This Evangelical Pastor’s List of 18 Reasons to Vote for Donald Trump Makes Absolutely No Sense August 8, 2016

This Evangelical Pastor’s List of 18 Reasons to Vote for Donald Trump Makes Absolutely No Sense

Jim Garlow, the Lead Pastor at Skyline Church in San Diego, California, took to Facebook a few days ago to explain why he’s supporting Donald Trump.

He did it in his capacity as a private citizen, so there’s no legal issue here, but his reasoning is incredibly messed up, and it shows just how much some evangelicals like himself are willing to distort the truth and overlook the obvious in order to justify their defense of a bigoted hatemonger.


1. The Democratic and Republican party platforms are as different as night and day, evil vs. good. The 51 page Democratic platform is absolutely the worst ever! An anti-biblical, radical left wing pagan socialist (a socialist is a communist without a gun) would be thrilled with it. The 54 page GOP platform is the best platform ever. A biblically alert person could be comfortable with almost all of it. This is a BIG issue. Although some “blow off” party platforms, I do not. Nor do many people up and down the ballot who are running for office. This is a serious and very important item. I have a hard copy of both platforms in front of me now. Most who are reading this post have never checked out what the party platforms say. You should.

I have no doubt that evangelicals love the GOP platform. Why wouldn’t they? Christian pseudo-historian David Barton and Christian hate group leader Tony Perkins were both on the platform committee. That’s why it’s against marriage equality, against church/state separation, against abortion rights, against pornography, against transgender rights, and for gay conversion torture.

But let’s look at the Democratic platform that Garlow claims is “absolutely the worst ever.”

That platform includes: Raising the minimum wage, ending systemic racism, eliminating the death penalty, helping disabled people, supporting women’s rights, working toward debt-free college, securing universal health care, ending violence against women, decreasing gun violence, and fighting sex trafficking.

These are all apparently things that sicken evangelicals like Garlow who look at that list and see it as nothing but “anti-biblical” and “radical.”

2. Analogy #1: Both candidates are flawed. We all know that. But permit me an analogy: As a pastor I would rather deal with a church attender who is blatant and brash in his sinning than one who is devious, hidden, lying, cunning, surreptitious and deceptive. Both are problematic, but one is easier to deal with than the other. If I were a pastor bringing correction to a parishioner, I would prefer dealing with a “Trump-type” any day over a “Hillary-type.” The chances of making progress with the “Trump-type” is many times greater than the “Hillary-type.”

This is just plain stupid. I hate this false equivalency, as if Clinton and Trump are both problematic in the same way. She had a private email server. He wants to nuke the world. It’s not even close.

Saying both candidates are flawed and leaving it at that is like saying you can’t watch MSNBC or Fox News Channel because they’re both biased. What a bullshit claim. One is a conservative propaganda machine. The other actually deals with substance and facts even if some of the anchors are liberal.

More to the point, Garlow is claiming that Clinton is guilty of every sin under the sun while Trump is nothing more than “blatant and brash.”

Garlow ignores the bigotry, xenophobia, sexism, arrogance, and outright lies. Hell, he thinks Trump is a genuine “church attender.”

But what else would you expect from someone who thinks the God of the Bible is a great guy?

3. Analogy #2: When my (late) wife’s remarkable and much loved oncologist said, “Don’t take Carol to that alternative (non FDA approved) treatment.” I asked, “Why not?” He said, “The unknown.” I said, “Doctor, your ‘known’ is much worse than the alternative treatment’s ‘unknown.'” (I took her to that alternative treatment. One year later that same oncologist went to the alternative treatment doctor to see how it was that Carol had improved so much. While this alternative treatment did not ultimately save her life, it likely stretched 2-3 years of life to six years of life — by the admission of another brilliant young oncologist who later said, “Without any medical training or scientific fact, you have put together a protocol of treatment that has moved her into the top fraction of 1% of all patients with Carol’s particular cancer). Application of the analogy: Hillary’s “known” is considerably worse — many times over — than Trump’s “unknown.”

I just don’t buy it. Clinton spells out exactly what she plans to do everywhere she goes. If you don’t like that, fine. Trump’s known proposals are already despicable (and impossible to pull off). To say that his unknowns are better is to assume that everything we don’t know about Trump is rainbows and lollipops. It’s wishful thinking.

Again, I’m sure that’s appealing to a guy who believes he’s going to a mythical cloud palace, but there’s nothing about Trump that suggests he’s suddenly going to become intelligent, introspective, and rational once he’s in office.

4. Trump has lots of sins in his past (we all do too), and — in the present — says things he should not say. I make no attempt to defend any of the things he has said. (Note to all who might respond to this: There is no need to rehearse the wrong things he has said. We get it. He should not have thought or said them. But there is no need to rehash them here. So we won’t. If you have a psychological need to re-list them, I will simply delete them. We know them already. I am writing this with a nice smile on my face.) Although America has had some scandal ridden candidates in its history, we have NEVER seen any one major party candidate so constantly scandalous, so evil-consumed as Hillary. She exceeds ALL previous boundaries for wrong doing. (This brief post does not permit the space to list the nonstop, continuous string of horrific scandals of the Clintons. No need to list them.)

