This is an excerpt from the chapter entitled "Come Back to Your First Love":
I was taught that Republican leaders and certainly Christian leaders represented the moral high ground. But they winked at the president’s overtures to the Proud Boys, actions with Ukraine, attacks on Senator McCain (even after his death), communist state-style firings of the Attorney General, FBI Director, three National Security Advisors, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Homeland Security, and key members of the State Department including the whistle-blower.
If being a Republican doesn’t mean standing for integrity and standing against racism, why shouldn’t I vote Democrat? If the Republican party stands for “family values,” I can honestly say that I don’t want to teach my family that a blatant disregard for integrity and the support of racism is what we value in our family.
Many American Republicans were tired of the hypocrisy, the lack of decency and character, and defected the party in droves. Never in my lifetime have I seen so many prominent members of a party not only defect but publicly denounce the candidate of their own party.
Instead of celebrating the 70 million voters who voted for Trump under the notion that America was on the right track, Republicans should go into soul-searching mode and finally admit that America will never be made great again by becoming divided again. It is time for the Republican party to reject the 1950ish vision of a Trumpian America where open racist sentiments against non-whites are just part of the culture and the American way of life.
Republicans should bury the Trump regime and its cronies now before thoughts of nominating him again in 2024 surface. Start moving back to candidates like the Bushs and McCain. Men of decency, character, proven political and military service. Men with a family life similar to the Republican family values you claim to espouse. Republicans need to come back to choosing men with a vision of America that is not exclusionary but represents the America we live in today...
And what of the millions of evangelicals that supported the president’s re-election in 2020? Get back to electing men and women of character and decency in 2024 and beyond. Recommit to selecting men and women that possess the same types of characteristics you’d use to choose leaders in your own church: “Faithful husband to his wife. Temperate, sober, vigilant. Sober-minded, prudent. Of good behavior, orderly, respectable. Given to hospitality. Uncontentious, not soon angry or quick-tempered. Not covetous, not a lover of money.” (Elder (Christianity), n.d.)
Earlier in the book, I referenced the transaction the Church made with the president: “This is politics at its most transactional. Trump was being hired by evangelicals to do a job — to defend their institutions, implement pro-life policies, and appoint conservative judges. The character of the president was irrelevant so long as he kept his part of the bargain. Which Trump largely did.” (Gerson, 2020) It’s time to come back to believing that God can put a man or woman in office that genuinely shares and tries to live our values. It is an absolute lie to say that no other Republican candidate would support pro-life policies and appoint conservative judges.
It’s time to come to a reckoning within the evangelical community that there are still parts of our community that are still very much drawn to the president’s racist rhetoric. It’s time to declare that this type of rhetoric is not welcome within the body of Christ. It’s time to be the light and stand apart publicly and stop using conservatism as a shroud for racism.
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