Have you noticed that many processes are interactions?
Farming and gardening are examples that involve a lot of work and initiative and dominion - but in cooperation with what "naturally" occurs: rain, sun, a branch sprouting in the wrong direction. To get good fruit, we humans both initiate and respond.
Children are raised not by a curriculum, but by attentive discipleship: when we go out and when we come in, when we sit and when we lie down and when we rise up.
Writing or creating art - even these are best done when, as I have read, we "sit with" our material (sometimes sharing the process with a community of artists). We look at it in lots of lights. (Isn't it convenient that the sun moves across the sky, shining on different aspects of creation in the course of a day?) We wait until we have enough facts, and the facts from outside of us have been catalyzed by the spirit within us. Then comes culmination, fruit-bearing, birth, harvest, maturity.
This is sometimes ugly, sometimes bearing witness to what we wish would just erase itself from existence, and letting it change us instead of ignoring it. This is sometimes painful, sitting in the dark with grief and failure. This is sometimes hard, persisting in a process whose end we are unsure of.
I think that God is (slowly) teaching me about His wisdom and glory in *using* time, and this truth is part of it. It isn't only beautiful seeing a basket of picked elderberries, or a kid finally making a selfless choice, or a fleeing sinner caught at last by the merciful Shepherd. The *process* is beautiful. The loving abiding with people, and tender tending of our works are profoundly moving. I think God is excited to work this way, and that inspires me.
To God be all glory.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Friday, August 05, 2016
A missionary I know, Cal Zastrow, said, “If the primary goal of voting is winning, instead of being a faithful witness for Christ, then all kinds of evil grows.” I believe that as Christians, more than being patriotic to our nation, we are called to be faithful ambassadors of the
, and to further
that kingdom. We do this, in part,
through involvement in earthly matters like grocery shopping, like changing
diapers, like giving food to the poor, and like voting. Kingdom
This week, respected theologian Wayne Grudem endorsed Donald Trump for president in an article, “Why Voting for Donald Trump is a Morally Good Choice”. A friend shared the article on Facebook. I admit that I was shocked at how much I disagree with such an influential evangelical Christian. I was overwhelmed by how many things seemed 1) unsubstantiated; 2) rational leaps; and most grievingly, 3) misinterpretations of Scripture. There were other things that may be qualified as more differences of opinion. These do not surprise me; I am used to being in a minority in what I believe about how government should function. For a brief discussion of these things, see Footnote .
The first category of concern, things that seem to me to be unsubstantiated, mostly fall into three subsections. They are either wild speculations or what I believe to be delusions of fear. Most of these have to do with the future. The third subsection is ignoring relevant truths.
The treatment of third parties at least excludes some truth: the truth of why our political system allows third parties; the truth of what some third party candidates (with far more demonstrable integrity and intelligence than Trump or Hillary) have said they will do as president,; the truth of history, that parties have fallen and risen, including the Republican Party which was a new, third party when Lincoln was elected president; the truth that the reason we don’t presently see third parties as viable is because we have consistently refused to vote for third party candidates who better represent us; and the truth that votes for third parties have impacts on future elections.
This year’s election is not an unusual opportunity. Every year there is an evil candidate, or rather many evil candidates (for many third parties put forward evil candidates), which we the people have an opportunity of defeating. Sort of: I can try to persuade you to help me to defeat evil. I can pray. And I can vote. It may not actually be within my power to defeat the Democrat or any other candidate.
Grudem believes that Trump sincerely wants what is best for
America. I am not in a position to say that this is
false. I don’t have evidence that Trump
is plotting the demise of the United
I get a different impression, though, that Trump actually wants to
further his own interests and to build his own ego. I am wondering what evidence Dr. Grudem has
for his belief in Trump’s motives.
Will the election be close? (If he didn’t believe the election will be close, would the arguments in his article be the same?) We’re three months from Election Day. Polls of the popular vote, even when factoring in the Libertarian and Green Party candidates, show Hillary Clinton neck and neck with Donald Trump. But elections in the
United States are not decided by
the popular vote. They are decided by
electors in each state. News outlets,,
analyzing polling data and voting patterns in previous cycles, have Hillary in
the lead by about 50 electoral votes likely to go to her. Estimates have her with around 200, Trump
with around 150, and around 180 votes from a number of states too close to
guess. But if you look at the breakdown
of how strong each candidate is in the votes analysts think they are likely to
get, you can see that Hillary has far more votes in the “almost certain” and
“very likely” categories, whereas about half of Trump’s fall into the “leans
towards” Trump description. If third
party campaigns are somewhat successful, as many Republicans fear, more of the
independent voters will go to the Libertarian or other conservative parties
than would be persuaded to vote Republican, and Hillary’s lead could be even
Given the extent of the criminal behavior already documented on Hillary Clinton, without producing prosecution or sufficient public outrage, it is very unlikely that “additional shocking email disclosures” would have any new effect. Obama has endorsed her and has nothing to lose (except before God) from standing behind her and abstaining from prosecution.
