I have voted for a Republican candidate for president in every election since the Jimmy Carter/Gerald Ford contest in 1976. I vote Republican because I have conservative moral values, pro-business economic views and a serious concern about protecting religious freedom. You are free to disagree with me; since I'm a Christian, I will still love you even if you vote for a Democrat.
But like so many other evangelical Republicans, I am scratching my head over the popularity of Donald Trump. I understand that voters are angry; they feel that establishment politicians from both parties are playing games and not moving the country forward. But why, why, why would we elect a man to occupy the White House who not only makes racist comments about foreigners but who insults women on a regular basis?
I've heard some crazy reasons Christians have given for why I should vote for Trump. Some say he's a "Cyrus" (like the benevolent Persian king who allowed Jewish captives to go back to Israel); some believe we just need an inexperienced outsider who will dismantle Washington with a wrecking ball. And others have blindly jumped on the Trump bandwagon because they think the belligerent billionaire is the only man who can beat Hillary Clinton in November.
I'll stick my neck out and make a prediction: If Trump is the GOP nominee, he will lose to Clinton and it will be made clear—once again—that Christians in this country can't unite behind a candidate.
There is one deeply personal reason I can't vote for Trump. I am the father of four daughters—and I cannot support a candidate who is so blatantly rude and crude toward women. His record of sexism is sickening.
Last August during the first GOP debate, Megyn Kelly of Fox News bravely challenged Trump about his sexist language. She asked: "You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?"
Rather than apologizing for his remarks, or at least pledging to be more civil, Trump made a joke about Rosie O'Donnell and later blasted Kelly with his infamous remarks about "blood coming out of her wherever." Later he refused to participate in a Republican debate because Kelly was a moderator.
Megyn Kelly asked the right question: Is this the kind of behavior we want in the man who represents the United States to the world? Do we want a president who will make embarrassing comments about a female government leader's appearance ... or her menstrual cycle?
This week an anti-Trump organization called Our Principles PAC released a television ad highlighting the most audacious quotes Trump has made over the years about women.
The PAC is not pro-Clinton. It is led by Katie Packer, a former campaign manager for Mitt Romney. Her goal is to sway Republican voters toward other GOP candidates like Ted Cruz or John Kasich. (You can watch it here).
Here are a few of the most embarrassing quotes being highlighted in the ad:
- Trump once told radio commentator Howard Stern: "I like kids. I mean I won't do anything to take care of them. I'll provide the funds, and she'll take care of the kids."
- Trump told The New York Times Magazine in 1992: "Women, you have to treat 'em like (expletive)."
- Speaking about Carly Fiorina, the only woman who ran on the GOP ticket in the 2016 campaign, Trump said: "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?"
- In an earlier comment about media personality Rosie O'Donnell, Trump said: "If I were running The View, I'd fire Rosie O'Donnell. I mean, I'd look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers; I'd say 'Rosie, you're fired.'"
- On one occasion, when a woman lawyer asked to be excused from a courtroom to pump breast milk for her baby, Trump scolded her and said: "You're disgusting."
- Trump has also made it clear that he judges a woman by her breast size. He said: "A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10."
- Some of his comments about his tastes in women have been downright perverted. He said of his daughter: "I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."
- And Trump also stated that he views women as objects to be owned. He said: "I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful"—said the man who has been married three times, twice to Slavic models.
It is bizarre that Spirit-filled Christians can listen to these quotes and heartily cheer for a man who claims he will "Make America Great Again." You can't make America great with bigotry, bullying and bad character. Both men and women who want a better future for our kids should reject Trump's reality-show values and find a candidate that Christians can respect.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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