If you are an evangelical Christian, and if you are not voting for Donald Trump, may I ask you to consider joining a “final push,” a two-week blitz, to attend to some unfinished business.
THE CONTEXT: If you are voting for Hillary Clinton or for Evan McMullin, if you are voting for a third party or writing-in a candidate, or if you are staying home altogether—yes, that will register in part as a repudiation of Donald Trump, but your vote won’t be recognized as an evangelical Christian repudiation. Exit polls will still report for the historical record that over 50 percent of [white] evangelicals voted for Trump. Meanwhile, many evangelical leaders have managed to steal some headlines. Russell Moore, Albert Mohler, Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Rachel Held Evans, Philip Yancey, Christianity Today, Deborah Fikes, Erick Erickson, as well as a brave group of students at Liberty University, have all registered their repudiation of Trump—and notice, I’ve limited my list to only white evangelicals. Is there a way that we can also declare: we want black and Latino evangelicals to no longer be treated as invisible, as voiceless among American evangelical Christians?
REGISTER YOUR REPUDIATION: Go public. Help create a new evangelical landscape for post-Election 2016. Get on the record. Give journalists and historians the evidence they need to throw out their old Rolodex of evangelical opinion. Give your non-evangelical friends the indication that you are committed to their blessing. In what you say or write, don’t go all “nasty hombre” on Trump or his supporters; just talk about yourself. Here’s some ideas:
1. Publish a statement on your Facebook Wall that says: “I am an evangelical Christian who repudiates the candidacy of Donald Trump. Those evangelical leaders who supported him do NOT speak for me. I want American evangelicals to re-unify around the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
2. Publish such a statement in your local newspaper.
3. Write your Congressperson with such a statement.
4. Consider signing the petition “A Declaration by American Evangelicals Concerning Donald Trump” (which also serves to elevate younger, female, Black and Latino evangelical voices): Click here.
5. Please share this post and this “finishing strongly” campaign.
THINK OF THE JOY OF SUCCESS: Congratulations, you dear people! You are on the eve of defeating Donald Trump. You upheld your conscience. You promoted the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. You’ve retained the moral right to speak into the Hillary Clinton administration (which you may or may not have voted for). You likely brought some of your friends along with you. You’ve helped to create space in the discourse for a younger, more diverse group of our brothers and sisters in Christ. You’ve demonstrated that the GOP imprimatur does not automatically mean Christian truth or values.
And now think of the success of finishing strongly: we don’t need to secure the support of 51 percent of [white] evangelicals before November 8; we need merely to register our existence. The Liberty University students are an example. They did not force a retraction from their president, Jerry Falwell, Jr. They did not force his resignation. They only collected a reported 2000 signatures. And yet, from here on out, Liberty will not be seen as a Religious Right monolith and the old guard leadership, even beyond Falwell, will be considered embattled, if not enfeebled. (Washington Post on Liberty students: click here.)