In an article describing what principles Christians should take into account before they vote, Creationist Ken Ham lays out his theory of how Christians should vote their values (which is hilarious since Donald Trump embodies none of the values conservative Christians claim to hold). This isn’t a legal concern or anything. He doesn’t tell people to vote for Trump. He just clearly implies it.
What struck me as deeply disingenuous, though, is how he characterizes Democrats as not caring about principles at all.
Jesus taught us if you want to know if a tree is good or bad, we can look at its fruit to see whether it produces good or bad fruit. He was teaching us that we can look at people to see what kind of fruit they have by judging what they say or do.
Now consider what some people were saying recently about presidential candidate Joe Biden choosing who would run for vice president with him:
It is very important to have a woman of color or a woman, as [Biden] has said — on the ticket. — CBS News
If he wants us to not just vote but bring our family and communities along in record numbers, he’s got to put a woman of color on the ticket. — USA Today
He better pick a Black woman. — Politico
In other words, to these people quoted above, what is most important is how someone looks on the outside! Now that is not the correct way to decide who to vote for at all.
Ham doesn’t tell his readers that those publications didn’t “say” those things. They quoted people who did. And those people weren’t saying someone’s race or gender is the only quality that matters, but it’s both a strategically wise move, not to mention a way to show Biden is committed to the principles that matter to them.
Ham also doesn’t link to those stories because he doesn’t trust Christians to see these things for themselves. He’d rather filter the information for them.
The CBS News quotation comes directly from Sen. Kamala Harris herself, before she was selected as Biden’s running mate, saying that choosing a woman of color was a way to honor the strongest coalition of Democratic voters.
The USA Today quotation comes from the founder of a group that is “working to engage more than 1 million women of color.” So… yeah, they wanted a woman of color on the ticker.
The POLITICO quotation comes from the chair of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus, who said picking someone like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would be troubling for Black citizens who think she hasn’t done enough regarding Flint’s water crisis or education policy.
My point is that all of those quotations make perfect sense in the context of those articles. None of them show some abdication of values. Republicans make the same calculations all the time — it was better for Trump to choose a boring white midwestern evangelical like Mike Pence in 2016 to offset his own boorish qualities than trying to pick another unknown quantity.
And yet Ham thinks the selection of Harris is proof that Democrats only care about what’s on the outside:
For a Christian, the outside, such as the shade of someone’s skin, the shape of their eyes, how handsome or attractive they might be, is not important. It’s who they are as a person, what they believe, and how they act (in other words, their fruit) that’s important.
That’s a lie. There’s nothing redeeming about Trump. If he were judged only by who he is as a person, what he believes about God, or how he acts, then evangelicals would never have voted for him. He’s a moral monster with a long history of corruption and greed who ran for office as a vanity project, not because he had any desire to make life better for anyone but himself. It’s because he promised white evangelicals judges and power that they decided their “values” no longer mattered. They have no ability to persuade people to be against marriage equality, LGBTQ rights, or abortion access, so they decided the courts would be an easier way to get what they want, and Trump was willing to give it to them. It’s the easiest deal he’s ever made: Enormous power and immunity from lawsuits in exchange for control of a judiciary system he doesn’t personally give a damn about.
It tells you a lot about the faith of someone like Ham that he thinks Trump is a better vessel for Christian values than a devout Catholic like Biden. It’s not really about faith. It’s not really about God. It never was.
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