That’s an easy way to whitewash someone’s sins, isn’t it? Let’s not mention them! Even though Trump’s sins involve lying to the public, being a hypocrite, and failing at the very things he’s supposed to be the best at… His sins speak directly to how he would govern. And Garlow’s response is to stick his fingers in his ears and act like those serious flaws aren’t big deals.

Meanwhile, for a man who says everyone’s a sinner, how much would you like to bet that he speaks about the sin of homosexuality far more than the sin of gluttony? In his world, Trump’s sins can be overlooked and ignored, but the “sins” of others must be controlled and demonized.

Clinton has been involved in plenty of scandals, and we shouldn’t dismiss the real ones, but a lot of them are contrived by Republicans looking for any reason to discredit her. They’ve had 25 years to do it. That’s a lot of dog whistles.

5. Trump is slowly being surrounded by increasingly good persons. (NOTE: Right while I was typing this, I received a call from a man on the East Coast whom I have only met twice, but who has Trump’s ear, who told me the good things happening “behind the scenes,” in spite of some of the unprincipled things he has said.) Can these good people impact Trump? We’ll see. But that is better than the horrific, anti-scriptural persons surrounding Hillary.

It’s true Trump is finally surrounding himself with conservatives… or at least a bunch of men named Steve who aren’t considered among the top experts in the very field they’re representing. Trump also has a group of faith advisors.

But will he listen to them? Of course not. He’s building these groups to pander to voters. He’s shown time and time again he doesn’t actually care what anyone thinks unless they agree with him.

And who are the “horrific, anti-scriptural persons surrounding Hillary”? They include several conservative Christians and a whole bunch of pastors who invoked God at the Democratic National Convention, many of whom were African-American.

Garlow thinks they all hate the Bible.

6. Trump is right on approximately 75% of the issues. (I wish it was 100%. It is not.) I am in hopes that those beginning to surround him can help him connect the dots on more issues. Hillary is wrong on 100% of the issues.

This is simply unbelievable. I’ll skip over the 75% comment to move to that last statement: “Hillary is wrong on 100% of the issues.”

What does that mean? Using the issues page on her own website, Garlow apparently believes Clinton is 100% wrong about wanting…

  • Racial equality.
  • Strong public education.
  • Disability rights.
  • An end to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The preservation of social security.
  • Help for those with autism.
  • A reduction of gun violence.
  • Protection of voting rights.
  • An end to campus sexual assault.

How fucked up is Garlow that he opposes all of these issues? Because that’s literally what he said.

7. (This might be the most important, but few will understand its significance.) Trump opposes globalism. Hillary thrives on it. Globalism is far more than “geographical” or “eliminating national borders and boundaries.” It is spiritual, that is, demonic at it’s core. Few — very few — understand this. THIS is the main reason why Trump is hated. Do your homework on this one. Think “principalities and powers.” Serious. Extremely serious.

Don’t worry, everyone. This is too difficult for mere mortals to understand. We’ll just have to take Garlow’s word that he alone gets it. He’s a Christian man, after all. That makes him smarter than everyone, don’t you know?

Also, Satan is involved. Let us never work with other countries!

8. Not voting is not an option, contrary to what the “purists” claim. It is not my intention to begin a “Facebook war.” I know that some radically disagree with this. My view: they have the right to be wrong. (Lighten up. I am smiling. Let’s try to stop yelling at each other. Doable?)

You know what? I’ll agree with him here. You need to vote. And if the future of the Supreme Court and civil rights for people isn’t enough of a motive for you, then good luck looking into the eyes of LGBT people, African-Americans, women, Latinos, and all other members of minority groups in the country who stand to lose so much under a President Trump.

9. Voting for a third party candidate is — regardless of what is said — a complete “throw-away.” No third party candidate will be elected, or even come remotely close to being elected. And yes — that matters to me. (And the Libertarian ticket — Johnson & Weld — is nearly as bad on many issues as Hillary.)

I agree with him (for the most part) here, too. I get the idea of voting on principle, but realize that most conservatives will eventually fall in line behind Trump. I just don’t understand how any liberals will feel better after voting for a third party while we’re in the middle of a national disaster (and a conservative Supreme Court) under this Republican president. When it comes to strategy, we’re our own worst enemies.

10. Trump has moved pro-life. Hillary is pro-baby killing, and prides herself on that, and honoring the organization that actually traffics human parts from dead babies whom they have killed. This is below anything we have seen since Nazi Germany. The gall of Hillary. The Clintons have evaded justice for decades and likely will continue to. But they will stand before the Great White Throne. They will have to give account of their support of the ripping to shreds of babies in the womb. (For the record, those who vote for those who support the genocide of pre-borns will also have to give an account.)

This is the sort of bullshit rhetoric used by many Christians. Supporting a woman’s right to choose isn’t “pro-baby killing.” Letting your infant die because you thought the Christian God alone would cure his disease? That’s baby killing.

