Diary

It's never too late to do the right thing

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For those of us old enough to remember little blue dresses, bimbo eruptions and public discussion of previously unimagined uses for cigars, a byproduct of Bill Clinton’s impeachment was the public display of the abject hypocrisy of the feminist movement. Earlier this month, Maureen Dowd was interviewed on Hillary Clinton’s role in enabling her husband’s sexually abusive behavior and the impact of prominent feminists shamelessly defending her husband at the expense of her victims. Two comments stood out…

“Because the feminists had to come along with Bill Clinton’s retrogressive behavior with women in order to protect the progressive policies for women that Bill Clinton had as president.”

“You shouldn’t have to have that kind of Faustian deal.”

The absence of integrity isn’t surprising for a group whose most treasured value is the ability to kill pre-born children anytime, anywhere, for any reason, preferably at taxpayer expense. But the abandonment of integrity is tragic when it undermines the moral authority of those called to preserve our culture.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 (ESV)

The most tragic outcome of this presidential election is the extent to which so many Christians have compromised their moral authority through their public support of Donald Trump. Both Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Erick Erickson have described the consequences quite eloquently.

Conservatives of faith need not accept the Faustian bargain. We have a choice, or the residents of 39 of the 50 states have a choice in the upcoming Presidential election.

Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn, with great reluctance at the last possible minute launched an independent campaign for President when better known candidates were unwilling to run. Evan is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the University of Pennsylvania who experienced the conflict in the Middle East firsthand as a CIA operations officer and a volunteer refugee resettlement officer in Jordan for the United Nations. He has subsequently worked in investment banking and served as Chief Policy Director for the House Republican Conference. Mindy is a political and media activist who founded Empowered Women, a bipartisan, non-profit organization. I encourage all of my friends, especially my Christian friends and conservative friends left without a candidate in this election to investigate their stands on the issues.

McMullin is pro-life : “I am pro-life, and I would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. I would appoint Supreme Court Justices who are originalists, like Justice Scalia. But I don’t think we can just oppose Roe v. Wade and declare ourselves pro-life. I think we need look at ways to reduce unwanted pregnancies because that will decrease the number of people even seeking abortions. I also think that our poverty assistance programs are failing, which causes many women to seed abortions out of economic need. We need anti-poverty measures that help lift people out of poverty and help them take care of their children.”

McMullin supports originalist judges who will make, but not interpret the law: “I am an originalist, to begin with. So, I am a constitutional conservative. I believe that the Constitution enshrines some universal ideals that make our country strong and that are consistent with truth and so that’s the basic thing. But then I am also looking for some judges who are pro-life, for example. Really, I am looking for originalists.”

McMullin is a strong supporter of religious liberty: “Right now, I am the only candidate in this race who cares deeply about this basic right and I think we’ve got to come together and set aside our differences. There are a lot of different faiths in this country. Many, many different faiths, a lot of different Christian sects. We’re at a point in our history when we need to put that aside and work together in order to protect our religious liberties.”

He presents a vision essential for undoing the damage to conservatism wrought by Trump’s candidacy and the alt-right. “I think our campaign is reaching out to millennials and minority groups, and we’re doing it by embracing the conservative principle of liberty for all people, regardless of color, gender, race or creed. We need to build a more inclusive conservative movement that can advance those ideals for all Americans. And we have to take an honest look our nation’s history and policies and confront uncomfortable issues head on. I’ve been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform. We lock up too many people for non-violent offenses, tearing families and communities apart and making it harder for people to find jobs even after they’ve served their time. I also think we need an education system that empowers poor communities to find better options for their children.” 

Unlike the Republican nominee, who during this campaign has endorsed a Canadian-style, government-run healthcare system, McMullin supports conservative proposals for replacing Obamacare with alternatives that empower consumer choice. “Obamacare has been steadily driving up prices and reducing options for families across the country. Even with massive subsidies, insurance companies are losing money and pulling out of markets. I would repeal the ACA and instead provide tax credits to people who aren’t able to get insurance through their employers. That said, I do think that there are provisions, such as ensuring coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, which we should keep. I would also leverage Health Savings Accounts to allow people more flexibility in their healthcare choices.” 

Check out this in-depth interview of McMullin from the Texas Tribune Festival last month and draw your own conclusions…

I can vote for this guy without being embarrassed to explain to my kids, my neighbors or the people at my church why I did so.

But Hillary… But the Supreme Court… I addressed my friends and colleagues who are supporting Hillary here.

Tell me about it. Our practice can’t survive much longer in the micromanaged hell of a healthcare system that we have in the aftermath of eight years of government collusion with insurance companies culminating in Obamacare. Thanks to exploding healthcare premiums accompanied by huge deductibles under Obamacare and reductions in flexible spending accounts, families can’t afford to come to our practice anymore. And those of us requiring government-issued licenses to practice our chosen professions will likely be the next targets in the culture war.

My work as a child and adolescent psychiatrist gives me a front row seat to the collapse of our culture resulting from the promotion of sexual fulfillment above any other freedom and the loss of any standards defining right and wrong. I can’t begin to imagine the damage that will be inflicted upon our country by an out of control Federal bureaucracy under the direction of a vindictive, hate-filled leader who views her fellow citizens with Biblical views of morality as “deplorable” and “irredeemable” and “deep-seated religious beliefs that need to be changed” so that she can protect her supporters from “microaggressions” on their consciences in exchange for their support?

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Romans  2:14-16 (ESV)

At the same time, we don’t advance the purposes of God by publicly embracing a man who rejects the principles of God. A man who fails to recognize his need for forgiveness. A man who speaks of the “very good work” done by Planned Parenthood while they profit from selling baby parts. A man who mocks the disabled and mocked the appearance of both one of his opponents and the wife of an opponent. A man who promotes violence at his rallies. A man facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.  A man who cheats widows and defrauds working people of their hard-earned money. A man who claims to be a defender of working people yet hired illegals to work at his home in Florida, and used undocumented workers to cut costs while building his corporate headquarters in New York. A man who has refused to deny paying for at least one abortion while bragging of his exploits during the sexual revolution. A man who promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will uphold the law yet violated his promises to not just one, but two wives.

John Adams once said… “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” When this election is over, the faithful remnant of moral and religious people need to become far more intentional and effective in seeking to influence friends and neighbors. We’ve become woefully ineffective at communicating the principles of our faith to our own children, much less to the world around us. If we lose our distinctiveness by endorsing the values represented by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, how might we influence change in the culture that enabled Trump and Hillary to earn the nominations of our two largest political parties? And without such change, the composition of the Supreme Court won’t really matter.

The threats we face are very serious and very real. People of faith who I greatly admire are arriving at very different conclusions about the right thing to do in this election. Those of us who adhere to traditional interpretations of Scripture will need to overcome our differences in the months ahead, because we will most definitely need one another. We will be made to care.

Friends in states where Evan McMullin appears on the ballot or is an approved write-in candidate have an opportunity to endorse a principled conservative worthy of our support. Your vote sends a message to the leadership of the Republican Party that they can no longer take you and your heartfelt concerns for granted. And most importantly, publicly supporting the McMullin/Finn ticket won’t require you to compromise your integrity in the eyes of those watching your life for evidence your faith is real.