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Biblical Voting in the Age of Trump

There are several things fascinating about this Presidential election. As someone who has virtually given up on National politics, for me to say that is not an easy statement. The effect of the Donald Trump phenomenon has influenced far more than just his candidacy for the highest office in our nation. The most important aspect that I have noticed is that Christians, who have traditionally voted Republican, have been forced to deal with an identity crisis. Can they vote for a man like Donald Trump who barely pretends to hold to the true faith?[1]  On the heels of this dilemma, they are questioning the basis for voting and the role their faith has in that decision.  wtrump_0425There is no doubt that Trump has said and done things that are too depraved to be repeated here, but so has Hillary Clinton, his opponent in this race for the White House. Isn’t she the greater evil and therefore Trump would be the better choice, the lesser evil?   Is it acceptable for a Christian to vote for a man like Trump for President? This brings up the case of voting for the lesser of two evils.  I have yet to meet anyone that actually believes Trump is an upstanding man of character. As for me personally, I have never been forced to wrestle with the ethical implications of my vote in any previous elections like I have in this one. This is in large part due to my role as being elected as a Republican Presidential Elector in the State of Texas. I have had to weigh what are the obligations of my personal vote in the ballot box and how do they differ from my representative vote as an Elector for the Electoral College.

Before answering these questions we must first agree on the standard we appeal to, to decide such matters. I firmly believe that the Christian must always turn to the Bible as the revealed Word of God. If the Bible says we ought not to do something, then we ought not to do it. If it commands us to do something, then we had better well do it. This should seem like an obvious statement that doesn’t need to be written, but in the world of politics the obvious sometimes isn’t. The Bible has a lot to say about civil rulers and the standard He holds both them and us to.

Qualifications

What are the qualifications for someone who desires to serve in civil office in the Bible?  There are many passages in scripture that have shaped my understanding of the biblical qualifications for civil office. Here is a brief glance at a few of them.[2]

The God of Israel said,

The Rock of Israel spoke to me:

He who rules over men must be just,

Ruling in the fear of God. ~ 2 Sam 23:3

These are the parting words of King David to the children of Israel. He gives them the minimum requirements, as evident by the must, for civil rulers.  Dr. Phillip Kayser summarizes this passage well, “it appears that the absolute minimum is that he be male (‘he”), that he be subject to God’s law (“just”), and that he be a believer who rules in the fear of God. The ‘must’ indicates to me that this is God’s minimum standard.” God spoke through King David, a civil ruler, and gave an authoritative command (imperative) about what type of man a ruler must be. He must fear God and be just according to God’s law. We can also look to the qualifications Moses was given by Jethro for selecting judges that would help him rule on smaller cases.

Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. ~ Exodus 18:21

These are the same quality of men we see described in 2 Samuel. They are men who fear God and will rule justly according to God’s law.  Moses repeats similar instructions to the Israelites before they are to enter the Promised Land,

Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you. ~ Deut 1:13

Since to be wise starts with fearing the Lord (Prov 1:7), it becomes clear that these are consistent qualifications throughout the Bible. God has given us a standard for our civil rulers.  They are to be men that fear Him and are to rule justly according His law. This has implications for both the rulers and those choosing them.

Interpretative Objections

For those that disagree with this interpretation of scripture these are some common objections I hear most often.  First, “doesn’t that only apply to Old Testament (theocratic) Israel?”  It is a reasonable objection, but there are other passages that make it clear that this was not a one-time standard that only applied to one nation.  Psalm 2 address all nations and kings of the earth.

Why do the nations rage,

And the people plot a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves,

And the rulers take counsel together,

Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,

“Let us break Their bonds in pieces

And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;

The Lord shall hold them in derision.

Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,

And distress them in His deep displeasure:

“Yet I have set My King

On My holy hill of Zion.”

“I will declare the decree:

The Lord has said to Me,

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me, and I will give You

The nations for Your inheritance,

And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

Now therefore, be wise, O kings;

Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

Serve the Lord with fear,

And rejoice with trembling.

Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,

And you perish in the way,

When His wrath is kindled but a little.

Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

It is obvious with references to “nations, kings of the earth, and judges of the earth” that the plain reading of this text is the calling of ALL civil leaders to submit to Christ’s law, rule justly, and serve Him or suffer the consequences. Again Dr. Kayser writes “Psalm 2 confirms this view. It prophesies concerning the New Testament era that any Gentile ruler that casts off God’s laws (v. 3), who rejects Christ’s Lordship (vv. 1-9), who fails to serve the Lord with fear (v. 11), and who refuses to ‘kiss the Son’ will have God angry with him and Christ will dash him with His rod of iron (judgment).” Christ has absolute authority over every person, church and nation. All government is upon His shoulders (Isa 9:6) and all civil authority is delegated by and from Him (John 19:11).  Consider all of the pagan nations that God judged for their disobedience and it is evident that God holds all nations and their rulers to His standard of righteousness.

A second objection is to reject that it applies to voting. The basic assumption in this objection is that Israel didn’t vote for their civil leaders therefore 2 Samuel can’t be an absolute binding standard upon voters. I believe the Bible presents a different picture, but before we turn to some examples we must first understand what exactly a vote is. We tend to think of voting only in terms of our personal experiences. However, a vote is simply the expression of who we desire to represent us in any elected position. To vote doesn’t require any set number of candidates or political parties. It only requires one person making a choice and expressing it in some recognizable action (Ex. ballot, raised hand, or voice).  With that in mind, we find several examples of voting for civil office in the Bible. Here are a few.[3]

We already looked at the passages relevant to Israel’s selection of judges under Moses. “Moreover you shall select from all the people, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens” (Exod 18:21) and “Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men…” (Deut 1:13).  E.C. Wines writes, “No fact can be plainer, or more certain, than that the judges, instituted at the suggestion of Jethro, were chosen by the suffrages (voting) of all Israel. The direction of Moses to the people, upon that occasion, is very explicit.”[4]

The people clearly voted verbally for Jephthan in the book of Judges:

It came to pass after a time that the people of Ammon made war against Israel. And so it was, when the people of Ammon made war against Israel, that the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. Then they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our commander, that we may fight against the people of Ammon.” So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the Lord delivers them to me, shall I be your head?” And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The Lord will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words.” Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the Lord in Mizpah. ~ Judges 11:4-11

Then there is the story of Israel choosing Saul to be their king as recorded from 1 Samuel in chapters 8-11. It concludes with this:

So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly. ~ 1 Samuel 11:15

The most famous of kings in the biblical record, David, is another example of a civil ruler being elected. It is noteworthy that David had been anointed by Samuel to be king years before he was willing to take the throne. He refused to take it himself. He waited until the men of Judah came to him. He waited until he was chosen by the people.

So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. 2 Samuel 2:2-3

The last example we will look at of the people choosing their leader is King Solomon.

Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the Lord your God.” So all the assembly blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Lord and the king. And they made sacrifices to the Lord and offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the next day: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. So they ate and drank before the Lord with great gladness on that day. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him before the Lord to be the leader, and Zadok to be priest. ~ 1 Chronicles 29:20-22

In each of these examples the people chose their leaders in some form or fashion. While the kings of Israel had certainly been anointed by God to serve in those positions that in no way discounts the role the people had in the selection process. For Daniel makes it clear that God always “removes and raises up kings.”[5] The biblical example is that the people are to choose, that is vote, for their civil leaders.

5-saul-attacking-david-guercinoThe third objection to the application of these biblical qualifications for voting is that several of the kings already mentioned did not rule according this standard. In others words, they would say “we can’t look for perfectionism in our candidates because if that is the case Saul, David, and Solomon all failed the test. They were not men who feared God and ruled justly according to His law. If God raised them up to be kings than either a) God broke His own standard or b) the standard isn’t applicable.”