The article gives a description of liberalism, “pro-abortion, pro-gender-confusion, anti-religious liberty, tax-and-spend, big government…” The author applies it to Clinton and Obama, but the definition can just as honestly be applied to Trump. Therefore, we will not defeat “that kind of liberalism” by voting for Trump. He is that kind of liberal. He may practice it to a different degree, but the essence is the same.
The judicial supremacy described in this article may be a dominant theory, but it is not true, constitutionally speaking. We should hold judges accountable for the subversion they commit by usurping the rule of law (the US Constitution) and exceeding their jurisdiction. Impeachment could moderate their extremism. And it could remove actual vigilante judges from office. Then the activism wouldn’t be locked-in. States and presidents, especially, are obligated to obey the supreme law of the land, the United States Constitution, and there is an argument to be made for states and executives to defy broad applications of specific decisions by the courts. That is, Obergefell, for example, wouldn’t have to apply to any actual laws (court rulings are not laws) or states or cities or policies that were not included in the original case being brought. This is the position that Alabama Justice Roy Moore seems to be most recently in trouble for. There are also third party presidential candidates,  in the current election who agree with at least some of these answers to the Supreme Court argument, and would be willing to act accordingly. I do appreciate Grudem bringing these problems to light, even if I disagree with his submit-to-the-corrupt-system solution.
Grudem mentions several close votes on the Supreme Court over the past 30 years, such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Act and Hobby Lobby’s conscience and religious freedom case against being forced by Obamacare to pay for employees’ abortifacient contraceptives. Some of these have gone in ways we agree with, submitting to the clear language of the Constitution and upholding liberty. Many significant others have not. Republican-appointed judges have a long history of assenting to egregious Supreme Court decisions. Four of five Supreme Court justices giving us the decision in Utah v. Strieff, weakening the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches, were Republican-appointed. Republican justices have given us Roe v. Wade, upheld Obamacare, and decided Obergefell (attempting to mandate homosexual marriage).
I don’t see how a “right to abortion” could be found in the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, nor how it would be substantially different from the Supreme Court rulings already dominating our political climate. Groups seeking to end abortion are seeking to have Roe v. Wade overturned. Some are doing this, not by increasing laws that would regulate abortion, but by using the wording of the Constitution, including the Equal Protection Clause. These laws include so-called “Personhood” legislation and the “Sanctity of Life Act”. With an unaccountable judiciary, the court is likely to strike such laws down. They are, perhaps, slightly more likely to “with one decision” remove all abortion-regulating laws from our country, as Dr. Grudem fears. I don’t see how a more liberal court would be much more likely to do this than the court we already have, or the one we had when Roe was decided.
In the history of our country, few significant Supreme Court decisions have been overturned by that court. Fashions have shifted. The Constitution has been amended. Wars have been fought. These have affected the application of some rulings. Christians want Roe v. Wade to be overturned. We want justices who uphold justice and the rule of law. Republicans have not given us such radically righteous justices. It is an extremely unlikely hope that Donald Trump (who is more liberal than previous Republican presidents) would appoint enough justices who would oppose the trend of popular opinion (our country is more liberal than ever) on abortion, and overturn Roe v. Wade. I cannot find such a wild speculation to be even a considerable justification for voting for a man who disregards morality (unashamed adultery, owning a strip club, lying, essentially stealing) and justice and the rule of law (promotion of unconstitutional laws, executive orders, and policies) himself.
At multiple points, Dr. Grudem indicates that he is a proponent of state-regulation of things like marriage and abortion. On both of these issues I believe he is wrong. Under the
Constitution, Article IV: Section 1,
separate states must honor the laws of other states. If United
“marries” same-sex partners, then Connecticut
is obligated to consider the couple married if they visit or even relocate
there. Thus marriage ought not to be
excluded from the jurisdiction of the federal government. Regarding abortion, the Constitution requires,
“nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without
due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws.” Thus the
federal government also has a responsibility to enforce this part of the
Constitution, taking only an oversight role if the states are in
compliance. States allowing abortion are
not in compliance. The solution to the
immoral and unjust status of our laws is not just to have Supreme Court
decisions return authority to the states.
We have a bigger problem.
Many of the threats to our religious liberty are not coming from courts, but from private businesses or from other branches of government. Trump, if he were to be elected as our executive, is sympathetic to the homosexual agenda, at least, and would no doubt be influenced by that perspective when “executing” his office. That is, we wouldn’t need a liberal Supreme Court to infringe our rights; the president (whose power via executive order has gone basically unchallenged for decades) would be committing the very trespasses we’re afraid of the court for.
