I will admit, I am very disappointed with evangelical so-called leaders who are going to meet with Donald Trump tomorrow. I just can’t imagine what else they need to hear from Trump. His statements and actions aren’t subtle and he has subjected us to them for over a year.
At the top of the disappointment list is Eric Metaxas who just released a book calling for public virtue to help save the nation. He also has declared Donald Trump the only hope for the nation. Today’s Washington Post previews the meeting with quotes from several evangelicals including a lengthy interview of Metaxas. According to the Post reporter, Metaxas wants “a glimpse of Trump’s soul.”
But really, Eric Metaxas, what else do you need to see?
Trump has said he doesn’t ask forgiveness (Metaxas already knows that), judged a judge on his heritage, said he plans to deport 11 million people, he sadistically mocked a disabled reporter (fact checked here), he said war crimes and torture should be permitted, he claimed service members should engage in war crimes and torture to follow his orders, he has limited the freedom of the press while giving press credentials to white supremacists, ridiculed John McCain for being a prisoner of war, and he has mocked women, his opponents and anybody else who gets in his way. We had to deal with nicknames like “Lying Ted” and “Little Marco” during the primaries. Tattooed on Donald Trump’s soul is the phrase: “Win at all costs.” I haven’t even covered the falsehoods and business dealings. Just spend some time reading through Trump University sales manuals. Honesty and respect for customers are not high on the list of virtues.
Instead of speaking truth to power, I think many of my evangelical brethren just want to be close to power. However, at least one evangelical who got an invitation isn’t going — Robert George — and his response to it is worth reading.
I respectfully decline. I have been a severe critic of Mr. Trump and there is nothing he could say at a meeting in which he is courting conservatives that would alter my low opinion of him. I trust that I do not need to go into detail about the words and actions that have caused me to form that opinion. Perhaps the only politician in America of whom I have an even lower opinion is Hillary Clinton, so I certainly understand why some are urging us to hold our noses and support for Mr. Trump. But I fear that he will, in the end, bring disgrace upon those individuals and organizations who publicly embrace him. For those of us who believe in limited government, the Rule of Law, flourishing institutions of civil society, and traditional Judeo-Christian moral principles, and who believe that our leaders must be persons of integrity and good character, this election is presenting a horrible choice. May God help us.
Like George, I don’t think there is anything Trump could say in a meeting that could undo what he has already done and said. Here’s hoping that these evangelicals will become the leaders they are portrayed to be and respond to Trump on principle not pragmatism after their meeting tomorrow.