no matter how bad the one I vote for may be.  I voted for Trump knowing he was wicked just as his opponent was (though in different ways), but my conscience was comfortable with my choice, knowing I'd voted for less evil to be accomplished in our country, and the way I see it, less evil is always better than more evil.

Dave Barnhart

John E.'s picture

Dave, I don't what to think of your answer - I don't want to think about it; I don't want to think about the ramifications. I'll be honest, it saddens me. I guess, in one sense, I appreciate that you're honest that you'll, "always vote for the one I perceive to be a lesser evil, no matter how bad the one I vote for may be." So, there is no minimum character threshold for you.

Trump was right all along, he could actually murder someone in broad daylight and not lose support. I used to think that was hyperbole. I don't know anymore. 

Mike Harding's picture

John,

If you are not comfortable voting for Trump, I respect your right to make that decision.  Voting for a President is also voting for a Vice President, in this case Pence.  Also, voting for a President is voting for Supreme Court Justices, hundreds of Federally appointed judges, and multiple Cabinet positions.  The presidency is not just one person. You should take that into consideration.  I heard one "Never Trumper" today on the radio who admitted that he voted for "Popeye The Sailor Man" for president in 2016.  Seriously, he wrote that in. No doubt Trump has had many egregious sins in his past and many personality quirks in the present, but his overall record of accomplishment as President in many areas has been beneficial to freedom loving Americans and the Bill of Rights, not to mention a robust economy.  You and Aaron make a valid point about Character.  For instance, could I vote for Pete B. if he was a practicing political conservative?  That would be a difficult one for me.  So I do respect your position. If I compare Trump's public sins to King David's public sins, I think David loses in that contest.  Adultery (both are equal), multiple wives (equal), rape (though I don't think David is guilty of this, many others do), murder (David).  Yet, God allowed him to remain King.  So it is difficult to know where the objective line is in every case.

 

Pastor Mike Harding

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

John E. wrote:

So, there is no minimum character threshold for you.

If the choices are two candidates with "minimal character" the only alternative is to waste your vote or refuse to participate, and while I understand those views, I don't agree with them in general.  Depending on the how bad the choices are, I might not vote if they are equally bad, but if one results in less evil, it's still a pretty clear choice for me.

Quote:

Trump was right all along, he could actually murder someone in broad daylight and not lose support. I used to think that was hyperbole. I don't know anymore. 

I hope it doesn't come down to a candidate that has murdered one vs. a candidate that has murdered more (this choice probably would apply to most of ancient Rome's leaders, and their senators probably had to make some tough choices).  If it does, I'll have to think long and hard about what I will do, but if one is clearly a better choice than the other, I can vote for that one, vote for someone who won't be elected and may take votes from the "less evil" one, or refuse to participate.  Those are the only valid choices, and again, while I would understand why one would choose one of the latter two, there are reasons to go with the first, even if you don't agree.

It comes down to this -- my hope is in God, not the leaders of this world.  However, as long as we can have input into the process, each of us will have to answer to God for what we have done, not to others who also have to answer to God.

Dave Barnhart

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I do think this is where more of the conversation/thinking needs to go. Is there such a thing as too low? Why/why not? What would it be?

I understand that for many it's a simple matter of a single transaction (a vote) and that this vote should be evaluated solely by one criterion: which of the two most likely winners am I directly or indirectly helping to win?

Like John, I'm not sure how to answer that... though I think I may understand it better than he does at this point? 

The frustration for all involved is probably that there are assumptions here that are not examined. And so various pieces of the thought process are so obvious to us, we can't figure out why the others "don't get it."

But we'd probably all agree that examining and testing assumptions is important, right?

Along those lines, I'm not sure if I've raised this particular question before:

  • When evaluating the ethics of an action, does it make any difference whether the outcomes are direct or indirect?

For the sake of simplicity, I'm assuming the outcomes are "very likely" ones.

So, for example, this dilemma from internet somewhere...