First we have to understand the difference between the revealed will and secret will of God.[6]  God can command His people to vote one way (revealed will) and hold them accountable for that vote. He can also at the same time use their disobedience to raise up an evil king according to His (secret) will.  The fact that God uses people’s voting to bring both good and bad kings to power according to His will is not a contradiction and is perfectly consistent with His nature.  Having said that, I do not think that Israel disobeyed these qualifications in these examples. To fear God and rule justly does not mean to be perfect. If we look at each of these men at the time they were put into office it appears they were all qualified. Saul is said to have “the Spirit of the Lord depart”[7] from him which necessarily means he had the Spirit early on in his administration. David was a “man after God’s own heart, who would do His will.”[8] When Solomon came to power it was said of him that “the Lord his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly.”[9] Each of these men sinned greatly against the Lord during their administration, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t qualified at the time they were chosen.  The qualifications of being godly men who fear the Lord and are able to rule justly does not require perfection.  It only requires what it states. They must have a discernable fear of God and appear to rule in light of that fear.

Pragmatic Objections

I now want to address the three objections to these qualifications that I consider more pragmatic in nature than interpretive.  The first objection is that we don’t have anyone biblically qualified by this standard in the race for President.  “If we are commanded to choose, then we must choose the least evil candidate.”  There is a case to be made that we must do all that we can to stop the greatest evil. However, in that process we must still vote for qualified candidates.  Remember “must” was the term scripture used. We can not use a means that God disapproves of to bring about an end that will please Him.  He doesn’t honor rebellion.  Furthermore, it is just not true that we don’t have anyone qualified.  There are hundreds of people running for President in 2016, many of which meet these qualifications. What people generally mean when they offer this objection is that there isn’t anyone in the Republican or Democratic Parties, and therefore anyone that “has a chance at winning”, that meet these qualifications.  This is absolutely correct that there isn’t anyone in either of those parties that are biblically qualified.  However, I have yet to find anywhere in God’s Word a command for us to only choose men that have a path to victory.

The second objection is that a 3rd party vote is a vote for the Democratic candidate. The presumption in this objection is that Republican candidate deserves our vote and therefore if we do not vote for him, we have essentially withdrawn a vote that belongs to him. If we recall that a vote is simply the expression of who we desire to represent us in any elected position, then this becomes an illogical statement.  If my choice is candidate X, then my choice doesn’t magically become candidate D by virtue of the fact that I didn’t chose candidate R. If I choose candidate X, then candidate X is my choice and only candidate X.

The third objection is that the righteous thing to do is to stop the greater evil.  First, this assumes that the Democratic Party is the greater evil therefore we must do everything we can to stop Hillary Clinton from winning. I can understand this position for there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton would be an evil President, but would she really be more evil than Trump in policy?  Rather than going to the talking points of the political parties and inside operatives let’s look at the biggest issues that actually matter. If we look at where they stand on the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, murdering of unborn children, undeclared wars, the complete disregard for private property, or our national debt; the only difference between the two is in style and rhetoric.  Where it matters most, they will both pursue the same wicked policies.  Even if I am wrong about their policies, and one is slightly better than the other, it still would not make it an ethically righteous decision to suddenly throw off the qualifications in hope of possibly having a slightly less evil government. Theologians and philosophers refer to this as situational ethics.  Situational ethics says the morally right and wrong thing to do change based on the situation.  The Bible knows nothing of situational ethics, God and His Word do not change. If God tells us we must choose (vote for) a righteous man that fears Him, we are not free to attach an “unless” to the end of that command.  May we boldly proclaim that “God be true and every man a liar” (Rom 3:4). We must fear God, not man… or woman!

