The Jury Talks Back

3/7/2019

Have Christians Rejected The “Lesser Evil” By Redefining It As Good?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:23 am

[guest post by Dana]

David French looks at the ease with which today’s Christians have worked overtime to rationalize our current president’s character which only decades earlier would have been easily condemned. Because we all want to be supporting something good:

There are theological implications to Trump rationalizations — especially in a movement so thick with Christian conservatives.

The redefinition of good character that we so often see on the Trump right reminds me of the powerful words contained in the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1998 resolution on the moral character of public officials. At the height of the Clinton scandals, the Baptists rightly declared, “Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment.”

The interesting question is how does tolerance of wrong sear the conscience? The answer lies deep within human nature. It’s easy to justify a one-time event like a vote as a defensible choice between the lesser of two evils, but few people can stomach being a part of a movement that’s simply “less evil.” People want to be a part of something good. We want to be a part of something that we’re proud of, and we’ll go to great lengths to rationalize that movement even when its leaders turn out to be bad — especially when we see no way to purge those leaders and replace them with better men or women.

Older conservatives can’t forget the extent to which many Democrats not only defended Bill Clinton on the legal merits of the claims against him, but also the extent to which they attempted to change public attitudes about sexual morality. Having a mistress was suddenly no big deal, and parts of the cultural elite purported to long for the greater sophistication of the European public — where wives and mistresses could allegedly even know and respect each other. Younger progressives who’ve grown up in the era of heightened awareness of sexual power dynamics would be stunned at the arguments of their parents.

This same impulse is now at work on the Right. Republicans want to be proud of their president. They want to believe their movement isn’t just better than the Democrats, but that it’s actually good and decent and virtuous. And so they rationalize Trump. They make excuses. Make no mistake, there are many, many decent Republicans doing heroic work across the country and who see Trump clearly, but there are also too many Republicans who are busy trying to transform Trump’s vices into virtues. They’re rejecting the “lesser evil” by redefining it as good, and they’re damaging their credibility and Christian witness in the process.

No matter which camp a Christian and/or Republican might find themselves in, it’s always good to never, ever put a mere mortal on a pedestal, especially when it’s an effort to spin said mere mortal into a more palatable light. Obviously the risk of disappointment increases greatly when the recipient of such veneration is the sitting President of the United States. While the individual desperate to spin clearly has their own unaddressed issues to contend with, one can tell a lot by how a person reacts to being put upon a pedestal. The honest one will flat-out reject such efforts because they have faced their demons with a brutal clarity and that freedom allows them to accept their limitations. On the other hand, the shallow and dishonest person who has resisted any such examination of the soul will lap up the adulation because they believe they are deserving of it. This in spite of what lies beneath. And then they will crow about it, making sure that everyone knows how richly deserving of the worship they are. With the latter, it’s a win-win scenario: both parties end up feeling good about themselves and the relationship in which they have entered into with one another. No matter how dishonest it all might be.

–Dana

5 Comments »

  1. Having read the above, I gather that it is about morality, sexual morality, yes? Clinton is mentioned, which is the code work for sexual bad behavior. If that is so, where does Trump fit in?

    His bad sexual behavior was, how long ago? Has he been a ‘good boy’ since? How many years since he was a ‘bad boy’?

    I get the feeling that his current habits of exaggeration, hitting back when struck, and all his other character flaws r being infiltrated into the premise of the sinner and the Christian crowd not being as unforgiving or not condemning him using their ‘tut tut’ authoritative persona.

    Clinton raped, more than once. He broke the law and had to pay, including losing his license to b a lawyer.

    Trump did a lot of talking, and, maybe, had consenting sex w hookers/others, but no legal law was broken.

    As a Christian, pls don’t use me/us to beat the man up. There r other worthy persons who say they r Christians (Pelosi, Feinstein, Cuomo, Biden, Kennedy–take ur pick, Kaine…) that u use Christians to bash because they don’t practice what they preach, they r big time violators of basic tenets of the faith they claim as theirs. U can use me/us to do the bashing as u want us to do to Trump in the opening paragraphs.

    Try directing ur righteous anger at the ones who really need it, the ones that don’t have a prominent place on ur moral radar.

    Comment by Amon-Ra — 3/8/2019 @ 6:36 am

  2. You say this is about sexual morality but you judge Trump based on criminal law standards, not Christian standards. As a Christian, why are you so willing to give Trump a pass when it comes to the commandment that prohibits adultery? IMO your comment is a example of “the ease with which today’s Christians have worked overtime to rationalize our current president’s character which only decades earlier would have been easily condemned.”

    Comment by DRJ — 3/8/2019 @ 1:19 pm

  3. Amon-Ra,

    As a Christian, it is quite possible to equally condemn both Trump and Clinton’s treatment of women, their wives, and their lack of adherence to what I would call a fairly universal moral standard. But given that they both have professed to be Christians, I will call it sinning against God in their behavior toward women – including their wives and the women they were sexually involved with outside of their marriages.

    Comment by Dana — 3/8/2019 @ 7:09 pm

  4. Czterdziestolatka obejrzycie w VOD TVP. Często nie trafiają one do naszych kin, ale można je zobaczyć na festiwalach, DVD/Blu-ray bądź na jednym z serwisów
    VOD. Czy oglądanie serwisów VOD takich, jak Zalukaj czy
    Kinoman nie łamie polskiego prawa? W tej animacji znajdziecie komplet
    lektor pl cda tego, co w Kubusiu najlepsze, i to, czego oczekuje się po
    jego losach: dużo uroku, ciepła jak i również niewymuszonego humoru.
    Odcinek finałowy 8. sezonu nie jest tak dużym cliffhangerem jak np.
    końcówka 6. sezonu – wtedy przez całe miesiące przed premierą 7.

    sezonu w sieci pojawiały się teorie na temat tego,
    kogo zabije Negan. I uratować sprawcę tego,
    który uczynił piekło ich rodziną. Co z resztą potwierdził sam Rick, który razem z Michonne wytłumaczył byłemu już liderowi Zbawców, że on również będzie miał rolę
    do odegrania w nadchodzących czasach. Rick wraz z Michonne
    przygotowują się do rozpoczęcia życia w nowym świecie, w którym to
    oni będą (w miarę demokratyczny sposób) zarządzać tym,
    co się dzieje. Problem w tym, że w polskim kinie tylko
    one są przedstawiane. Tylko właśnie wtedy
    pojawia się naprawdę tajemnicza kobieta – Charlize Theron, która wciąga Doma w bardzo niebezpieczny świat, z którego nie ma ucieczki do normalnego życia.

    Comment by cda online — 4/2/2019 @ 11:09 am

  5. Charlize Theron… cazecki oom pa pa mowmow di boomboom!

    Graznecki.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku — 4/4/2019 @ 5:30 am

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