In 2016, towards the end of the year, I was in my room at Nnewi, clinging to one corner and staring at the TV as they count the US elections. I was a heavy supporter and admirer of Hillary Clinton, if not for anything but because she is a woman and I wanted to see her break that record. I saw her opponent who was not a popular name to me then as too bitter, his face looked rather unfriendly.
Regardless, at that time, some Americans felt they needed a change, they felt Hillary’s administration would be a continuation of Obama’s leadership and even though Trump didn’t win the popular votes, he won by the electoral college votes. It was a new beginning for America.
Fast forward to four years after, Americans have spoken yet again. Trump was given a chance to give his best but obviously, not every American thinks his best is good enough. Trump is not ‘presidential’ enough for some people, he appears cantankerous and very hard meat to chew. Leveraging on the immunity he has on Twitter, Trump says anything, anytime and anywhere. It often appears that he says certain things without realizing he said them, he talks before thinking of the damage his words would cause.
Right from 2016, Trump never had massive support from of the black community, he had only the support of 8% of blacks while 88% voted for Hillary Clinton. While Trump’s administration did so much for the black community, he made a lot of damaging moves especially in his utterances and actions towards the Black Lives Matter protest. That was the time to prove a point to the Black community but he damaged his chances.
While many conservative Christians seem to believe that a vote against Trump is a vote against Christianity, this idea stems from some theories that excuse bitterness, anger, rage, sexual immorality and filthy language as long as one seems not to support abortion and LGBT+.
While I have not been infected with Trumpism, a part of me wants Trump but not because of my conservative views but because of certain things he has started. If I am a US citizen, I may have voted for continuity because I would want Trump to consolidate the peace deals in the Middle East, the economic reforms that brought more jobs, money and less crime to the black community before COVID-19.
My little support for Trump has nothing to do with being a Christian. When I look at Trump, Christianity is not what comes to mind. Trump has massive support in the Southern part of Nigeria where there is a large number of religious Christians and most of these supporters do not have a reason to support Trump other than the idea that Trump is God-sent and has been raised by God to protect the Church and slow down the manifestation of the Anti-Christ.
Another reason they feel this way about Trump is that they believe Trump will destroy the legalization of abortion and LGBT+ community which is still seen as an abomination by many Africans and conservative Christians.
During Obama’s administration, many Christians in Africa believed that Obama was the Antichrist, it is surprising that Obama didn’t hand over that role to Trump, Trump is rather seen as one who is saving America and indeed the world from the grip of Antichrist. Because of Joe Biden’s affiliation to Obama, it is believed that Joe will speed up the manifestation of the Antichrist–funny, but confusing.
Joe Biden has won the American election against Trump and the question remains, will conservative folks ever support the leadership of Joe Biden or will they wait for another four years to try voting him out?
I believe that the Christian thing to do is to pray for Joe Biden and wish him well other than pray that he achieves nothing just to prove a point. It is witchcraft to desire that Joe becomes worse than Trump just so that we can say “Oh! We told you! We told you that Joe is clueless! We warned you all but you wouldn’t listen!”
I believe Joe Biden will make a good leader, he has a better skill in diplomacy, a better experience in international relations and a softer approach to issues. While Trump’s hard approach has some good in it and has made him excel in places Obama and some other Presidents couldn’t, we need someone who knows where to be hard and where to be soft. I pray Joe Biden don’t play soft on all fronts. Trump gave so many deadly blows to terrorism, Joe shouldn’t back down.
I think conservative Christians should learn something about politics. The world politics is not meant to preserve our values, we must separate Church from politics and allow people to live out their choices. For example, while I am not a supporter of LGBT+, I think they are humans and also have the right to live, do business, contribute their quota to nation-building. When people decide that it is the kind of life they want to live, I shouldn’t be forcing my values on them.
The problem is that sometimes they try shoving that lifestyle down our throats which is despicable. People who want to live in union as homosexual couples should not force Pastors who don’t subscribe to that ideology to wed them, the government shouldn’t persecute Christians who are vocal about their views on homosexuality and abortion.
I think this is why some people want Trump but this isn’t all that there is to leadership. When I look at Trump and even his obvious lifestyle, I do not necessarily see a Christian, I am not judging him as I have no right to define who a Christian is and who a Christian is not but Christianity is not what comes to my mind when I see him. What comes to my mind is a politician who enjoys the support of conservatives and continues playing smart politics to keep up with impressing them.
How Christians effect a change is mostly by preaching the gospel and showing God’s love and acceptance to people. There is no other tool given to believers to cause a change than the Gospel. Yes, I may not support abortion, I may never support LGBT but I don’t have to hate on them, I don’t have to force my morals on them but also they must not have to force it on me and my kids by any means–that is what a President and lawmakers should do, they should be able to help draw the line.
Religious conservatives were not Jesus’ favourites after all. They were always judgemental, always pointing fingers and always bitter. They were usually caught up in their self-righteousness that they often subtly deny the power in God’s word to cause a change. Christians don’t reach lives using policies, we reach lives using the same method that Jesus used.
We can remember the familiar story of Jesus and the Pharisees, they brought a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, they would have wanted her stoned. In today’s world, they would want such people imprisoned or sentenced to death and they would hail the lawmaker “yeah! This is the hand of God.” But Jesus thought otherwise. Jesus didn’t only free her from condemnation, he also empowered her to sin no more.
I am not trying to say we can’t resist policies that affect us as a people but some things only have to do with the personal lives of others, we shouldn’t be too quick to interfere and pass judgement, we should rather extend a hand of love.
If you ask me who a Christian politician is, I’d say they are politicians who use their platform to draw souls to Christ living a life that exhumes God’s love and mercy. While I believe those who support Trump has every right to, I think it shouldn’t be regarded as a Christian duty to support Trump.
And if we are true believers in Christ Jesus, then–now that Joe Biden has been elected the President of the United States, we should do what we are instructed to do:
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NLT
Let me say again that when I look at Trump, Christianity is not what comes to mind – just a politician enjoying the support of conservatives.
One thing I desire to see from Joe Biden is to continue to push for peace and normalization of relation between the Middle East and Israel. One beautiful thing is that Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel has a close relationship with both Donald Trump and Joe Biden.