Conclusion

If civil leaders are expected to rule according this standard and they are judged when they do not (Psalm 2), then what can we expect as voters when we dismiss these qualifications that God has given us? My biggest concern as a Christian is what God expects of me as revealed in the Bible. I have yet to have anyone address these passages in satisfactory way that convinces me otherwise.  It seems clear to me that God both calls me to vote and directs me to only vote for men who fear Him and are just according to God’s law.  He doesn’t expect or allow me to add to his qualifications and seek for perfection. He also doesn’t hold me accountable for all the sins that these qualified men commit once in office.  He does, however, give me clear commands for who is qualified and expects me to be obedient with my calling as a voter.  Therefore, I can not in good conscience vote for Donald Trump for President. The lingering question that remains is: what does that mean for my role as Republican Presidential Elector?  That is the topic for another article.

Art Sisneros


[1] I acknowledge he claims to be a person of faith, but his denial of basic Christian tenets like the need for forgiveness make his claim laughable and believed by nobody.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=80&v=A3l0e6nS9oI

[2] For a more comprehensive list see http://fortifyingthekingdom.com/scriptural-qualifications-for-civic-office/

[3] For a more complete study on this subject I recommend Roots of the American Republic by E.C. Wines

[4] E.C. Wines, Roots of the American Republic, P18

[5] Daniel 2:21

[6] Theologians refer to the revealed/prescriptive will vs. the secret/descriptive will of God. For more information see Appendix I in The Sovereignty of God by Arthur Pink.  https://books.google.com/books?id=p3OOU3wL9YIC&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=god%27s+secret+will+vs.+revealed+will&source=bl&ots=l7WglX2zw6&sig=7lTlmHAZurEUeTT5cpU_dEYvMig&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi6jLnrsZPQAhVpslQKHS–Dqo4ChDoAQhEMAc#v=onepage&q=god’s%20secret%20will%20vs.%20revealed%20will&f=false

[7] 1 Samuel 16:14

[8] 1 Samuel 13:14, Act 13:22

[9] 2 Chronicles 1:1

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17 Comments

  1. June Anteski says:

    Please abstain your vote or vote for someone, anyone else, but Trump.

    • Greetings:

      Our forefathers bestowed upon you the awesome responsibility as an elector.

      And in the past the Electoral College has been truthfully a rubber stamp because most of the election outcomes were not “as contentious and dangerous until now”.

      At this time in American history, we are at a “crossroads” and you can use your “right of consciece” given to you by the Constitution to vote for another or abstain to send the outcome to the House of Representatives.

      Being practical and not politically naive, it is your choice. Yes, my preference is Hillary Clinton who won over one million more popular votes. But please at least, tell the nation that you want unitification. 1) Democrats and Republican electors coming together to give Gov. John Kasich of Ohio the necessary 270; 2) or sufficient Republican electors to give Gov. Kasich 37 electoral votes thus no one receives 270; 3) or the House makes the decision between Trump, Clinton, and Kasich.

      Have “Profiles in Courage”….the nation awaits your decision.

      Sincerely,
      John Fitzmaurice

  2. […] Art Sisneros https://www.facebook.com/art.sisneros?fref=ts *HAS SUGGESTED HE DOES NOT WANT TO VOTE FOR TRUMP Biblical Voting in the Age of Trump […]

  3. Caroline D says:

    Dear Mr. Sisneros,

    I am a North Carolina citizen, but your state of Texas is very near and dear to my heart as my mother’s side of the family has lived there for generations. I’ve been very impressed by your courage in expressing your dislike of Trump, something that is too uncommon in the Republican party. I also deeply admire your dedication to Christ in every aspect of your life. I understand the aversion you and many others feel for Secretary Clinton, but she and Trump are not equal evils. James 2:2-4 tells us “For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” Trump has made it clear that minorities, the most vulnerable people in our country, are not even remotely one of his priorities. He has used “distinctions” to poison the American people and help himself into power. Jesus Christ was all about helping the needy, even those considered unworthy or outsiders – instead of doing this, Trump and his supporters would rather force the outsiders even further to the sidelines of society. His campaign has bred too much hate in our country and his presidency will make it even worse. Clinton is far from perfect, but she is not Trump’s equal – she will not encourage racism like Trump has. She will not explicitly brag about sexual assault like Trump has. She will not make reckless and aggressive decisions like Trump has and undoubtedly will – but this time with an army at his command.