Even if I prove so wrong, and Trump is electable, and Trump does nominate an honest and wise and selfless judge, and the judge passes the scrutiny of the Senate to have the appointment confirmed, and if the court can hear and rule on cases in such a way as to reign in the courts – we will still have the problem of a lazy, impotent Congress and a largely-unchecked executive branch (the latter of which would likely be exacerbated by a Trump presidency as by a Clinton one – Trump has promised to use executive orders to accomplish his will).
While the argument that historically, politicians have not “gone back on most of what [they have] promised to do, especially on issues that are crucially important in the election,” might be accurate (and I have doubts even about this), it would be hard to apply to Donald Trump for two reasons. The first is that he is demonstrably a liar. And the second is that he has, in this one campaign, made many contradictory “promises” about what he will do. It actually seems incredibly gullible to let a politician take many possible positions that could appeal to different constituencies, and to assume the one he’ll actually faithfully come through on is the position that you prefer.
Since the article focuses on the issue of the Supreme Court, let me here briefly address the things that Trump has said about the court during this presidential campaign. Early on, Trump suggested that his sister would make a “phenomenal” appointment to the Supreme Court. She’s already a federal judge, and she’s not a conservative. Afterward, he said he was joking. Then, he said he would release a list of 5-10 names of potential Supreme Court appointees, and guarantee that, if president, he would pick from that list. Then he released a list of 11 names. Within days of publishing this heralded list, he said he was not guaranteeing that he would appoint a judge from the list. There is also the chance that he would attempt to appoint one, and then back down at the least resistance from the Senate, and appoint someone else.
Trump has also taken confusing positions on
Israel. Dr. Grudem says that Trump has promised to
vigorously defend Israel. In this same campaign, he has also said that
he will remain neutral
on Israel’s dispute with Palestine. But a top advisor has also said that Trump
might be against a two-state solution. On the other hand, and in contradiction to
the fearful portrayal of “facts” that Grudem’s article gives, we have decades
of speeches and actions by Hillary,
that, even if we don’t fully trust or agree with them, distance her from
Obama’s snubbing of Israel. Grudem’s
only evidence that Hillary would be worse than Donald on Israel is that Hillary worked for
and is of the same political party as Obama.
She is, however, also married to President Bill Clinton, of the same
party, whose treatment of Israel,
was very different from Obama’s.
My second concern was about Wayne Grudem’s reasoning. If he has a way of connecting principles to his applications, he is not including them in the article. He asserts that it is OK to vote for someone bad (he calls them “flawed”) because he will do more good for the nation than his opponent. But he doesn’t justify why he believes this is OK. This is pragmatism. I am not opposed to we humans evaluating the world in order to figure out what would be most effective – so long as, in the flow-chart of decision-making, we consider those things after we have determined if we could do them without committing an unrighteous act. A good end does not make the “means” moral.
Grudem believes Trump will do the most good for the nation. Some of this is founded in conservative policies. Some is founded in speculation (particularly on the power and goodness of the Supreme Court under Trump). Some is based on subjective consideration of some things as more important than others. That is, if Trump is too busy doing harm to this nation to do it the good that his supporters hope, this reasoning might turn out to be inaccurate. I see potential, especially in foreign relations, for Trump to do great harm to our country, including getting us into wars resulting in American casualties. And in this one area, I believe that he may be likely to get us into bigger wars than
would. There are also the more abstract
ideas of the good or harm of having such a man as Trump represent conservatives
and Christians in this country. What
does that mean for the future of the Church here? What about the future of the Republican
Party? What influence are conservatives
and Christians left when we have demonstrated that we are willing to compromise
– or worse, been led to justify the wickedness we are endorsing?
I am just as horrified that a vote may help Trump as I am that a vote may help
. This whole line of reasoning, that a vote for
a third party is actually helping the slightly-leading candidate, has redefined
what a vote
means. A vote, to my mind, ought to be
viewed as a contribution to collectively making a choice. Like every choice, one choice excludes
another. If I say that my favorite
flavor is chocolate, then I am automatically stating that vanilla and strawberry
are not my favorites. A vote is an
endorsement, approval, help. I am
helping whom I vote for. And there will
be all sorts of indirect consequences for what I choose. Clinton
Some sure indirect consequences of Christians not voting either Trump or
are: Republicans will receive less votes than they believed themselves entitled
to. The influence of third parties will
be increased for the future. Speculating
now, Republicans in the future may feel less confident that the liberal
candidates they’ve been putting forward are electable. They may begin to reform, to shift to the
more conservative end. Or the system
might be too corrupt already. The powers
behind the GOP may be too ideologically against justice, righteousness, the
Constitution, economic liberty, and limited government to nominate conservative
candidates, even if it might help the Republicans to gain power. In which case, enter speculation category
number two: third parties. If lesser
parties collectively get more attention and votes this election cycle, it
strengthens the chances of any third party to gain momentum for the
future. If one third party gets a lot
more attention and votes, it makes that one all the more powerful for future
elections. There are federal laws that give campaign money
to political parties based on if they reached a certain threshold of the
popular vote in the previous election cycle.
