Christianity’s privileged position in America will be extended a bit by the Trump presidency. Not because I believe he has some special concern for Christianity, but because Trump has contempt for the offense people take to it. Remember, though, that Trump was a reaction against Obama and Clinton, and Obama was a reaction against Bush… what will the reaction against Trump look like in 4-8 years, when the pendulum swings back? We should still expect, within our lifetimes, for much of the Bible to be branded as “hate speech,” and restricted from public discourse, which will not make our job impossible, but much more difficult. We must actually seize this opportunity to spiritually revive this country at the grassroots level, to outreach en masse while we still can.
We need to be honest that Donald Trump is not a savory figure, and that Evangelical support for him has tarnished our image in the eyes of liberal secular culture. I say this not because I tremble in fear of what they think, but because for most of my life I was a secular liberal, repelled from Christianity by its adherence to political conservatism, and I am acutely aware of this problem: American Christianity has become so insular and political that people, by and large, do not understand what we mean when we say Christ died for our sins, and do not take it seriously because the personal decency of Christians is only visible up close. Most people don’t get close enough the way I happened to. All they see from afar is a poll showing that, statistically, we probably supported a guy like Donald Trump. Decency has become the best-kept secret of Christians, and it should not be this way.
Will we stand before the Father one day and say, “we streamlined the government and cut wasteful welfare programs! I was able to use my tax cut to buy a bigger TV.”
And he will respond: “Did you yourselves feed my sheep and care for the widows and orphans? Did your personal generosity bring my name renown?”
Will we stand before the Father and say, “we overturned gay marriage!”
And he will respond: “Did you bring my good news, or merely condemn?”
Will we stand before the Father and say, “we overturned Roe v. Wade!”
And he will respond: “did you yourselves care for the unwanted children who were born, for the single mothers and rape survivors?”
Will we stand before the Father and say, “we defended the 2nd Amendment!”
And he will respond: “So what?”
Will we stand before the Father and say, “we kept our children safe by turning away refugees, torturing terrorists and killing their families!”
And he will respond: “Are you sure it’s a good idea to bring that up?”