I have recently read a couple of commentaries by conservative writers who had a lot of good things to say about Donald Trump’s speech at The Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference last week. The writer of one of the articles said Trump’s speech was “very well received.” Another opined that “If this isn’t enough to convince conservatives, what is?” Many of the attendees were influential in both Catholic and Evangelical circles and Trump’s words seemed to impress them. He declared that not only was he solidly pro-life, he said he would only appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. He lifted up the sanctity of the traditional family as one of the things he wished to preserve.
I had abstained from hearing Donald Trump speak in any venue or media after the disgraceful campaign he waged, as well as his rude and arrogant manner. After reading the praises of some people I am familiar with and respect, I decided to break my vow of abstinence and listened to his entire speech online.
My impressions of the speech were varied. His manner on the podium seemed far more reserved than before. He did not seem to be demonstrating humility. It is hard for me to picture Donald Trump as ever humble. But he appeared a bit less arrogant than usual. Perhaps he was practicing ‘being more presidential.’ He said good things, but the vast majority of it was either “I’m with you all the way on your principles,” or “isn’t ‘Crooked Hillary’ terrible.” Little or nothing of concrete policy was articulated in Trump’s speech. There were a couple of exceptions where Trump was specific. One I already mentioned, a statement that he would only appoint pro-life judges to the SCOTUS. The other exception was a strong reiteration and defense of his proposal to hold a moratorium on Muslim immigration, though there had been rumors he was weakening on this proposal. I count both of these as positive proposals providing, of course, that Mr. Trump follows through on them.
However favorable those specifics are, I did not come away with assurance that I or any other Christian is making the best choice by supporting Trump. To answer the question of one of the authors I mentioned, this isn’t enough to convince me, and I suspect a lot of others to support Donald Trump. For me at least, there were two things I needed to see that I didn’t see to even move me in Trump’s direction. There were at least two specific issues which Trump has talked about in the past that were excluded in his speech. First, Trump did make a strong pro-life claim, however, he did not withdraw his recent support for the continued funding of Planned Parenthood by our tax dollars. That non-action casts a large shadow on the veracity of Trump’s pro-life claim. Second, Trump did not repudiate his criticism of North Carolina’s ‘bathroom law’ and tacit support of this ‘transgender rights’ nonsense. In fact, I have come to believe Trump will never do either of these things because it would involve the use of three little terrible words that Trump simply is unable to utter…”I was wrong.”
I believe that the more important problem I have with supporting Donald Trump will never be solved by what he says. I also believe we as Christians would be more biblical in our assessment if we all were skeptical of his words. Jesus warned us that we could only “know” someone “by their fruit,”. In other words, what does their life show you about who they are and the truth of what they say. You see, the more important problem with Trump is the issue of trust. In my case, I just don’t trust the man. Unless and until Trump takes back his support for Planned Parenthood funding and tacit support for ‘transgender rights’, I see no reason to place any modicum of trust in anything else he says. I am also aware that Trump could do both of these things and still be deceitful about it. His campaign of insults and outright lies, none of which were ever apologized for, has shown that deceit is certainly not out of character for Donald Trump. But at least then he might have to eat a piece of humble pie, and sometimes that can work wonders on someone’s character.Tags: Donald Trump Planned Parenthood