There are state laws that grant ballot access based on thresholds of
votes in that state. (In ,
I’m not sure if votes for president apply.
The legal language is confusing to me.)
There is market pressure for websites and television and radio to give
attention to things their audiences care about.
And votes indicate that we care.
The whole election paradigm in the Colorado could be
shifting. United States
Grudem suggests that we should see Trump’s vice presidential pick as an indicator of the trend of his policy shifts. Trump is, the author says, moving towards the conservative. While it is possible for a politician’s choice for vice president to reflect one’s values, in a man famed for “closing the deal”, I have a different hypothesis: that he picked someone who would appeal to a demographic that Trump hadn’t secured by his own personality and variously-contradicting policies. Maybe he picked Pence to lure conservative Republicans to vote for Trump. This would also be a tactic seemingly consistent with those of past presidential candidates.
The third point I raised is – coming from a theologian, seminary professor, and author of a much-used systematic theology – by far the most concerning. This is his use of Scripture in his argument. I am certainly interested in learning how the Bible applies to the decisions that we make in this life. So I am not objecting to a Christian leader making a statement about politics, or bringing the Bible into it. Rather, I am concerned by the hermeneutics he uses.
The first, general subject of biblical relevance is whether we can classify such a man as Donald Trump as “evil” or “wicked”, or if we should just remind ourselves that “nobody’s perfect” and consider him “flawed”, but decent as statesmen go. I will agree with Wayne Grudem when he says that Trump is flawed. I probably see more flaws than Dr. Grudem does, given the differences I have with him on policy issues. And I agree with Dr. Grudem’s list of character flaws in Donald Trump. I have some to add, as well. He is a liar and an adulterer. He has, under cover of law (eminent domain for private use and intentional bankruptcy), stolen for his own gain. For such things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience, and we are commanded to have nothing to do with these things.
I’m sure, like every evil dictator in history, that Trump has his good points. The Bible acknowledges that no one is righteous. We have all fallen short. But the Bible also categorizes people into righteous and wicked, and warns against associating with the wicked. I especially commend to you the Proverbs for a study of which type of people fall into which category.
Christians have been cleansed from the unfruitful works of darkness, and are therefore not classified as evil. Trump, by his own testimony, has not repented, has not sought God’s forgiveness. He has not been made clean by Jesus’ blood. So, he remains where his enumerated sins have put him, in the category of an evil man.
The Bible records what Moses’ father-in-law advised the Israelites about what kind of men to appoint to their government: "Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness...." - Exodus 18:21 Wayne Grudem does not mention this verse when he declares that despite the wicked character of Trump, voting for him is a morally good choice. Instead, he uses a passage from Jeremiah, about the Israelites seeking the welfare of the nation in which they are exiled. He then goes on to expound what he believes is meant by “welfare”: that which is most likely to bring the best results. And from there, he says that to vote for anyone who doesn’t have the best chance of beating evil and liberal and full of bad-policies Hillary is disobeying this instruction. He claims that this command to
is to give us the “overriding question” we must ask ourselves when voting. I wonder why the overriding question does not
come from Exodus 18:21 that I quoted above, or Proverbs, or Romans?
Perhaps the verse could be better interpreted as exhorting the Israelites to pray or warning the Jews against insurrection? Something like Timothy’s exhortation for Christians to “pray for… all who are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence”?
How would we actually foretell what will be “most likely to bring the best results”? It is far less arrogant to decide things based on truth and what is morally good in itself – and maybe on direction straight from God – than to weigh out pros and cons of policies and possibilities and contingencies. Which items hold more weight as we’re weighing? National security? Jobs and taxes? Civil rights? Abortion? Marriage? Education? Good Christians can argue all day long on which should be weightier. But when we vote for president, I contend that is not what we are being asked to do. We are being asked to choose a leader (specifically one who will carry out the laws in existence, including the Constitution, to command our military in time of war, and to be the head of our foreign relations). And a nation is blessed when the ruler is righteous.
