I was once NeverTrump. I have called our current president both a narcissist and a child. Compared him to both Peter Pan and former pro wrestling manager extraordinaire Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
The news that the Trump administration is setting up a new division within the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and other health-care providers is unambiguously good. It allows HHS to come to the defense of conscientious objectors working in the health-care field by defending the God-given rights of those who opt out of “certain procedures” — like the killing field that is abortion or gender-bending sex-change operations.
And that, if weighed and measured without prejudice against Trump’s public persona, is an outcome that simply wouldn’t and couldn’t have happened if Hillary Clinton was president. Nor would I be receiving a projected $5,000 in extra income this year as a result of the recently passed tax cuts. Nor would we have Neil Gorsuch. Nor would the press be actually covering the March for Life for the second year in a row due to either Trump’s or Vice President Mike Pence’s presence there.
For all of Trump’s flaws, not only do we need to recognize that this is undeniably better than Hillary, it could very likely be better than anything an establishment idol like Mitt Romney — he of the failure even to eat a Chick-fil-A sandwich in defense of conscience – would have conjured up.
Which is why, when the press attempts to goad evangelicals into feeling guilty for their support of Trump, the reality is that it is going to take far more than revelations from a porn star for them to take their ball and go home. Democrats as a party remain in open warfare against the Christian worldview. They aren’t open to people with my beliefs and in fact won’t even tolerate us conscientiously objecting to their new moral order. Rather, their mantra is that if you believe Jesus is Lord and not gubmint, then you will be made to care.
Meanwhile, Trump is no longer just an educated guess, as he was when I and others were NeverTrump on the campaign trail. He is actually governing, and he has a record. Though it’s not perfect and his public persona grates on me, policy-wise (which is what really matters to our families and their futures) he’s actually much better than I anticipated. And that has to count for something — more than faux progressive self-righteousness.
In the Christian worldview, there is a hierarchy of values. For example, stealing and murder both violate the Ten Commandments, but only murder is a capital offense. Why? Because a human life is worth more than stuff.
Likewise, while Trump’s alleged behavior with porn stars currently making the rounds is appalling if true, for a voter, that has to be weighed within a hierarchy of values for full context. For some, this will be disqualifying, and that’s okay. For others, who see an unrighteous man actually advancing some righteousness, it won’t be. And that’s okay, too.
See, in both cases, the standard didn’t change. Neither side of the argument has to be saying Trump’s immorality is moral because I agree with him politically (though some “evangelicals” have made this argument, and I have staunchly criticized it in the past and will continue to). Rather, morality is a holistic view, not a singular one that means one bad thing you do disqualifies you from doing something good later on.
People striving for morality do immorality all the time (see Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” in Romans 7). For example, I’ve done pro-life activism all over the country. Yet I also struggle not to notice every pair of yoga pants I see at the local gym or mall. Why do I struggle? Because as a believer, I know it’s wrong, yet I want to notice them anyway.
The problem we have with Trump is that he lacks the humility of admitting there’s any struggle at all, which offends many. Therefore, too many people have a tendency to change their own standard based on what they think of Trump as a person. That was and is wrong, and I said so and continue to.
However, if it’s wrong to change your standard to conform to Trump, it’s equally wrong to change your standard to condemn Trump.
Both make Trump out to essentially be God, which some may think he believes himself to be, but is nevertheless not true. So if you’re a Christian and failing to acknowledge some of the good Trump is doing for your worldview, you’re likely guilty of exactly what you rightly condemned Trump’s religious shills for doing. You’re just the other side of the same coin.
We don’t change what’s wrong to absolve our politicians; nor do we alter what’s right to continue condemning them.
Both ways are wrong. Both should die.
Steve Deace is broadcast nationally every day on BlazeTV. He is the author of the book “Truth Bombs: Confronting the Lies Conservatives Believe (To Our Own Demise).”