Scott Tibbs

We need nuance and perspective on Trump

By Scott Tibbs, September 16, 2019

Pastor Tim Bayly makes good points here regarding the often viscera reaction to President Trump among some conservatives, especially Christian conservatives. Yes, we all know that Trump has a lot of moral failings, but recognizing the good things President Trump does does not mean you excuse his moral failings.

I have hammered the "Always Trump" crowd for their total lack of nuance, and inability to admit that Trump is ever wrong. It is incredibly tiresome to listen to the "Always Trump" crowd say "but Hillary" and find an excuse for everything he does - sometimes even changing their positions on things like free trade and gun control to support whatever Trump's whims are at the moment. I have repeatedly condemned Christians who do excuse Trump's personal immorality.

With that said, some "Never Trump" conservatives can be just as myopic as the "Always Trump" crowd. They cannot see the good he does, even on things like religious freedom and abortion. They bemoan his attacks on the media while ignoring the fact that Trump is saying the same things they have said about the mainstream media for generations - just with more bombastic language. They can only focus on the bad things about Trump, and find excuses to criticize him no matter what he does. They can only focus on the negative, and must always bring up his negatives when he gets praise he legitimately deserves.

And this is where I turn the spotlight on myself. I did not vote for Trump in 2016, and I do not regret or apologize for that. But even after I because a Trump supporter in 2017, I have leaned toward the second category of myopia too many times, myself. I have been wrong to do so. There are things that Trump does right, and there is no need to bring up the negative to balance every positive.

Moral standards are black and white, and we must be very clear and uncompromising about that. However, the world is not black and white. Human beings are incredibly complex creatures and we cannot dump them into the "good" or "evil" category like this was a comic book in 1985. Immoral people do good things, and otherwise "good" people do stupid, foolish or even immoral things. And if we are Christians, we are all sinners saved by grace from the eternal damnation in Hell Fire that we richly deserve. The most righteous Christian in America doesn't deserve Hell Fire any less than Trump does.

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