“A new commandment I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” This comes from the Book of John, and it is one of the first Bible verses I learned as a child. I have grown up in the Christian faith all of my life and practice Christianity now as an adult. Being a Christian has taught me to be loving, compassionate and empathetic. In all that I do, the Bible and the examples of Christianity who I look to have shown me that these attributes represent the glory of God and that I should try to mirror them every day.
In just a few short weeks, Americans have the opportunity to partake in this election and will choose to either keep Donald Trump in office or elect Joe Biden. I have grappled with these candidates, since neither candidate has a perfect track record. However, I am appalled at those Christians who can stand by Trump’s campaign. Although Biden has not always embodied Christian principles throughout the entirety of his political career, there is so much more about Trump that does not reflect the likeness of Christ. To make my point clear: if you vote for Trump in this election, you are not exhibiting the principles of Christ because of all that Jesus teaches.
First and foremost, a key principle of Christianity resides in beneficence. Beneficence, according to The Baltimore Sun, occurs when there is “an attitude of heart that wishes well to all.” Essentially, the New Testament of the Bible details the life of Jesus Christ, who is the son of God. During Jesus’s time on Earth, he performed a multitude of miracles and helped people who were poor, sick or struggling. A paramount teaching that Jesus imparted on his followers comes from Matthew 19:21: “Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” This passage invites Christians to push aside their own self-dignity and comfort in order to serve others. Donald Trump is in an advantaged position both politically and economically, and he could use this to help our citizens. Instead, he has chosen selfishness through his rhetoric by creating a political climate that is more polarized than ever. Jesus does not represent division, he represents inclusion. The Bible references the importance of inclusion in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Trump has not mirrored this quality one day of his presidency, and it shows through his comments on women and his refusal to condemn neo-Nazi groups.
Additionally, the Bible talks extensively about practicing love and compassion. In various instances of the New Testament, Jesus shows that he does not condone hate. In fact, he did just the opposite: rather than hating people who were cast out by society, he chose to pour into them. Many of Jesus’s closest followers made many mistakes and led broken lives, but Jesus loved them anyway. The parable of the Good Samaritan immediately comes to mind: for those of you who may not be familiar with it, the story illustrates a Jewish man who was attacked by robbers while traveling and was left on the side of the road. Many people walked by this man and chose not to help him, but a Samaritan woman did. During this time period, Jewish people and Samaritans did not get along, so this story teaches Christians to love your enemies. It doesn’t matter how different a person is from you; Christians are told to love others anyway. Donald Trump has never once loved his enemies or anyone who displays different views. He calls opposing political figures names, he oppresses women and he declined to deny white supremacy in the Sept. 29 presidential debate. Christianity does not validate these actions, once again contradicting the faith.
I would like to add here that I do not feel that either candidate is perfect, nor am I writing this article to say that Joe Biden has no flaws. However, Donald Trump has consistently demonstrated hate and fear, especially for my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I feel that it is time for our country to have a leader who will promote peace, acceptance and love. The current state of the United States as it has transpired over the last four years is not what Christ would have for us. Christ teaches love, and I am confident that love will trump the hate this president has displayed.
I want to end this article with one of my favorite bible verses. From Romans 12:9: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Christian voters, I implore you to consider all that you have been taught about your faith. Ask yourself if Donald Trump’s actions and policies match up with what you believe. Your answer will most likely be no if you understand Christianity the same way that I do, and because of this, I urge you to join me in voting for Joe Biden as the next president.
By Hannah Porter, Staff Writer