    All the electoral college needs is 37 “faithless electors” to abandon Trump, and then he will not reach the 270 votes he needs. Mr. Sisneros, I beg you – please vote for Secretary Clinton instead, or if you can’t, vote for a Republican who you feel is kind and worthy, and is willing to be compassionate to minority groups. I can tell that you are a good, brave man with a strong moral center, and I am so sorry that you and so many others have had to wrestle with your conscience this election season. But the American people are desperate. I have never been so frightened as I have been this past week. Because of this election, I now feel that if I were assaulted, as long as my attacker was rich and powerful enough, no one would care to protect me.

    Please pray hard about the decision you will make in December. I have done much praying myself, and my heart knows that Trump is not the right choice. Please consider not casting your vote for Donald Trump. You have blessed with the opportunity of being an elector in a state where you will not be punished for going against your party or your state’s popular vote. I beg you not to waste such an opportunity, and hope that you will not sacrifice your commendable ethics. I will be praying for your peace of mind and for the future of our country.

    May God bless you,
    Caroline D.

  4. Claire says:

    Dear Mr. Sisneros,

    I am a North Carolina citizen, but your state of Texas is very near and dear to my heart as my mother’s side of the family has lived there for generations. I’ve been very impressed by your courage in expressing your dislike of Trump, something that is too uncommon in the Republican party. I also deeply admire your dedication to Christ in every aspect of your life. I understand the aversion you and many others feel for Secretary Clinton, but she and Trump are not equal evils. James 2:2-4 tells us “For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” Trump has made it clear that minorities, the most vulnerable people in our country, are not even remotely one of his priorities. He has used “distinctions” to poison the American people and help himself into power. Jesus Christ was all about helping the needy, even those considered unworthy or outsiders – instead of doing this, Trump and his supporters would rather force the outsiders even further to the sidelines of society. His campaign has bred too much hate in our country and his presidency will make it even worse. Clinton is far from perfect, but she is not Trump’s equal – she will not encourage racism like Trump has. She will not explicitly brag about sexual assault like Trump has. She will not make reckless and aggressive decisions like Trump has and undoubtedly will – but this time with an army at his command.

    All the electoral college needs is 37 “faithless electors” to abandon Trump, and then he will not reach the 270 votes he needs. Mr. Sisneros, I beg you – please vote for Secretary Clinton instead, or if you can’t, vote for a Republican who you feel is kind and worthy, and is willing to be compassionate to minority groups. I can tell that you are a good, brave man with a strong moral center, and I am so sorry that you and so many others have had to wrestle with your conscience this election season. But the American people are desperate. I have never been so frightened as I have been this past week. Because of this election, I now feel that if I were assaulted, as long as my attacker was rich and powerful enough, no one would care to protect me.

    Please pray hard about the decision you will make in December. I have done much praying myself, and my heart knows that Trump is not the right choice. Please consider not casting your vote for Donald Trump. You have blessed with the opportunity of being an elector in a state where you will not be punished for going against your party or your state’s popular vote. I beg you not to waste such an opportunity, and hope that you will not sacrifice your commendable ethics. I will be praying for your peace of mind and for the future of our country.

    May God bless you,
    Caroline D.