Which brings up an interesting point. What about God’s blessing? What about God’s power to deliver and guide and reform? If we’re being pragmatic about what is possible from a human standpoint, the way our government is in the habit of functioning (not even trying to exert ourselves to reign it in towards how it should, under the Constitution, be functioning) – then we’re leaving out part of the picture. Is God more likely to do good to a people who choose evil individuals for rulers? Or is God able to do much good with our faithful choices? If a remnant of Christians abides by its conscience and votes for actually good, actually qualified candidates – don’t you think God is more likely to show our whole nation mercy for our sakes?
Next, Wayne Grudem says that defeating Hillary would be a good thing to do, and that since supporting Trump is a way to do that, it is a good thing to do. According to James 4:17, he says, if we know a good thing to do and don’t do it, we’re sinning. But what is the intended application of the verse? It is good to do my dishes. It is good to do my friend’s dishes. It is good to be a sidewalk counselor outside abortion clinics. It is good to perform ultrasounds at a pregnancy center. It is good to pray. It is good to write books. It is good to preach the gospel. It is good to teach doctrine. It is good to rest. It is good to feast. It is good to fast. We cannot possibly do every good thing, all at once. Is defeating the Democrats the only good thing to do? In a given situation, we need to discern the good thing that God wants us to do. If we don’t do the good thing that God wants us to do, more so if we know what it is, it is sin.
But, as we’re discerning about the “right thing to do”, let’s take into consideration this other Scripture: "And why not do evil that good may come?--as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just." - Romans 3:8 So even if some good things could possibly result from our choices, the end does not justify the means. We have to figure out if the choice itself is evil or good.
There is a quote going around, attributed to C.H. Spurgeon, “Of two evils, choose neither.” To some Christians, what seems best to them is to not vote at all in this presidential election. Wayne Grudem believes this is also sin, citing Obadiah 1:11. The verse he quotes could be taken to mean that the Edomites did nothing at all, if it weren’t for the context, which describes them cheering for evil and aiding those who were attacking
Israel. Cross reference to Psalm 137:7.
I don’t believe that abstaining from voting is inherently wrong. There are some times in the Bible where abstaining from something “good” is advised. Take, for example, Ecclesiastes 5:5: "It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay." Or, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." - James 3:1 Or, "The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." But he said to them, "Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given." - Matthew 19:10-11 Or, "And the LORD said to Gideon, "With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home."" - Judges 7:7 Or, "The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."" - Exodus 14:14
So the questions we need to ask are: Has God given us the obligation to vote? Are we responsible for the outcome of the election even if we chose a morally acceptable but arguably less strategic vote? Is it wrong to choose an evil person as our ruler?
I would exhort everyone, especially Christians, to do all things out of faith and not out of fear. Or, at least, that we would fear God alone. Fearing Him, may we be diligent to find out the truth, to seek His perspective on these matters, and follow His will for us personally.
Update, October 9, 2016: Wayne Grudem removed his endorsement and published this apology, in light of recent revelations about Trump's previous moral corruption: Trump's Moral Character and the Election.
Update, October 9, 2016: Wayne Grudem removed his endorsement and published this apology, in light of recent revelations about Trump's previous moral corruption: Trump's Moral Character and the Election.
 I disagreed with some of Grudem’s approvals of Trump’s policies and what he considers “most likely”. Below I mention some.
Lower taxes are good. They do not in themselves constitute a more just or more limited government. In fact, if unaccompanied by a budget a fraction the size of what it has been, lower taxes will only mean more borrowing, which is a hidden tax on the future[i]. It is also debatable whether graduated tax rates are just[ii].
I am not convinced that Trump would be good at diplomacy[iii],[iv],[v],[vi],[vii]. He may be convinced that he will not be manipulated, deceived, or out-strategized by
or Middle-Eastern nations, but I am not.
Trump’s “tough guy” persona may be useful in standing up to bullies, or
it may make our international representative into a bully himself. He has said that he would be in favor of
having our military “go after the families of terrorists”[viii],[ix],
and to, when fighting them, match the level of violence terrorists and ISIS use[x]. Victory at the cost of virtue is an
unacceptable goal for me to support. I
am also concerned that it would not be so easy to win a war (without making
many more enemies globally) as Trump seems to think.
My personal belief is that Hillary is rather smart, and rather interested in maintaining whatever power she can get her hands on. Therefore, I think that she is actually less likely than Trump to get us into a big war or to alienate our allies. (And if she does, she’ll probably do it behind the scenes where no one will be able to verify it was her doing it.)
Both Trump and Hillary have taken contradictory positions on fracking during this campaign, which perhaps could be characterized at this time by saying that they believe in local decision-making about fracking[xi]. I would find it impossible, without prophetic revelation, to determine what each candidate will actually do for or against this energy issue.
