Thursday, 24 November 2016

Why Christians voted for Trump: it's about toilets


Every American Christian knew that Donald Trump had character flaws.

They look like this.

Trump has backed torture, the murder of families suspected of terrorism, and using nuclear weapons as a tactical weapon. He has mocked a disabled journalist, and in one election rally he suggested that supporters of the second amendment would have their own answer to anyone who wants to reform America's gun laws. That's called inciting violence.

There are more.

As well as making money out of construction, he has made money out of casinos where topless women were employed. In other words he has exploited greed and lust. He has brazenly lied about his involvement in spreading the deceit that Barack Obama was not born in the USA.

And more.

He betrayed his first wife. He has suggested he would like to date his daughter if he wasn't her father. He has boasted of being able to grope women's genital areas.

America's evangelical Christians believe the Bible has authority.

The Bible says that when the righteous rule, the people rejoice; but when the wicked have power, the people mourn (Proverbs 29:2).

The choice for Christians seemed obvious. Trump is not a good guy; Hillary was the one to vote for.

But thousands of Christians voted for Trump.

Why?

Rainbows?  The relentless promotion of gay rights has weighed heavily on the hearts of many.  A solid, down to earth, Christian friend in Virginia wrote this to me: 'When I saw the White House and our Capital building lit in the rainbow colors, I realized we have moved from the tolerance of sin to the celebration of sin.'

And of course there is abortion. The main line churches, regardless of denomination, condemn abortion. Hillary Clinton thinks abortion should be 'rare'. However she believes the final decision must rest with the woman, not the state. And if the woman chooses to have an abortion there should be government money to pay for it.

Are these two issues enough to make voting for someone like Trump a legitimate option for a Christian? Possibly, but probably not. 

So why did so many Christians vote for Trump?

It's about toilets: trans-gender toilets.

In May the Obama administration ordered all federal schools to let children unsure of their sexual identity to use whatever toilet they wanted to, even if others objected. If this edict was not complied with there was a threat that funding would be withdrawn. This means that if, for example, a young girl did not feel comfortable using a toilet where a boy might appear there is nothing she could  do. I heard of a situation where a young girl did complain and she was told she could use the nurse's toilet. She was the odd one because she did not like boys coming into the girls toilet.

It is not surprising that many were agitated by this legislation.

In an election year it is hard to believe that politicians as intelligent as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would force such crass legislation onto America. I have checked it out. My source is the Guardian, standard bearer for liberals. It is true. (See - https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/13/obama-public-schools-transgender-access-restrooms )

The impact of this legislation did not stay in schools. In April Target, the massive clothes retailer, announced that customers should use the toilet they felt their gender identified with, not the gender they were born with. Other outlets like Starbucks and Barnes and Noble followed suit. There was an outcry. Mothers going shopping with their teenage daughters worried about whether it would be safe to let them use the rest-room as a pervert might wander in claiming to be trans-gender. Target backed down and have spent a lot of money installing neutral toilets. This has not changed the impression in the minds of millions of Christians that powerful people hate traditional values.

The toilet legislation changed things.

It proved for many that a part of the Democratic Party is profoundly hostile to Christian values and is determined to keep on attacking the church.

So there was this unnerving question: if a liberal White House was ready to force trans-gender toilets on children, what next?

The election for these Christians was no longer about considering all the different issues, or even about the character of the president. The question was whether to let this hard core anti Christian group into the corridors of power again. With another four years in power, probably eight, surely it was inevitable that Christian teaching would be further attacked. Unfortunately Hillary Clinton in a speech about abortion hinted at this. She talked about how: '….deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. '

Add to this the fact that the next president will definitely appoint one new judge to the supreme court, probably three as two of the present incumbents are old (83 and 78) and the stakes go radically higher.

Indeed this election for millions of intelligent hard working Christians became existential. Hillary Clinton in the White House for them meant a definite threat to the practice of Christianity in their country.

A quiet ponder and I think to myself: 'This is a bit far fetched.'

But then I think a little girl feeling uncomfortable finding boys in her toilet at school. And she can't complain because of the law.

That also seems far fetched.

Before thinking about the impact of this toilet legislation I could not understand how any Christian could vote for Trump. But I can see how these trans-gender toilets could make something snap inside an American Christian and they would declare: 'Enough is enough, we have to do something to protect normal family and Christian values in our country'.

I am sure the last person they would have wanted to vote for to do this was Trump, but Trump was the candidate. When you feel you are being roughly pushed and your back is against the wall, anyone is better than the people who have been pushing you.

In a letter to the Economist a liberal makes exactly this argument: that it was the over-reach of anti Christian liberals that gave the White House to Trump.

Emmett Griner from Potomac, Maryland writes:

'I belong to...'the exotic ultraliberal left' of the Democratic Party. For the past 30 years the Democratic establishment has pursued my agenda, but has gone the extra mile to scorn white working class Christians. (As) this is the biggest group in the electorate one must conclude that the Democrats alienated them on purpose. It was this strategic blunder...that handed the White House to Mr Trump.'

Mr Griner's only error here is that it is not just working class Christians who feel strongly about children being forced to use trans-gender toilets. Evangelical Christians of all classes, the well educated and the less well educated, would have robust views.

Liberal urbanites pride themselves on intelligence, nuance and sophistication.

What could be more stupid than losing voters by demanding the provision of trans-gender toilets for children who hardly exist in most schools?

The only hope one can take from this sad story is that politicians elsewhere will learn to be very wary about the agenda of 'ultra exotic liberals' who hate evangelical Christianity. 

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