In the first week of February 2016, some ten months before the US Presidential elections, Sheila and I packed our bags and set out on a 1600 kilometre journey from Cincinnati, Ohio to Sublette, Kansas, in order to visit two high school friends.
Tammy, a sweet, committed Christian teenager, was one of Sheila’s closest friends throughout her high school years in Lincoln, Illinois. Sheila and I married in 1972 when I was studying for the ministry at Lincoln Christian College. About the same time Tammy married Bill, a fine Christian man who was also studying for the ministry at a different college.
In 1977, after I graduated, Sheila and I, along with our two daughters, flew to Western Australia in response to a call to ministry from Morawa Church of Christ.
In spite of living in different continents on the opposite sides of the earth, Sheila and Tammy’s friendship endured over the next four decades. It was a delight to see Tammy and Bill again after so many years. Tammy was a high school teacher in Sublette, a job that she was perfectly suited for, and Bill was pastor of Sublette Church of the Nazarene. On Sunday, 7th February, I was invited to speak to adults in the congregation about the work of Life Ministries, Pregnancy Problem House and the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life.
That afternoon, after lunch, Tammy asked me to talk to Bill in order to dissuade him from supporting Donald Trump, something that he had made plain he intended to do. And out of a sense of distress on Tammy’s part and genuine concern on my part I did my best to do exactly that.
At that time over a dozen Republicans were seeking nomination to become the Republican presidential candidate for the election in November. Sheila and I had hoped that Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee might win the nomination, but Huckabee dropped out on 1 February and Santorum two days later on 3 February.
In spite of that I tried to persuade Bill that Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, both holding Christian-friendly conservative values, would make a far better choice than Donald Trump. I was wary that Trump might have been portraying himself as being sympathetic to Christian values that he really didn’t embrace in order to garner conservative votes, and that he wouldn’t deliver on his promises if elected. Bill remained unmoved. He believed that Trump was sincere and the best candidate, by no small measure. He turned out to be right.
Now, why recount this story? Because the history about how and why Christians in general, and evangelicals in particular, came to support Donald Trump needs to be clarified.
Christians who voted for Trump were called compromisers, clueless, hypocrites and frauds, and were accused of abandoning their beliefs in order to gain access to power with a view to getting some concessions. They were smeared and lied about, not only by non-Christians, but by some ill-informed and/or self-righteous Christians.
The truth is that just like Tammy, Sheila and me, the majority of evangelical Christians did not support Donald Trump leading up to his nomination as the presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention. Exit polls showed that fully two thirds of self-identified evangelicals did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 Primary (the vote to choose the party’s candidate). For the majority of evangelicals, Trump was not their first choice, or second, third or fourth. For many he ranked at the bottom of the list.
But, by the time the election took place in November 2016, when conservative Christians were confronted with a binary choice—Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton—the majority of them, after considerable soul-searching and prayer, determined to cast their vote for Donald Trump. They voted in line with their deeply held moral beliefs founded upon their faith, in spite of condemnation from academics and the media, as well as censure from more than a few evangelicals, some of whom, to this day, cannot bring themselves to say a good word about President Trump.
Christians by the tens-of-millions voted for Trump because he had steadfastly declared in the lead-up to the election that he was pro-religious freedom, pro-life, and pro-Israel. Furthermore, he was the only presidential candidate in US history to release the names of respected conservative and pro-life jurists that he promised to pick from for the Supreme Court when vacancies arose.
In addition, Christians voted for Trump because they had deeply-held reservations about Hillary Clinton’s character. She was under FBI investigation throughout much of her campaign. That investigation was re-opened just 10 days prior to the election.
Nor did they support the radical and brutal policies Hillary Clinton embraced. It is not my intention to elaborate on her anti-Christian views in this article, other than to point out that Clinton made it clear that she supported abortion right up to the moment of birth, something which Christians consider a grave moral evil. Nor is it my intention to elaborate on Joe Biden, the 2020 Democrat presidential candidate, other than to point out that he (along with almost every elected Democrat) also supports taxpayer funded abortion up to the moment of birth.
It has now been four years since I wrote an article in Life News stating that Sheila and I would be voting for Donald Trump on the basis of promises he had made in the lead-up to the 2016 election. We will be doing so again in the coming 2020 election.
Why does President Trump continue to enjoy our support along with the support of millions of other Christians? In short, it is because unlike most politicians, he kept all of his great promises.
President Trump is the most pro-life president in history
In his first week in office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, so no American foreign aid can be used to fund the abortion industry or its advocates around the world.
He signed legislation to empower states to defund Planned Parenthood (America’s largest abortion provider).
He notified Congress that he would veto any legislation that weakens protection for unborn children, or that encourages the destruction of human life.
He supports The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The Act would stop abortions after 20 weeks gestation—the point at which an unborn child can feel pain.
At the United Nations he made it clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life.