Trump’s words about health insurance have not always sounded like they are entirely free-market solutions, even during this campaign season[xii]. Like many Republicans this year, he does support repealing – and replacing – Obamacare, apparently with a mixture of free market solutions and with some sort of forced “safety net” for the poorer people. Does this mean retaining an expansion of Medicaid? Something else? I believe there is a substantial difference between Hillary Clinton’s intentions for the health care industry, and that of Donald Trump. But it may be a difference of degree only. There are manifold problems with Obamacare. One of them is the individual mandate, what I still believe to be an unconstitutional imposition on our liberties (whatever the Supreme Court says about the penalty being a tax). The second is that the government funding for these programs is unconstitutional. They have no enumerated jurisdiction to be spending money on a private citizen’s health care. Trump’s plan would, presumably, deal with only one of these objections (the individual mandate).
From what I have read and heard, there seems to be some debate about whether Trump owes his so-called business success to his own abilities[xiii] to “solve problems and get things done.” Commentators have pointed out that Trump started with a substantial sum of money inherited from his father. They say that his fortune, if invested in mutual funds back in 1982, and left there, accruing, would be twice what he claims to have made it today through business acumen[xiv]. They mention that more than one of his business ventures has gone bankrupt. Some of them bring up his wielding of eminent domain for personal gain (abetted by corrupt politicians)[xv]; his use of bankruptcy (not paying bills) to pass off the risk of his investments to those providing the actual goods and services[xvi]; and that he is defendant in a lawsuit for fraud[xvii] in the case of Trump University. There is even some question as to whether Trump is as wealthy as he claims. All of these things cast doubt on the prudence of employing Trump to use his reputed problem-solving skills to tackle the big, nuanced problems the
States is facing.
[i] Mises Institute, “Tax Cuts Without Spending Cuts Are Pointless” https://mises.org/blog/tax-cuts-without-spending-cuts-are-pointless
[ii] Capitalism.org, “What About a Progressive Tax?” http://capitalism.org/taxation/what-about-the-fair-tax/
[iii] The New York Times, “Transcript: Donald Trump on
Coup Attempt and the World” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/us/politics/donald-trump-foreign-policy-interview.html?_r=0
[iv] Talking Points Memo, “How Donald Trump Is Already Doing a World of Damage Abroad” http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/no-election-necessary-trump-already-doing-damage-abroad
[v] The Boston Globe, “The Day Trump Trashed US Diplomacy” https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/07/21/the-day-trump-trashed-diplomacy/gXunS1AcEhkSKGdpiErVvL/story.html
[vi] War on the Rocks, “Open Letter on Donald Trump from GOP National Security Leaders” http://warontherocks.com/2016/03/open-letter-on-donald-trump-from-gop-national-security-leaders/
[vii] The Chicago Tribune, “Column: On Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton is Bad. Trump is Worse.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/ct-hillary-clinton-foreign-policy-trump-perspec-0605-md-20160603-column.html
[viii] CNN, “Donald Trump on Terrorists: ‘Take Out their Families’ ” http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/02/politics/donald-trump-terrorists-families/
[ix] The video clip here is important. Mediaite, “Trump: The Military Would Not Refuse My Orders Even If They Consider them Illegal” http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-the-military-would-not-refuse-my-orders-even-if-they-consider-them-illegal/
[x] YouTube CNN, “Donald Trump Anderson Cooper CNN Interview (part 3)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5NGbI3snZg
[xi] OilPrice.com, “Is Trump Flip-Flopping on Fracking?” http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Is-Trump-Flip-Flopping-On-Fracking4276.html
[xii] Originally compiled and published on Facebook January 2016, this is my own research on “Donald Trump’s Similarities to Democrats”. It is a list of sources about various positions Trump has taken, with a section of sources also demonstrating that he is a liar. https://www.facebook.com/notes/lisa-cress/donald-trumps-similarities-to-democrats/10153386583390954
[xiii] Alternet, “Exposing How Donald Trump Really Made His Furtune: Inheritance from Dad and the Government’s Protection Mostly Did the Trick” http://www.alternet.org/story/156234/exposing_how_donald_trump_really_made_his_fortune%3A_inheritance_from_dad_and_the_government's_protection_mostly_did_the_trick
[xiv] Money Talks News, “Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index Funds” http://www.moneytalksnews.com/why-youre-probably-better-investing-than-donald-trump/
[xv] National Review, “Trump and Eminent Domain” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431005/trump-eminent-domain
[xvi] Forbes, “Fourth Time’s a Charm: How Donald Trump Made Bankruptcy Work for Him” http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2011/04/29/fourth-times-a-charm-how-donald-trump-made-bankruptcy-work-for-him/#3fae39ec6f7a
