Chimes stands against Trump

File photo

File photo

The following is the opinion of the Chimes editorial staff. It is not necessarily representative of the views of Calvin College or of the Christian Reformed Church.


In a statement published online last week, students from Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university, spoke out against their president, Jerry Falwell Jr. Falwell has been a prominent and ardent supporter of Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency since January.

In response to the recently uncovered video of Trump bragging about committing sexual assault, Falwell wrote, “Let’s stop trying to choose the political leaders who we believe are the most godly because, in reality, only God knows people’s hearts. You and I don’t, and we are all sinners.”

Students denounced Falwell’s defense of Trump, saying, “It is not enough to criticize these kinds of comments. We must make clear to the world that while everyone is a sinner and everyone can be forgiven, a man who constantly and proudly speaks evil does not deserve our support for the nation’s highest office.”

The editorial staff of Chimes stands with the students of Liberty United Against Trump (LUAT). Liberty’s students spoke out because they felt that Falwell’s high-profile endorsement of Trump implicated them, as Liberty students, in his support for the presidential candidate, but this issue extends beyond Liberty University.

As Christians here at Calvin, we too find ourselves trapped by association. Widespread support for Trump among evangelical Christians implicates us too.

This is why Chimes feels it is necessary to publicly take a stand against Trump. The world does not need another anti-Trump article; the case against Trump has been made time and time again, and anything we say here has been said elsewhere. But as the student newspaper of a respected Christian institution, we feel compelled to voice our view that Donald Trump is an unacceptable choice for Christian voters.

Like the students of LUAT, we disavow the idea that Trump speaks for Christianity. Christianity is a religion of love, a religion of personal and public responsibility, a religion in which character and integrity matter. Scripture calls Christ-followers to love radically, to value and respect others because they are made in the image of God.

One common defense of Trump is that he sins in word, not in deed; sure, he says terrible things, but they are just words. But as Christians who experience our faith through words and as journalists who use words to tell stories, we must disagree. Words are powerful, and they can change the world. Trump’s rhetoric about women, Muslims and immigrants (among others) has promoted a political and social climate in which those people feel less human. It normalizes attitudes we find utterly incompatible with Christian faith.

Trump’s words and actions toward women reveal that he values them as something to be used. His labeling of immigrants as criminals and rapists shows that he considers those people less worthy of respect than people born in America. And his reduction of Islam to something mysterious, threatening and inherently violent demonstrates that he does not love those who are different from him and his loyal (majority Christian) supporters.

As Christian evangelicals, we cannot tolerate actions and words that directly contradict our firm belief in the inherent dignity of all humans. We cannot stand aside while intolerable untruths are flaunted as facts. We cannot endorse, support or vote for a candidate whose values so clearly contradict these foundational teachings of our faith.

Chimes encourages its readers to consider carefully whether voting for Donald Trump is consistent with Christian values. We believe it is not.