The lens through which many of my Christian friends have viewed this election and now the Trump presidency is very large: abortion. That’s a good issue to be concerned about. However, in my opinion that lens is not big enough.
As Christians, we are informed by Scripture, and thus required to view our world more comprehensively. Hence my 1933 post, and others concerning historical precedence. Germany was desperate for hope after the First World War; they looked to Hitler as their savior, and a major force behind him was the Protestant church.
Now, you tell me that I should rather compare Hillary with Hitler due to her aggressive stance on abortion, in particular, late-term partial-birth abortions. Hillary may indeed compare with Hitler simply on the issue of death. But such a simple comparison shouldn’t just be limited to Hitler. There are other murderers or legislators of murder with whom to compare.
There is a radically more complex phenomenon at play right now that mirrors much of what led up to 1933 in Germany, and what occurred afterwards. We’re seeing a return to exclusivistic, nativistic, right-wing populism that is starting to smell quite a lot like the contexts in which other populist leaders and movements were birthed, including Gaius Marius, Julius Caesar, the French Revolution, Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and most recently, Brexit and Trump.
I’m trying to highlight in my posts on Facebook and Twitter something that lies at the root of human nature itself, and in which in every manifestation has proven disastrous in greater or lesser measures. Given even just our modern weaponry, the Internet, and globalization, the potential for a real disaster looms large and ominous. We are fools if we ignore the signs.
So, abortion. Yes, it is a terrible thing to destroy an image-bearer of the living God. But what about things that corrupt that image? What of foreign policy? Racism? Income inequality? Access to healthcare? Religious freedom (not just for Christians!)? Women’s status in society? Poverty? Education? And the list goes on. I hope Trump does a great job improving all of these problem areas and more. But just be careful about making abortion the end-all issue. All of those issues I just mentioned contribute in some way to the demand for abortion in the first place.
Trump cannot erase the practice of abortion. He doesn’t have that legislative power, and even if SCOTUS eliminated (legal) access to abortion, the murder of unborn children will continue. So my appeal is that we drive to the root of the issue, which is really where the gospel points us to direct our energies: to God’s power to change people from “ungodly” to “justified” and “holy”. That is something which Trump, nor anybody else, could ever hope to do.
And to be honest? I don’t think that’s what he intends to do anyway.