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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Trump does not practice Christianity

10 reasons you can’t be a Christian and vote for Donald Trump

As sociologists of religion, we are intrigued by the surprisingly large number of self-identified Christians, especially evangelicals, who support Trump and have voted for him over the more vocally religious Ted Cruz. In past elections, such voters were motivated by moral convictions around abortion, same sex-marriage, and the perceived deterioration of traditional values, and voted predictably for candidates such as Huckabee, Santorum, and most consequentially, George W. Bush.
These issues and their 2016 equivalents have never been central features of Trump’s life history, let alone his candidacy, and on many of them he has confused, moderate or unclear positions. Whatever the appeal of Trump to evangelicals might be, it is not due to these conventional stances.
It would take a good bit more research and analysis than the current space permits to adequately understand this head-scratcher. And, to be frank, it is not our central concern to do so. The clear and present danger of a Trump presidency impels us to skip over the thoroughness we would normally dedicate to investigation. And more precisely, our consciences demand that we address voters not primarily as scientists but as citizens and as people of faith. Our audience is that perplexingly large group of Texans who likewise identify as followers of Jesus Christ and plan to vote for Donald Trump.
For a while, his opponents have seemed willing to ignore Trump, perhaps as a disciplined tact to suffocate his bloviations of the oxygen they need to burn. We have come to feel, however, that this approach has ultimately proven naïve in the wake of his recent primary victories. However unserious anyone might find him, the nation is despairingly at a moment where we must take his challenge seriously.
So, at the risk of spilling more useless ink, on this eve of the Texas primary we offer an appeal to our fellow Christians — or anyone concerned with the potential moral consequences of a Trump presidency — to prayerfully consider how supporting him squares with Christian commitment.
Our argument is simple: A Christian who supports Trump either does not understand this person and his positions, or supports him in spite of Christian convictions.
In the same way that a person cannot love the Yankees and the Red Sox, follow veganism and devour a supper of Texas barbecue, or adore Joanna Gaines but hate shiplap, one cannot really love Jesus and wish to follow him and also vote for a person who so clearly embodies the opposite of everything Christ taught, died for and demands of us.
Here are 10 reasons, centered around ideas central to the Christian: character, relationships and values:

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