  5. J. Morris says:

    Dear Mr. Sisneros, Thank you for your very detailed article on the struggle to reconcile who to vote for in good faith and conscious. I am a Christian who is politically moderate and an American currently living outside the US. I voted for Hillary this election because I do believe her to be the lesser of two evils. I do believe her to be a Godlier person as shown by her “supposed” faith and church membership as well as her lifelong service to helping others. My main reasons I voted for her was:
    1. Gun control- I believe in the 2nd Amendment but also believe in stronger background checks and limits. I believe these changes will saves lives and improve communities and neighborhoods. The reason nothing has passed is because the NRA has too much power within the Republican party.
    2. Abortion- Yes murdering unborn children is a sin but who here is without sin? “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7). God gave us free will and I do believe that women and families need to deal with their life choices and for many of them, having an abortion I’m sure, is a difficult and life changing course. If abortion is abolished, who will take care of the millions of unwanted and likely alcohol/drug babies? Are all of the Christians and Republicans willing to care for them? How are we as a society prepared to love and care for so many more challenged souls? How are we to know that the most important reason to vote is to overrule this law and overlook all other harm that is being done? Is this is truly God’s will?
    3. Environment – Global warming is real and to deny it exists is to refuse to accept well studied science. Should we also refuse to accept scientific medical advancements and refuse life-saving surgeries and medicine? Why have republicans chosen to back dirty oil instead of funding clean energy that will help to lessen the upcoming chaos from our oceans rising 30’!!?? MONEY! Big oil is smart and they have been planting the seed of climate denial for years now. Just like big tobacco denied links to cancer from smoking for years. Genesis 1:28, say man is to “…Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” My NIV Bible footnote furthers this by saying, “As God’s representative in the creaturely realm, he is steward of God’s creatures. He is not to exploit, waste or despoil them, but to care for them and use them in the service of God and man”. Since we are stewards of the earth and all within it, how can we stand by and not try to care for our earth and all of the creatures of the land and sea? Yes, maybe many Christians believe the end is coming but have we been doing all that we can while we are here? Or are we letting money guide our moral compass?
    4. Campaign Finance Reform – I believe that corporate money does not belong in our political system. I think that the election timeframe needs to be shortened and the amount of money spent on elections reduced. I do not see Trump or the Republican Party considering this as a priority.
    5. Love – Jesus said to, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). I have chosen to walk a life based on love and not on fear and hatred. Mr. Trump spews hatred and fear as that is the life he has chosen. None of his decisions while in office will be based on love or service or compassion or forgiveness, which is the life that Jesus walked.
    I pray that you will make a decision and that it is not to choose Mr. Trump as our next President. It is your Electoral Duty to ensure that, “the office of president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications” – Alexander Hamilton.

    Thank you and God Bless.

  6. David says:

    Dear Mr. Sisneros, I believe that in times like these, God puts someone with your faith and love in the right place at the right time. It only takes one drop of water to start a flood – we need someone like you to be that first drop. Someone to convince your colleagues to stop this oncoming disaster for our country. Someone to be the leader we need. I too beg you – not just to be true to your ethics, I know you will be based on what I’ve read here – but to let the other electors hear your powerful words and faith and cast your votes for someone other than Trump.

  7. Justin Williams says:

    Mr. Sisneros,

    Donald Trump is not a moral or godly man. He is a wolf, and he will tear apart every institution that makes this country great. His presidency and therefore the country will be sold to the highest bidder. Put simply, he’s dangerous and will bring nothing but fear and corruption to this country. Presidents are supposed to put their country first, and Donald Trump is incapable of that task. He is a narcissist, and as a result is incapable of admitting fallacy or making sacrifices. The fact that you are even questioning your support for him let’s me know that you are a good man who knows better than to let the fox into the hen house. Your country needs you to save it from itself. Please do the right thing and vote against this man who has zero respect for the office of the presidency and the duty that comes with it.

