I started this as a long rambling post but eventually realized I was talking in circles and dropped it. It was originally prompted by someone asking how, given my faith, I could possibly vote for Trump for President. I think I have come up with a shorter answer, it still may ramble a bit.
I am a Christian. I believe in Heaven and Hell though I readily admit that I may not know exactly what either really means other than an eternal consciousness of my soul and that one is with God and one is without. I believe that the only way to Heaven is through Christ the Son but once again will accept that may not mean what I think it means. I am more sure that what I think it means is “A” correct way but he may have other plans.
I believe that the Ten Commandments are the primary law of God with their intent boiled down to “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I believe that all other law is there for our good and for the interpretation of the above.
I believe that no one can perfectly adhere to the law, especially all it’s interpretations, but that Christ came and paid the penalty for that Sin and we can therefore be absolved. I believe that absolution only comes after an act of our free will to admit that we Sin and that we need forgiveness.
The above I am willing to discuss but it’s basis is the Bible and my personal experience therefore any real debate is probably impossible.
I believe that our Nation and way of life was founded primarily by people of northwestern European decent who basically believed the above as well. There was obviously work and influence by other cultures and belief systems but for better or worse they were not the shapers of our systems.
I believe, as de Tocqueville wrote, that the reason our system worked so well for so long was this shared belief system. Our laws did not have to enforce morality, our society took care of that. All our law had to do was to protect the situation that allowed that shared morality and belief system to remain intact. I believe this was the original intention of a separation of Church and State. To allow the Church to dictate morality while the State dictated the law. True, there were times and places that this broke down in both directions but in whole it worked.
In that vein I believe that it is the State’s responsibility to demand Justice. Justice meaning adherence to the Law for all. While it is the Church’s, and by extension the individual’s, responsibility to call for and show Grace, meaning to show love and acceptance to all regardless of their status under the Law.
At least I pared the statement part down to under 500 words. Now for the takeaway(s)
Our system has been turned on it’s head in the last century. The Church failed to maintain it’s call for Grace and our State has failed to consistently pursue Justice. By extension it is now the State calling for Grace and the Church calling for Justice. The state attempting to dictate morality, which it is not equipped to do no matter whether I agree with the morality it is pushing or not. The Church trying to influence the Law, which goes against it’s primary purpose.
I hope for a State that stays away from ‘moral’ decisions. It’s job is to act in the best interest of the majority. I don’t mean that to be a specific Majority group but a true majority of the people of the nation. Sometimes that means individual decisions which promote agendas of some Minority but only when that Minority is either sizable or when that agenda by some extension helps the majority. Our system is full of checks and balances to prevent the tyranny of the Majority. Unfortunately that has now turned into the tyranny of the Minority.
Whatever Law the State comes up with the assumption of that Law has to be full adherence to that Law. There are many methods of Grace built into our systems. Police discretion, prosecutorial discretion, jury nullification, parole systems, sentence commutation, executive pardons, all offer Grace, there is no need for it to be built into the law itself. The same extends to foreign policy. The people may call for Grace but the State must, by definition, pursue the best interests of the majority of it’s people, otherwise what is it’s point.
All of this leads to why I will vote for Trump over Clinton. I prefer someone who is amoral to someone who pushes moralities I oppose. I prefer someone who wants what he thinks is best for the vast majority of the nation rather than someone who thinks there is some way for the State to promote every last person no matter how far out of the mainstream they are. I prefer someone who will act in a way to promote our nation even if it means to the exclusion of other nations rather than someone who thinks that the needs of the world should be just as important to our State (Nation) as the needs of our own people.