On 24 January 2020, President Trump was the first American president to attend and speak to hundreds of thousands at the March for Life in Washington, DC. He said, “Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together we must protect and defend the sanctity of every human life. When we see the image of a baby in the womb we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. … As the Bible tells us, each person is ‘wonderfully made.’ Above all, we know that every human soul is divine and every human life, born and unborn, is made in the image of Almighty God.”
President Trump has taken action to protect pro-life doctors, nurses, and groups like the Little Sister of the Poor. He is preserving faith-based adoptions, and pro-life student’s right to free speech on university campuses, with financial penalties for universities that do not comply.
President Trump has appointed hundreds of federal judges
By the end of his first term it is estimated that President Trump, supported by the Republican majority Senate, will have confirmed 300 Article III judges. These appointments are for life. Article III courts include federal district courts, circuit courts of appeals, the Supreme Court and the US Court of International Trade. President Trump’s appointees make up well over one-quarter of the federal judiciary—an outstanding legacy that will long outlast him. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The single most consequential thing we [the president supported by the senate] can do is these lifetime appointments of men and women to the court who believe that the job of a judge is to follow the law.”
Thus far during his first term President Trump has nominated two conservative judges (Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh) that are serving as Supreme Court justices. This has shifted the balance of the Supreme Court from slightly liberal to slightly conservative (5 to 4).
On 18 September 2020 Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an 87 year-old Supreme Court justice passed away after a long battle with cancer. Justice Ginsburg was the most liberal/left leaning member of the Supreme Court who advocated for homosexual marriage, LGBTQ rights (“gender equality”) and abortion on demand (“women’s rights”).
Immediately after Ginsburg’s death Democrats started issuing threats against President Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Republican controlled Senate. Reza Aslan, a former CNN employee tweeted, “If they even TRY to replace [Ginsburg] we burn the entire ****ing thing [country] down.” Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives threatened to impeach President Trump a second time for following his constitutional duty. Democrat freshman senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threatened Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by saying “we need to tell him that he is playing with fire.” Cortez has a huge following of socialist young adults, the action-wing of the Democrat party, consisting of rioters and thugs who have spent the last four months burning and looting US cities.
Disregarding such threats, President Trump, on Saturday, 26 September, nominated federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy for the US Supreme Court. This is the third conservative judge he has nominated to the nation’s highest court, fulfilling yet again his promise made to Christians prior to being elected president.
President Trump introduced Judge Barrett as “a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.” Of all of the potential candidates President Trump could have chosen from, she is by no small margin, the most highly regarded choice of US pro-lifers.
Amy Barrett is a charismatic Catholic woman in her forties, happily married with seven children, including two adopted from Haiti, and a young son with Down syndrome. The events surrounding the adoption of her Haitian son on the same day that she learned that she was pregnant reveal the calibre of woman she is. The adoption agency phoned reporting a devastating earthquake in Haiti and requesting that Amy and her husband, Jesse, pick-up three year-old John Peter in Florida, a 4,000 km round-trip from their home in Indiana.
Recounting the event, she said, “I just wasn’t feeling that great. … we had an intense three hour period where we had to decide were we going forward with going to get John Peter in Florida, because we discovered that Juliet was going to be coming that year too … I walked up to the cemetery on campus, and I just sat down on one of the benches, and I just thought, okay, well if life’s really hard, at least it’s short, but I thought what greater thing can you do than raise children?”
Throughout America such selfless thoughts and actions are greatly admired, even by the left—providing that the adopter is also from the left. Responding to Amy Barrett’s nomination, Boston University professor of history Ibram X Kendi tweeted, “Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.” Amy, a conservative Christian, is mocked and despised for adopting black children from Haiti, while Madonna, who fantasised about blowing up the White House after President Trump was elected, is respected and admired for adopting black children from Malawi. The hypocrisy is palpable.
The most powerful Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer said, “Just about everything that America believes in and stands for when it comes to issues like healthcare and labour rights and LGBTQ rights and women’s rights [abortion on demand], Judge Barrett stands against all of that.”
As with Justice Brett Kavanagh whom Democrats slandered with malicious lies, the Democrats are determined to destroy the reputation of Judge Barrett in order to prevent her from becoming a Supreme Court justice because she threatens the atheistic/immoral agenda they have pushed for decades. They hate that her life is founded upon love for God, marriage, and family, and for the Constitution of the United States. The Democrats know with certainty that she will never champion their pet causes—same-sex “marriage”, fabricated genders, abortion on demand to the moment of birth, restrictions on free speech and religious freedom, and dependence on big government, not God. They fear that she, along with other conservative justices could vote to repeal past Supreme Court decisions not supported by the Constitution.
The fight to appoint Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court is a battle that President Trump and America cannot afford to lose. Replacing Justice Ginsburg with Justice Barrett will take the balance of the Supreme Court from 5 to 4, to 6 to 3, positively affecting decisions for the next generation.
President Trump established the US embassy in Jerusalem
In 1995, the US Congress mandated that the US embassy be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1999. And yet Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, after each making promises to do so, over a period of 23 years, failed to keep their word. In spite of warnings that shifting the embassy would destabilise the Middle East and could lead to war, it was President Trump who kept true to his promise.