  8. Rachel says:

    I believe that of the two candidates, it was a mercy that we got Trump instead of Hillary and I would hope that nothing would threaten that. No, he is not ideal. But she would have been an absolute nightmare in the areas of life & religious liberty in particular. She is RABIDLY pro abortion & linked arms with Planned Parenthood. Trump & Pence want to defund PP & will appoint pro life justices. If Hillary were in office, Christians would be dealing with a lot of things that we may not even have thought of, like homeschooling rights. Everyone is looking at Trump & saying how icky he is, ignoring the fact that God works through sinners. He is morally deficient, but so is Hillary and her promised actions are a real threat to life & liberty. I also believe it is nothing short of a miracle that a godly and God fearing man like Mike Pence will be in the VP position. Maybe God’s plan & will was that Pence be in a position of power to effect godly changes, but knowing our culture would never have elected him at the top of the ticket, did it this way instead. We can’t know the mind or plan of God. I do believe very strongly that although Trump is a sinner himself (like all of us), him being elected instead of Hillary may stem the tide of ultra liberal nonsense being shoved down our throats. As for the electoral college, the people in each state have voted and I think it’s safe to say that each person voted their conscience, weighing all of the options. I don’t think this vote was easy for many people. If the majority of people in any given state voted a certain way, I believe the electors should honor that because the electoral vote should not be a personal vote (that vote happened Nov. 8th) but rather a reflection of the collective will of the people of that particular state. Our founding fathers were truly genius when they devised this plan and the current outcry against it, to me, is just more of the left trying to deny others the right to their own opinions and voice. It’s been happening for years now and through this election their bullying has reached epic proportions. I hope that the electors stand strong and consider that the other option we have is far more wicked, not just in character but in actions.

  9. Bridget says:

    Dear Mr. Sisneros,

    Thank you for serving our country as a Presidential Elector. And thank you also for your transparency, for sharing your true thoughts and the internal, spiritual issues you are grappling with. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about you and this unprecedented situation in American history. I was raised in the Catholic church, and am now a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. My faith is welcoming of all faiths, all people, all world views. Somehow, we find a way to pray together based on the things we have in common, versus the things that separate us. In your words I find ideas that I strongly relate to, as well as words that do not resonate with me as much. Above all, I respect your right to choose your own faith and beliefs, and to act accordingly. I am a big fan of integrity, and from your words you seem to have that same value.

    Today, I write to you with an open heart. It is currently a bruised heart, filled with sorrow not so much for the results of the election (I completely understand the nature of competition: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose) but sorrow for the hatred, greed, demonization and belittling of others that I currently see all around me. Above all, the words and actions of the president elect dismay and alarm me. I feel he has proven beyond a doubt that he is not fit for the presidency in character, temperment, experience and intent. It appears to me that he intends to use what I consider to be a sacred office and responsibility to further his own selfish ends. I believe this to be unacceptable. I understand that according to your beliefs you may not in good conscience choose to support the democratic candidate. I respect that, and am hopeful that you will choose an alternate candidate to cast your vote for.

    I recognize that you represent only one electoral vote, and that the chances of preventing what seem inevitable are incredibly slim. And yet, I encourage you to continue to vote in alignment with your beliefs. I am heartened by the example you set, of someone reflecting devoutly on your choices, taking the responsibility you hold seriously, respecting the role you play in serving our country. There are so few examples of that in our political world right now. I want you to know you are appreciated, regardless of the outcome.

    Please know that I am praying for you and our country right now.

    Sincerely,
    Bridget M.

  10. It is incredibly refreshing to see someone wrestling with all of this biblically. Thank you for that. In my experience the pragmatic arguments have won the day with Christians and it’s been disheartening. I ran a #DearChristians campaign on facebook and while I kept advocating a biblical approach, the response was much of what you address here, OR it was the sound of crickets, which was also disheartening. So many Christians seem afraid to discuss these issues. I suspect they fear being left voiceless if they take this strong ethical stand.

    To that point, I will be praying for you as you grapple with your decision about the Electoral College. For what it’s worth, no matter what the people had in mind in electing you, I think that to be faithful to God could mean being a “faithless” elector. Or it could mean resignation. Personally, I think that either your faithless vote in the College or your resignation is a great opportunity for you to be the voice for those of us who feel so voiceless, to highlight and elevate the conversation in the Church, and to add the voice of the boldly faithful to the cultural conversation.

    May the Lord be with you.

  11. alexmohajer says:

    This was a truly informational read. Thank you.

