The Purity Thing Again..

Mike Pence is ever-anxious to let you know he’s made a difficult moral decision.  He rarely fails to remind his audience he is Christian first, American second, and Republican third.  Brimming over with that brand of paraded piety that earned him 0.1% of the primary vote, Mike furls his brow and lets us know, in meek-speak, he won’t be voting for Donald Trump. He won’t be the last Christian politician or preacher or libertarian to do so. “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil.”

This obvious logic, unfortunately, must yield to obvious truth: there is no other choice.  This dreary reality isn’t just limited to one election cycle either.  It’s a statement about our temporal condition:  “There is none righteous, no not one.”  While Jesus of Nazareth Himself remains off the ballot, the Lord High King of the universe will do His will through flawed, evil men.  If I must choose between a man who has committed adultery in the past and a man who hopes to make adultery the law of the land — celebrated and utterly without consequence in the law — then I will happily choose the penitent adulterer. A man who wrestles with the truth is a better bet than a man who wants to light truth itself on fire so that he can dance on the pyre.

Strategically, as near as I can tell, the purity argument hopes for a generation of virtuous reformers rising from the ashes of a total social and political collapse.  Theoretically, if solid Christian conservatives walk away from any compromise candidate, the short-term forfeit to reprobates like Joe Biden will bring about such darkness, the nation will start seeking the light. Maybe, after five million American adolescents have undergone sex change operations, people will finally be ready for gender sanity.  Maybe when the national debt is measured in the quadrillions, instead of the trillions, the voters will get serious about a true fiscal conservative.  Maybe, after an aging population can find no caregivers, the total abolition of abortion will become politically popular.

If this seems like a vague calculus, without any fail-safes or time limits, you have to understand how terribly tempting blind faith can be–especially to those honest believers who are rightfully tired of compromise in a fallen world.  God controls the outcome, doesn’t He?  The purity voter can feel the spiritual glow of not having aligned himself with a bombastic mean-tweeter insufficiently committed to ending abortion, and simultaneously console himself with the notion that God will make it all right in the end.  The messy business of “establishing justice in the gate” and “doing His will on earth” can be uploaded to God Himself — no muss, no fuss.

You have to wonder if blind faith operates on the level of getting your roof repaired or your double bypass surgery completed.  Do we walk away from these difficult tasks because we haven’t found a tradesman virtuous enough for the job?  On the political level, should we really be comfortable handing over the country to thieving socialists because the only viable Republican seems to retain cosmopolitan, urban values?

At some point, in the real world, the world God gave us, we save who we can, when we can–as opposed to saving no one at all.

And where is Sam Adams or John Jay in all of this?  I’m not asking for the sake of this election cycle.  I don’t see Sam or John anywhere on the horizon. I’m asking for the future. Is any young Christian mother rocking a George Washington in his cradle right now?  We get evil candidates because the church has utterly failed to provide virtuous voters.  I can’t wait for the day abortion — surgical and chemical — is completely abolished and all parties to the act face homicide charges, but how many like-minded voters has the church produced?

As I write this, a lot of Southern Baptists are making baby-steps back towards orthodoxy.  Their convention will be considering an amendment that would only demand what the New Testament demands: women are not to serve as pastors.  They have lived with creeping compromise for a long time, and for the sake of strength, they bide their time with the compromisers.  (The Southern Baptist Convention is one of the largest Christian organizations on earth; they don’t want it broken up without cause.)

Most of the Biblical reformers in that organization will remain in the fold, even if the vote doesn’t go their way, and many of those same folk will be among those refusing to vote for Trump.  Righteousness, in other words, can be a little selective.

Of course tactical, short-term, purity battles may have some merit.  It’s entirely appropriate, now and then, to remind the broader coalition there will be a penalty for not making progress.  We can sit on our oars, if it means the captain is forced to change course. But if the ship is about to go down?  You think the lawfare is bad now?  Can you imagine four more years of weaponized, Biden “justice?”

Vote for Trump, kids.  That flawed, bombastic mean-tweeter had a nose for reforming the judiciary, keeping us out of war and drilling for oil.  He’s the only Republican I can remember who actually used the bully pulpit to mock socialism.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think he’ll get burned by Faucian bureaucrats again.  I think he’s mad enough to clean house.  He doesn’t qualify to be your pastor, but he’s certainly qualified to be your president.