He also doesn’t understand how fetal tissue donations work. He doesn’t get that Planned Parenthood made no money on the donations and they were only compensated for the shipping costs of transporting potentially life-saving tissues to labs, where they were used by people like Dr. Ben Carson.

And then, of course, he compares Clinton (and pro-choice Democrats) to Nazis. Because Godwin’s law is a godly man’s best friend.

11. Trump wants to defend the nation (which is the purpose of government). Hillary has a horrific track record as Secretary of State, and due to hundreds of millions of dollars given to her and her husband’s foundation, she is beholden to those who want us dead.

I had no idea Clinton’s goal was to let our nation be attacked… And I’m amazed that her record is considered horrific while her Republicans predecessors, who led us into multiple regrettable wars, are let off the hook.

And putting her in league with terrorists is just a low blow from a man with no class.

12. Hillary claims “everything is fine” in America. This defies every single fact, but fact has never been an interest of Hillary’s. Trump understands that it is 11:59pm on the “cultural clock.” America is near the end — morally, economically and militarily. There are very clear identifiable indicators — measurable — that America is no longer the world’s leading power. That day is over. Hillary will hasten the final destruction. Trump could either slow that down — or possibly, with God’s help — reverse it. Maybe.

That’s just a flat-out lie. Clinton’s platform is all about improving the problems in our society; you don’t have a platform like that if you think everyone is great just the way it is. Trump, on the other hand, wants to return to a time when certain groups had fewer rights than they do today. “Make America Great Again” means going back to when only people like Trump were better off.

And this idea of Clinton bringing about the apocalypse is just absurd when Trump himself has allegedly asked why we don’t use nuclear weapons if we have them.

13. Trump will address the massive government spending. Hillary will expand it — above the existing unsustainable debt the US currently is carrying (almost $20 trillion plus unfunded liabilities to Social Security, etc).

Great. If Trump treats the country like he does his casinos, we’ll be bankrupt very soon.

Government spending is only a problem when the money is spent unwisely. The people who criticize the government for spending too much are the same folks who criticized the Affordable Care Act as a waste… even though the savings have been incredible and the predicted costs are coming in much lower than anticipated.

Remember: Unemployment is low. Job growth is high. The economy is rebounding better than we could have hoped… and Trump (or at least the people who control him) believes this is all a problem.

14. Trump will expose — and I pray, bring down — “the systemic evil” (crony, deceitful, misuse of capitalism) that reigns among many of the K Street lobbyists. Hillary thrives because of them.

How? Trump is part of the system that misuses capitalism. He profits by stiffing others, declaring bankruptcy, and peddling bullshit.

You can complain all you want about money Clinton received for her speeches to Wall Street leaders, but you won’t find any policies she instituted to support them at the expense of middle class Americans. If anything, she has the added pressure of working to appease Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supporters, which makes it even more likely that she’ll address the very problems Garlow is concerned about.

15. Trump will stop the massive overreach of government. Hillary will extend it.

Trump wants the government to deport millions of people. How is that anything but “massive overreach”?

16. Freedoms come in “three’s.” Political freedom, economic freedom and religious liberty coexist together. Take one away and the other two will eventually disappear. One cannot exist without the other two. The genius of America is that it had all three, until…. Trump totally grasps the loss of religious liberty (I have heard him speak on it in person). He fully knows that economic and political freedoms are evaporating. He will reverse that. Hillary will decimate all three.

This is Christian privilege at work. The “loss of religious liberty” that Garlow laments basically amounts to Christians who can’t discriminate against LGBT people while owning public businesses. Or Christians who have to share space on government property. Or stores that tell employees to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” That’s what he’s upset about: Christians being treated the same way Muslims and Hindus and atheists are — or as if they’re not the only religion that matters.

If Christians are losing some of their power, it’s because they shouldn’t have had it in the first place. And if the government ever actually took away their rights, atheists would be at the front of the line to defend them.

17. Every rational person knows the Supreme Court appointments are paramount. Trump has listed 11 superb potential nominees. Hillary’s appointments would snuff out the tiny vestige of the three freedoms that are left (mentioned in the statement above).

I agree. At least this one’s just a difference of opinion about who would make for good Supreme Court appointments. I trust Clinton’s judgment on this front. I don’t know that Trump will stick to the nominees he’s already announced, but if he does, you can bet it’d be a disaster for those of us who care about civil rights and social issues.

18. I make no excuse for wrong doing or wrongful, hurtful words from either candidate. Candidly, I want King Jesus. He rules in my heart. And yours too, I suspect. And I want him to rule here — now. But that day is not fully manifested… yet. In the meantime, we prayerfully, carefully navigate this challenging election season, with great concern that above all, we honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in every arena of our lives, including the voting booth. That is my hope. It is yours as well.

King Jesus ain’t coming back. But at least Garlow is reminding us that he’s guided from a position of irrational belief. If he can believe the nonsense in the Bible, no wonder he’s taken in by whatever Trump says.

As I’ve said before, I hope evangelicals are forever linked with Donald Trump after this election. The more pastors have to defend him, the faster young people will leave their churches for good.

(Image via JStone / Thanks to Lisa for the link)

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