A pregnant woman leading a group of people out of a cave on a coast is stuck in the mouth of that cave. In a short time high tide will be upon them, and unless she is unstuck, they will all be drowned except the woman, whose head is out of the cave. Fortunately, (or unfortunately,) someone has with him a stick of dynamite. There seems no way to get the pregnant woman loose without using the dynamite which will inevitably kill her; but if they do not use it everyone will drown. What should they do?

Let's modify it slightly and say that the person ("the chooser") with the dynamite is outside the cave and will survive regardless.

The argument can be made that by refusing to kill the woman via dynamite, the chooser is choosing to kill everyone else. The argument can also be made that using the dynamite is murdering the woman (and her unborn child).

What the chooser decides depends to some extent on how he views indirect outcomes. As a Christian, I think my reasoning should be: If I use the dynamite I'm directly taking the woman and her infant's life. If I don't use the dynamite, I'm indirectly causing the deaths of everyone else, but I will not have murdered them by my actions. I can't kill two people directly in order to save several other people indirectly.

Of course, one could also argue that using the dynamite is really an effort to make a way of escape, and the death of the woman and infant are an indirect outcome. I'm not sure I could convince myself of that though.

What if we say it's not dynamite, and you have to simply kill the woman to remove her from the mouth of the cave? (Sorry if this whole scene is giving you nightmares!)

What I hope is evident: direct vs. indirect does sometimes matter. Direct outcomes of actions vs. indirect outcomes of inaction are not exactly equivalent.

When it comes to voting, and there are two very bad likely winners, and one is clearly worse than the other... my choice to vote for neither does have an indirect outcome of helping the worse one win. Sort of. Let's say it does. But if I vote for the other bad candidate I am directly helping that individual gain power. Can I do that? I think for most of us it depends on how bad the "better" one is and how much worse the alternative is.

Bert Perry's picture

One fly in the ointment for deciding someone's character is "too low" is that we've seen a number of times where the media refused to cover the improprieties of candidates, generally on the Democratic side.  They never really dug into JFK's adultery (or LBJs), sat down politely as Carville and Hilliary set up the "bimbo eruptions" team, never really followed up on Obama's drug use and weak student records (mentioned in his autobiographies), and while in office never really answered why all of the "oopsies" of the Obama and Clinton administrations just "happened to" benefit them. 

So applying a minimum standard to the ethics and morals of candidates is more or less both a unilateral disarmament and an invitation for the media and the left to smear candidates to make it appear they are below that target.  You create an incentive for people to cheat in that business, they will.  A great example--see Powerline for details--is the habit of "fact-checking" websites to "helpfully" change the questions asked to make conservatives into liars and liberals into honest men.  

And to be honest, the place where I stop supporting a hypothetical conservative/libertarian candidate is therefore when they arguably will result in effects worse than that of prenatal infanticide and gun control/socialism, both linked to over 100 million premature deaths worldwide in the past century or so.  That's a lot of mistresses, to put it mildly, and that's a lot of lies.  

Put in another way, we might suggest that to impose a "minimum standard" is to enable the left's game of "Calvinball", whereby the little boy changes the rules every time his tiger gets the upper hand  paw, or Lucy's game with the football and Charlie Brown.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

You don't need to think about hypothetical situations to see this dilemma.  Just read about a number of the events that took place on 9/11.  The story of the two pilots whose job it was to take down flight 91 (turned out to be unnecessary since the passengers brought it down themselves) is a study in direct vs. indirect.  Do you kill all the people on the airliner to save many more people?  President Bush was willing to do that (he ordered it), as were the two pilots who answered the call (who, by the way, would have had to kamikaze to complete the mission, as at that time they were flying jets that hadn't had time to be armed).  You'll have to decide for yourself if those were right decisions or wrong ones, but it's not going to be that easy to put the "only possible Christian position" clearly on one side or the other.

Another really obvious example was using the first nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The rightness/wrongness of that action is still debated today, and much of it comes down to saving a much larger number of lives and more years of war by bombing whole cities which included many civilians, not just factories and military installations.

