by Laura Lee Caum
August 14, 2020
As Election Day approaches, American Christians may be weighing their options for U.S. president and may have reservations about voting for either President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden. Despite these concerns, there are good reasons why American Christians might consider supporting President Trump in November. Let’s consider evidence from Old Testament history and President Trump’s first-term accomplishments.
The Old Testament is filled with accounts of God’s faithfulness. God advocated for His people, not only when they were the Kingdom of Israel but also when foreign governments ruled over them. At various times, He even used non-Jewish leaders to protect his people. One such example is the Persian King Artaxerxes. Nehemiah, a Jewish cupbearer to the king, learned that the city of Jerusalem was in ruins and asked the king for permission to rebuild it. King Artaxerxes not only granted Nehemiah’s request, but he also funded the operation. Another Persian leader God used for his glory was King Xerxes. His queen, a Jewish woman named Esther, risked her life to plead for the lives of her people. King Xerxes decided to spare the Jewish people from genocide, though he himself was not Jewish. These are just two examples of God using secular, imperfect leaders to advocate for His people.
When deciding what presidential candidate to vote for, Christians should consider the importance of political appointments. When a nation elects a president, it is not merely putting an individual in the Oval Office. That individual will then choose leaders to fill many government positions, such as the president’s cabinet—including the secretaries of State, Justice, and Health and Human Services (HHS)—as well as judicial appointments to federal courts—including the Supreme Court. These appointees are incredibly influential concerning government policy, both at home and abroad.
As Secretary of State during the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton advocated for pro-LGBT policies abroad. Both the UN Resolution on LGBT Human Rights and the Global Equality Fund were formed under her leadership. In contrast, President Trump appointed Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, who formed the International Religious Freedom Alliance which seeks to advocate for religious liberty abroad, initiated The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom (an annual gathering of religious leaders to discuss best practices for advocating for religious freedom), and started the Commission on Unalienable Rights, which focuses on ensuring that the basic human rights spelled out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights are protected.
Sylvia Burwell served as Obama’s HHS Secretary. In that role, she took the Little Sisters of the Poor to court over their refusal to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which required them to provide contraceptives against their consciences. In contrast, Alex Azar, President Trump’s HHS Secretary, has advocated for religious liberty and the rights of the unborn, both internationally and at home. Some of Secretary Azar’s actions include exempting the Little Sisters of the Poor from the contraceptive mandate. Also, under Azar’s leadership, the Office of Civil Rights was established. This section of HHS defends conscience rights by ensuring that no medical personnel are forced to perform abortions, gender transition services, and other procedures against their consciences.
As U.S. Attorney General during the Obama administration, Eric Holder advocated for pro-LGBT policies, such as giving “transgendered” persons special status under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Furthermore, Holder intimidated peaceful pro-life protestors under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. In contrast, William Barr, Trump’s AG appointment, is a staunch defender of life and religious liberty. He expresses these convictions in both word and deed. In 2019, Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame defending religious liberty.
The Obama administration even used the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service to threaten a meatpacking plant in Michigan for putting brochures out on company tables promoting a biblical view on marriage and sexuality. Thankfully, the Trump administration issued new guidance to protect the First Amendment rights of meatpackers.
Presidential elections affect all areas of government, particularly health care and foreign relations. The Trump administration has continually defended life and religious liberty. Despite these commendable policy accomplishments, an American Christian may struggle to support Donald Trump the man. However, consider that neither King Artaxerxes nor King Xerxes was perfect. Nor were they part of God’s chosen people—the Jewish nation. Yet, God used these two leaders to defend His people.
This November, as you exercise your right to vote, remember that God can use even imperfect leaders to advance and protect the rights of Christians at home and abroad. Consider what individuals each candidate would appoint to positions of authority and what that would mean for life, family, and religious liberty issues. If Joe Biden is elected, he will likely advocate for similar policies that the Obama administration did. Biden’s election would likely result in decreased protections for life and religious liberty. However, President Trump’s administration has consistently advocated for these values. After considering all these things, pray, vote, and stand.
For more on voting from a biblical worldview, be sure to check out Biblical Principles for Political Engagement: Worldview, Issues, and Voting. For a full listing of the Trump administration’s accomplishments, click here.
Laura Lee Caum is a Communications intern at Family Research Council.