As a Christian, I can’t vote for Trump

‘I believe the Christ-like response is not to close our borders but open our hearts’

The presidential election of 2016 is the first in which I’ll be able to vote (it’s unfortunate, I know). The past few months have seemed more like a circus than an election season, with nonstop hacks, leaks, and accusations.

With so much information circulating about each blemished candidate, we – the voters – have developed a specific criterion with which to judge the nominees: who can totally screw up the least?

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Because of this, I feel as if I often find myself justifying why I can’t support a particular candidate instead of why I can support another.

I can’t vote for Donald Trump.

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You only need to observe him for a moment to understand the cause of his unpopularity. Nearly every time Mr. Trump opens his mouth or turns on his iPhone, he marginalizes and insults another demographic. Despite this, Trump is polling very well among many who identify as Christian, especially those who are practicing fundamentalists.

I find this puzzling to say the least, for of all of the aspects of my identity that Trump demeans daily, my religious values are merely another thing he is incapable of authentically embodying. He does not respect and represent me as a woman. He does not respect and represent me as an open-minded individual.

Most importantly, Trump does not respect and represent me as a Christian.

He is divisive

Perhaps the most consistent thing about Trump is his compulsion to constantly categorize and separate people, whether it be based on gender, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. If I learned anything from sitting in a pew every Sunday, it is that practically every conflict recorded in scripture was caused by humans segregating themselves, whether it be based on gender, race, religion, or, you guessed it, socioeconomic status.

As a Christian, I believe I have been instructed to overcome this isolating impulse. Many passages in the Bible preach about the importance of love in bridging these divides between people, but for some odd reason, building a wall is never mentioned.
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He is dishonest

I know what you’re thinking: all politicians are liars anyways, so why is it any different when Trump spews garbage? Well, Trump not only spreads falsehoods that promote hate, but even when proven wrong he continually reiterates them. This level of deceit and ignorance is anything but Christ-like.

My religion does not call me to “say it like it is,” but to say “it” with candor, kindness, and sensitivity.

He lacks empathy

1 Corinthians 10:24. Romans 15:1. Galatians 5: 14. All of these verses found within scripture stress the utmost importance of empathy.

Throughout his or her term, the President of the United States will make countless decisions that affect the lives of people across the globe.
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Therefore, when confronted with issues like the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the plight of displaced refugees, I believe that the Christ-like response is not to close our borders but open our hearts.

The self-centered attitudes Mr. Trump has exhibited for months is what I believe Christians should be striving to defeat on both an individual and national scale.
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He is unrepentant

It may be that the greatest and most vital part of my Christian faith is the concept of grace: if I can just admit I was wrong, I can be forgiven. If Donald Trump were taking a “Christian Beliefs 101” test, he would certainly fail this portion. After each of his verbal blunders and beyond inappropriate comments, Trump rarely expresses remorse and instead often doubles down.

Even if he does offer an apology, his weak admissions are often laced with excuses and more dishonesty. We all make mistakes, Trump. Not all of our mess-ups involve explicit racism or the glorification of sexual assault, but hey, an apology would be a start.

Donald Trump is more than a controversial candidate: he is a hate-preaching, power-seeking, dangerously selfish man who potentially could soon reside in our nation’s highest office. In this undeniably momentous election, I cannot and will not vote for Trump, for I am a woman, an idealist, and a Christian.

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