[xvii] The New Yorker, “
: It’s Worse
Than You Think” http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trump-university-its-worse-than-you-think
 Tom Hoefling for President 2016, “Platform” http://www.tomhoefling.com/platform.html
 Darrell Castle for President 2016, Constitution Party, issues page http://castle2016.com/issues/
 Wikipedia, “Political Parties in the
United States”, history and early
political parties section https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_parties_in_the_United_States#History_and_early_political_parties
 Great American History, “How
Lincoln Won the 1860 Republican Nomination” http://www.greatamericanhistory.net/nomination.htm
 Real Clear Politics, Polls, “Election 2016 Presidential Polls” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/president/
 Real Clear Politics, Polls, “
Battle for White House” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_elections_electoral_college_map.html
 270 to Win, “2016 Election:
Clinton vs. Trump” http://www.270towin.com/maps/clinton-trump-electoral-map
 Huffington Post, “5 Reasons the Comey Hearing was the Worst Education in Criminal Justice the American Public has Ever Had” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5-reasons-the-comey-hearing-was-the-worst-education_us_577ee999e4b05b4c02fbdcd5
 Politico, “President Obama Endorses Hillary Clinton” http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/president-obama-endorses-hillary-clinton-224130
 Originally compiled and published on Facebook January 2016, this is my own research on “Donald Trump’s Similarities to Democrats”. It is a list of sources about various positions Trump has taken, with a section of sources also demonstrating that he is a liar. https://www.facebook.com/notes/lisa-cress/donald-trumps-similarities-to-democrats/10153386583390954
 Liberty Counsel Connect, “Chief Justice Roy Moore Counters Politically Motivated Complaints on Marriage” http://libertycounsel.com/chief-justice-roy-moore-counters-politically-motivated-complaints-on-marriage/
 Tom Hoefling for President 2016, “Tom Hoefling: Judges, and politicians, behaving badly” http://www.tomhoefling.com/home/tom-hoefling-judges-and-politicians-behaving-badly
 The Castle Report, “Original Intent” http://www.castlereport.us/original-intent-2/
 Some people who oppose abortion also oppose these incremental or compromise regulations. Some of these people believe all regulations are wrong or counterproductive[a], while others only oppose language in laws that implies that if you follow the regulations, “then you can kill the baby”[b].
[a] Abolish Human Abortion, position paper on “immediatism” http://abolishhumanabortion.com/immediatism/
[b] American Right to Life, position paper on abortion regulations http://americanrtl.org/abortion-regulations
 The Washington Post, “Supreme Court construes the exclusionary rule narrowly in
v. Strieff” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/06/21/supreme-court-construes-the-exclusionary-rule-narrowly-in-utah-v-strieff/
 Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, “U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment” https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment
 A 5-3 decision, given in October 2015 by Justices Thomas, Roberts, Kennedy, Alito (these four were appointed by Republicans), and Breyer (appointed by a Democrat). Supreme Court of the United States Blog, “
v. Strieff” http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/utah-v-strieff/
 Ironton Tribune, “Republican Nominees have Upheld Roe v. Wade” http://www.irontontribune.com/2008/09/30/republican-nominees-have-upheld-roe-v-wade/
 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was upheld 5-4, with Chief Justice Roberts being the only Republican-appointed Justice to vote in favor. The National Law Review, “Analysis:
Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act: Roberts Rules?” http://www.natlawreview.com/article/analysis-us-supreme-court-upholds-affordable-care-act-roberts-rules
 Obergefell v. Hodges was another 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court in 2015, all 4 Democrat-appointed judges voting in favor, and Republican-appointed Justice Kennedy joining them. Wikipedia, “Obergefell v. Hodges” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obergefell_v._Hodges
 Personhood, Education page, “A Right to Life” section http://www.personhood.com/education
 Legislators who support the Sanctity of Human Life Act reintroduce it frequently. Here is 2015’s bill. Congress.gov “H.R. 426 – Sanctity of Human Life Act” https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/426
 Wikipedia, “List of overruled United States Supreme Court decisions” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_overruled_United_States_Supreme_Court_decisions
 The Washington Post, “GOP Senator Calls Out Donald Trump’s ‘Many Affairs’ in Lengthy Tweetstorm” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/25/gop-senator-calls-out-donald-trumps-affair-in-lengthy-tweetstorm/
 Life Site News, “ ‘Anyone But Donald Trump’: Here’s His Record on Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty” https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/anyone-but-donald-trump-heres-his-record-on-life-marriage-and-religious-lib
