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Franklin Graham posted on Facebook December 5, 2019, this comment: “Seeing the murder of babies celebrated should send shivers up our spines. How can you trust someone who is okay with this?”

Joshua Feuerstein commented in 2017 about a dress code at school that doesn’t allow the U.S. flag. “Notice they single out OUR flag… but don’t prohibit others!” he wrote. “If you find our flag offensive… MOVE! Canada is full of snowflakes… you will FIT RIGHT IN!”

President Donald Trump once said, “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” He is also quoted as saying, “I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created.”

What do today’s religion and politics quotes reveal about America? That spirituality is becoming defined by a person’s governmental stances more than their actual faith.

What Does the Bible Say About Politics?

Since a significant percentage of voters identify themselves as Christians spiritually, the Bible offers some words of advice.

1 Peter 2 tells Christians to “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by Him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.”

Romans 13 says, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

The Christian perspective is more than having a responsibility to obey the laws. There is a call to be a good citizen.

1 Peter 2 also says, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”

It is that final component that’s missing in many political conversations from a religious standpoint from an outside perspective.

How Do We Bring Civility Back to Religion and Politics?

The Bible says to put away “all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.” That seems like a reasonably straightforward instruction from a Christian standpoint.

Why does the Christian Right support Donald Trump with such passion when there are so many anti-faith comments that come from the president?

It is because there is a desire to have power over society. That perspective is exemplified by an exchange Trump had with a group of religious leaders in 2016.

“Are you allowed to use the word ‘Christmas’?” Trump asked. “Is there a restriction on the word ‘Christmas?’”

And one of the attendees, a group of pastors and religious leaders, said, “As long as you don’t refer to the baby Jesus as a ‘he.’ His preferred gender pronoun that day, that’s what you have to use.”

Presidents don’t need to be moral to be effective. It would be unfair to say that Trump changed after meeting with religious advisors, but the evangelicals who have had access to him have certainly shifted their perspectives.

Jerry Falwell, Jr. suggested that it may be immoral not to support Trump. Dr. James Dobson, who founded Focus on the Family, told people that as a “baby Christian,” the president needs the benefit of the doubt.

Franklin Graham insinuates that Stormy Daniels, the purpose of the impeachment proceedings, and more are all just “fake news.”

If Donald Trump is the standard-bearer of American Christianity, then how far has society gone from the days when Wheaton College was a stop for the Underground Railroad? That is a question that every person of faith must ask themselves.

Scott Larson