Those dilemmas and ones like them constitute one of the reasons there is going to be disagreement about directly putting someone "less evil" in office vs. indirectly putting a greater evil there.  Just as in our current political environment, we are going to have to learn to get along with (if not understand) those who don't come down on the same side of this question.  I respect those who couldn't vote for Trump.  I disagree with them, but they have to answer to God and their conscience the same way I do.

Dave Barnhart

Dan Miller's picture

John E. wrote:
...Secondly, I once asked this question in an article - for those who claim to hold their nose while voting for a man like Trump, is there a minimum character threshold that would prevent you from voting from someone? If so, what is it? 

I've never received nor heard an answer. I'm still curious, though.

I think I answered it the last time around with this topic. 

 The answer is, yes. The character of the other candidate. 

Joeb's picture

From what i understand they have an eye witness tying Trump to the central demand for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens specifically Mark.  However does that rise to an offense to be impeached for.  I doubt it.  Especially since the Republicans control the Senate. 
 

Note: Aaron's position on this matter reflects my position on Trump.   Hence I concur with whatever Aaron says.  Sorry to stain you like that Aaron.  By the time I'm done you will feel like you need a shower.   

G. N. Barkman's picture

Rather, they claim to have an eye witness.  Time will tell.  We've heard similar claims for more than two years, and they seem to evaporate under examination.

G. N. Barkman

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

The reason for using the fictional dilemma is that it allows you assume the conditions and focus on a particular problem. The problem I was going for was not just direct vs. indirect outcomes but also the ethics of doing something in and of itself independently of the alternatives.

  • So, regardless of what would happen if he didn't (regardless of the alternatives), would it be right for the observer to indirectly kill the woman blocking the mouth of the cave in order to save the rest of the occupants?

For the sake of the argument I'm making, it isn't necessary to prove that killing the woman would be wrong (though I believe it would). It's enough to establish that killing the woman might be wrong. If that's even a possibility, it introduces a layer--a criterion--for evaluating all of our ethical decisionmaking. If we think of that evaluation as a series of questions, the new question this requires is: is the choice I'm considering wrong in itself, regardless of the alternatives?

It matters because I think it's pretty fundamental to Christian ethics to affirm that we are never truly required to choose between two sinful choices, and opt for the less sinful one. So, if an act can be wrong--even though the only alternative seems worse--our theology says there must be another option. We don't have to sin smaller in order to avoid sinning bigger.

This is the evaluation I'm not seeing happen among reluctant Trump voters. I'd like to see an effort at least.

What that would look like is an analysis of why it would be or wouldn't be wrong to vote for a leader of extremely poor character--in an of itself, without regard for who else is on the ballot.

Because I believe acts can be wrong in an of themselves, no matter how much worse the alternative(s) may be or seem to be, evaluating whom to vote for has a different starting point. I do not begin with "What will happen if I don't?" I begin with "Is it wrong in itself?"

Answering that question relies on a number of debatable premises, yes, and the answer can have a wide range of probability/certainty. I get that. Still, if I can, I'd like to win more people over to at least starting in the right place.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Here is some sobering analysis. Excerpt:

Sitting on a pile of smoldering rubble while taking potshots at mutated bloatflies swarming nearby, the last member of humanity confirmed his satisfaction at making sure Clinton wasn’t elected.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

G. N. Barkman's picture

There's a big difference between analysis and satire.

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

It was a joke!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Don Johnson's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

It matters because I think it's pretty fundamental to Christian ethics to affirm that we are never truly required to choose between two sinful choices, and opt for the less sinful one. So, if an act can be wrong--even though the only alternative seems worse--our theology says there must be another option. We don't have to sin smaller in order to avoid sinning bigger.

This is the evaluation I'm not seeing happen among reluctant Trump voters. I'd like to see an effort at least.

Well, if voting is a moral act, you have a point. I don't see it as such, though I wasn't at all for Trump last time.

However, voting is a political act, I have a hard time seeing it as moral or immoral, unless maybe you just flippantly go into the booth and toss a coin or something. A thoughtful vote, weighing the pros and cons of all candidates as best an individual can tell is good citizenship and good morally, no matter which way you vote.

At least that's my theory! I might change tomorrow.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

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