The US embassy opened in Jerusalem on 14 May 2018, the 70th anniversary of the creation of the modern State of Israel. President Trump said, “Today, Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government. It is the home of the Israeli legislature and the Israeli Supreme Court and Israel’s prime minister and president. Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital.” Not only did the Jewish nation rejoice, but so did Christians and right-thinking people across the world.
President Trump brokered Middle East peace deals
President Trump’s administration played a central role in brokering historic peace treaties between Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. On 15 September 2020 at the White House the two Arab Gulf states signed diplomatic agreements that fully normalise their relations with Israel.
“After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” President Trump told a gathering of several hundred at the White House. It is anticipated that several other countries will follow suit in the near future.
These historic peace treaties are the first to be signed with Israel since 1978 (with Egypt) and 1994 (with Jordan). President Trump has succeeded where Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama failed.
President Trump brokered a peace deal between Serbia and Kosovo
On 4 September 2020, President Trump supervised the signing of an historic agreement between Serbia and Kosovo that normalises economic relations between the two countries. In addition, the deal also includes Serbia reaching an agreement to move its embassy to Jerusalem, and Kosovo recognising the state of Israel.
The Belgrade-Pristina deal was signed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti in the presence of president Trump in the Oval Office. President Trump described the deal as a “major breakthrough.”
President Trump calmed North Korea
Tensions between the US and North Korea peaked in late 2017, when Pyongyang staged its most powerful nuclear test and launched intercontinental ballistic missiles that it claimed were capable of reaching US soil.
In response to threats, Trump rapidly built up US air and naval forces in northeast Asia and tightened international economic sanctions against Pyongyang, warning that any attack on South Korea, Japan or the United States would be met with massive force.
President Trump and Kim Jong-un met three times between June 2018 and June 2019, but their denuclearisation talks have since stalled. Nevertheless, thanks to a demonstration of force combined with an eagerness to negotiate, relations have improved and threats of inflicting “mass casualties and destruction” on the US have become less frequent.
President Trump destroyed ISIS
President Trump brought down the might of the US forces against ISIS, ending the caliphate.
ISIS was the perpetrator of genocide against the Yazidis. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls were forced into sexual slavery. Thousands of Yazidi men were slaughtered. 5,000 Yazidi civilians were killed under ISIS’s “forced conversion [to Islam] campaign”. About five years ago Life News covered the cold-blooded executions by ISIS of 21 Egyptian Christians. Since then we have printed several accounts of the torture, rape, mutilation, beheading, burning alive, drowning, crucifixion, and massacre of Christians.
Under President Donald Trump’s direction the caliphate was decimated. On 27 October 2019, the United States conducted Operation Kayla Mueller that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader. The operation was named in memory of a young American woman who worked as a humanitarian with Doctors Without Borders. Kayla was captured in Syria, and according to the FBI and other sources, was repeatedly raped by al-Baghdadi himself prior to her death.
President Trump has reduced terrorism emanating from Iran
On 3 January 2020, President Trump ordered a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport, which killed the world’s leading terrorist, general Qasem Soleimani. A Pentagon statement read, “General Soleimani and his Quds Force [designated as a terrorist organisation by the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain] were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and Coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”
President Trump has not engaged in any new wars
Prior to the presidential election in 2016, the media was ominously predicting that if Donald Trump was elected he would embroil the world in endless wars. However, he has not engaged in any new wars over the past four years. This is the reason President Trump has been nominated for a third time to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. (See nomination statement by Professor Augusto Zimmermann and three other professors in this issue of Life News.)
President Trump continues to be guided by Christian leaders
President Trump is supported by an evangelical advisory board consisting of over 20 leaders including: Dr James Dobson, author, psychologist and host; Dr Robert Jeffress, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Dallas; Dr Richard Land, president, Southern Evangelical Seminary; Dr Ralph Reed, founder, Faith and Freedom Coalition; and pastor Tony Suarez, executive vice president, National Hispanic Christian. This is a group of faith leaders who meet and talk collectively and privately with the president. Vice President Pence recounted that he and President Trump pray together before major decisions. This is extremely comforting to Christians.
No one is going to mistake Donald Trump for Billy Graham. Rev. James Robinson of the president’s advisory board suggests that “Trump is more like the rough and tumble Peter who preached at Pentecost weeks after lopping off a soldier’s ear with his sword. A work in progress, we might say.”
Much, much more could be written about President Trump’s accomplishments. Sheila and I have never witnessed a president who has achieved as much as President Donald Trump in his first four years. And he has done this while enduring never-ending attacks from Democrats and the media.
Perhaps it could have been argued in 2016 that by voting for Donald Trump we were supporting the lesser of two evils.
But this argument can no longer be sustained. President Trump is not merely the better of two bad choices, he is an exceptionally good choice. This is why Sheila and I, like so many other Christians, will be voting for him again.