 Bloomberg, “Trump Embraces Executive Orders to Avoid Congressional Gridlock” http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-27/trump-eyes-executive-orders-to-sidestep-congressional-gridlock
 Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, “U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 1.” https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiv
 Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, “U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment” https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv
 PBS NewsHour, “Donald Trump May Support Gay Rights, but Does the Republican Party?” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/donald-trump-may-support-gay-rights-republican-party/
 National Review, “Trump Praises His Sister, a Pro-Abortion Extremist Judge” http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/423196/trump-praises-his-sister-pro-abortion-extremist-judge-ramesh-ponnuru
 The New York Times, “Trump Says He Was Kidding in Suggesting His Sister for the Court” http://www.nytimes.com/live/supreme-court-justice-antonin-scalia-dies-at-79/trump-says-he-was-kidding-when-he-suggested-his-sister-for-the-court/
 Fox News, “Trump Says He’ll Release List of Potential Supreme Court Justices” http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/21/trump-says-hell-release-list-potential-supreme-court-justices.html
 Politico, “Trump Unveils 11 Potential Supreme Court Nominees” http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/trumps-supreme-court-nominees-223331
 The Washington Examiner, “Trump Might Not Stick to Supreme Court Nominees on His List” http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-might-not-stick-to-supreme-court-nominees-on-his-list/article/2591733
 Commentary Magazine, “Is Trump Really Pro-Israel?” https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/campaigns-elections/trump-really-pro-israel/
 The Jerusalem Post, “Top Trump Advisor to ‘Post’: Settlement Annexation Legitimate If PA Continues to Avoid Real Peace” http://www.jpost.com/US-Elections/Top-Trump-advisor-to-Post-Settlement-annexation-legitimate-if-PA-continues-to-avoid-real-peace-460856
 The Intercept, “Hillary Clinton Wasn’t Always This One-Sided on
 Truth Out, “What We Can Expect From Hillary Clinton on Israel/Palestine http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33868-what-we-can-expect-from-hillary-clinton-on-israel-palestine
 It is very difficult to find somewhat neutral historical summaries of the Bill Clinton administration’s relationship with
Israel. This source has almost a more social take on
it. The Washington Post, “What Bill Clinton Can Teach Obama About Israelis” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-bill-clinton-can-teach-obama-about-israelis/2012/11/23/e654ef34-334d-11e2-9cfa-e41bac906cc9_story.html
 This one is more political and historical regarding Bill Clinton’s interactions with
Israel. Gale Student Resources in
Context, 2011 “Bill Clinton’s Role in Israeli Peace Accords” http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/suic/ReferenceDetailsPage/DocumentToolsPortletWindow?displayGroupName=Reference&jsid=874b6aa16ce31d9be921dfffb8e9df12&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ2181500121&u=sand55832&zid=24730bc50ec2547e7f8807b03925dbb2
 The Wall Street Journal, “How Obama Abandoned Israel” http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-obama-abandoned-israel-1434409772
 Dictionary.com, “vote” http://www.dictionary.com/browse/vote
 Federal Election Commission, “Public Funding of Presidential Elections”, General Election Funding section http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/pubfund.shtml#General
 Ballotpedia, “Ballot Access for Major and Minor Parties” https://ballotpedia.org/Ballot_access_for_major_and_minor_party_candidates
 Ballotpedia, “Ballot Access Requirements for Presidential Candidates in
 ESV Bible, Colossians 3:6 http://www.esvbible.org/Colossians%203/
 ESV Bible, Ephesians 5 http://www.esvbible.org/Ephesians+5/
 ESV Bible, Romans 3:10 http://www.esvbible.org/Romans+3:10/
 ESV Bible, Romans 3:23 http://www.esvbible.org/Romans%203%3A23/
 Blue Letter Bible, KJV occurrences of “righteous” in Proverbs https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=righteous&t=KJV&csr=Pro#s=s_primary_0_1
 Blue Letter Bible, KJV occurrences of “wicked” in Psalms and Proverbs https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=wicked&t=KJV&csrf=Psa&csrt=Pro#s=s_primary_0_1
 ESV Bible, Proverbs http://www.esvbible.org/Proverbs%201/
 CNN, “Trump Believes in God, but Hasn’t Sought Forgiveness” http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/
 ESV Bible, Exodus 18:21 http://www.esvbible.org/Exodus+18/
 ESV Bible, Jeremiah 29:7 http://www.esvbible.org/Jeremiah%2029/
 ESV Bible, Romans 13 http://www.esvbible.org/Romans%2013/
 ESV Bible, 1 Timothy 2:2 http://www.esvbible.org/1%20Timothy%202/
 ESV Bible, Proverbs 29:2 http://www.esvbible.org/Proverbs%2029%3A2/
 ESV Bible, James 4:17 http://www.esvbible.org/James%204%3A17/
 ESV Bible, Romans 3:8 http://www.esvbible.org/Romans%203%3A7/
 ESV Bible, Obadiah http://www.esvbible.org/Obadiah/
 ESV Bible, Psalm 137:7 http://www.esvbible.org/Psalm%20137%3A7/
To God be all glory.
To God be all glory.