  12. William J. Bowman says:

    Dear Mr. Sisneros,

    I appreciate your thoughtful article, and that you are one of few people I have seen that actually guide their actions by their professed faith. I was raised in a ‘Christian’ household. I would go to church and study the bible, and turn around to see, in every action and decision, my friends and family ignore the teachings that they professed to believe so strongly. I left the church, for these and other reasons. Perhaps I wouldn’t have had I known more people like you, who lived by their convictions.

    I want to convince you to vote for Clinton. I can’t make a religious argument as it has been years since I’ve opened my bible. Even if I could, as you yourself point out, there are no good options here. But I can make three rational arguments.

    First, you should vote for Clinton because it is the only way to vote against Trump. We live in a two party system. Yes, technically, there are third parties, but they get so little of the vote as the be meaningless. The only way to vote against one major candidate is to vote for the other. This isn’t merely a thought experiment; you can work it out mathematically using game theory. If we had a better voting system, there would be other ways, but for now to vote against Trump we must vote for Clinton.

    Second, you should vote for Clinton because though she might be president, she will not rule alone. The Republican party controls Congress. Even with Clinton in power, Congress will function as a check on any actions she wishes to make. They will not pass immoral policies Clinton wishes to introduce. A Clinton presidency will have far less power than a Trump presidency.

    Third, you should vote for Clinton because, while she may not fear God, she does fear the people, and most of the people fear God. Unlike Trump, she wants to work within the existing system. This means she will listen if enough people tell her to change her stance on some policy. As a career politician, she is used to making compromises; she will compromise her personally held or Democratic-party given beliefs if there is some political captial as stake. The God-fearing in this country have a lot of political capital. A Clinton presidency will be much more easily convinced to do the right thing.

    I know this is a hard decision to make, I’ll respect your choice no matter what it is. But I hope you will vote Clinton.


    William J. Bowman

    • alexmohajer says:

      Hillary Clinton, in her concession speech, quotes from Galatians which means to me she has no political incentive whatsoever to say it:

      “Scripture tells us: ‘Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart…’ “

  13. Mary Lynne Simpson says:

    I appreciate that this is a serious and real conflict for you. For myself, there was no question – anyone/thing was better than Trump. Perhaps consider that if you cast your electoral vote for Hilary Clinton, she will be working with a Republican Congress and will be severely hampered in her objectives whereas Trump would not have that problem – at least not to the extent that Clinton would. Republicans HAVE deserted Trump in astonishing numbers so hopefully he won’t be able to walk into the oval office and immediately do ALL he has promised, but he will be in a much better position to achieve his objectives than Clinton would.

    And as a woman, I feel compelled to point out that Dr. Kayser’s assertion that for all eternity (apparently) our civic leaders must be men is very hard for me to swallow. Are you currently opposed to every woman who holds public office in her city, county, state? I certainly hope not.

    Finally, I can only state the obvious…you already know you can’t vote for Trump because he’s evil and you don’t want to vote for Clinton because she’s evil, so your only other choice would be to abstain which is basically throwing your privileged vote away. Granted Trump would be getting one less vote than he would if you voted your state’s vote, but Clinton would receive nothing and since we have to have a President, if we don’t want Trump then we have to choose Clinton – following the election, she’s our only option and 1 million plus voters (whose votes didn’t count) agree!

    Thank you for at least being a serious, sober elector. I pray that you will go within yourself, find the strength and wisdom that God has obviously given you and cast your very precious vote for Clinton.

  14. […] of the Constitution.  The fact that the pledge makes no mention of the biblical qualifications (I wrote about here) necessary for one to serve as President makes it an immoral pledge.  Most will think I am just […]

  15. Hi Mr. Sisternos, I understand that you cannot reply to all comments and letters to you. I am hoping you are researching HRC’s Christianity. Yes, she isn’ t perfect, yes she has changed her mind and position at times, but she is not ” evil”. Many fake news sites have written horrible things about her that are not true. Do you have the gift of di
    scernment? I pray that you do or that God will grant it to you. Please fact check many of the lies on the internet regarding HRC. Thank you.

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