Sunday, July 17, 2016

When Does Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils Become Untenable?

With the Republican Convention looming in the next day, we're getting closer and closer to the reality that the the next Presidential election in the United States will come down to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Obviously, Clinton is a no go for faithful Catholics, with her track record on abortion and a number of other social issues. In my opinion, Donald Trump is too. This article nicely spells out why. But now, we're starting to see hashtags such as "anybodybuttrump" and "anybodybutclinton". Obviously, many people don't like Clinton or Trump, but are settling for one because they perceive that the other person is far worse. Things is, I don't trust either of them.

Donald Trump can say all day that he's pro-life, but he never gets specific, is perpetually confused on the issue, and has made it obvious that his inner circle is calling the shots. Anything can happen here, and I expect him to lie to my face just as easily as Clinton does. So what do we say to the people that say "anybody but". And especially, what do we say to our fellow Christians who seem ready to bite the bullet and vote for Clinton since they despise so much... despite what Clinton has gone on record to see about religion, including Christianity:

"Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will; and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed."

I would first say that I'd only make one change to the hashtags: #anybodybuttrumpandclinton. Both basically eschew Christian virtue. November is looking scary. Our country needs a lot of prayer. But you know, for all those saying "anyone but Trump"... I hear the same thing from a lot of political conservatives, that Clinton's is the worse alternative, so it becomes "anyone but Clinton". I think we as Christians have to realize that the two party system in America isn't really working for us anymore, especially if we wish to practice our faith and follow or consciences which have been in great part formed by the words of the Gospel.

Trump is a hypocrite and a megalomaniac. We can see that in his wish to build a wall and his declaration that he wants to keep all Muslim immigrants out of America. But Clinton is also a twoface and hypocrite, as she claims she wants to "Defend and protect women’s health", then she turns around and is fine with promoting and advocating the murder of thousands of young women in the womb, making it clear those women are not to be protected. I know we often hear about choosing "the lesser of two evils", but I think it's time that we Christians make a stand and say, "hey you know what, you're both wrong, and I won't accept either of your unvirtuous platforms!" To be fair, there's no perfect candidate, but we can only put up with so much.

I think C.S. Lewis said it best in "Mere Christianity". It's something I've definitely been reflecting on, and has strengthened my position that we as Christians certainly can have a "third" option:
"I feel a strong desire to tell you–and I expect you feel a strong desire to tell me–which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs–pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them."

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