Memo to Trump and Clinton partisans: Not voting for unacceptable candidates is not the same as voting for them.

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By all accounts–at least all the accounts I trust–Donald Trump gave a great anti-Hillary speech yesterday, reading from a teleprompter. Some Republicans I respect say that by so doing Trump has erased his last three weeks of political doo-doo and are willing to vote for him if he can just stay “disciplined.”

But what does this speech really teach us about Trump? Not much. We already knew he would go after Hillary, who is vulnerable on many fronts. We already knew he could read from a teleprompter. We already knew he had at least one good speechwriter.

Good for Trump for actually saying some necessary things about Hillary that few others in the party have had the guts to say. I hope he keeps it up. But does it change my opinion of the man? Of course not.

Donald Trump, who just turned 70, is not suddenly a new, more “presidential” leader. He has not suddenly become moral, well-read, and thoughtful. Trump has spent a lifetime, by his words and actions, particularly in the last year when the spotlight has been brightest, telling us exactly who he is.

A teleprompter can’t change that.

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During the primaries, Donald Trump said he didn’t need people like me, and his loud-mouthed supporters mocked our moral qualms, saying the only thing that mattered is “winning.”

Now they cry that if Trump loses, it will be our fault. I guess he does need us, after all.

I hate to break it to his fans, but I’m just not that into him.

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Trump’s firing of Corey Lewandowski is either the beginning of the end for Trump–or the end of the beginning. We’ll find out whether Trump can pull things together before the convention or continue on the road to political extinction–taking the Republicans with him. If I were a betting man, I’d say Trump will somehow be muzzled ’til the convention, get the nomination, and get wiped out in November. So, really, I’m hoping for a huge gaffe that would give Republican delegates and leaders no choice but to dump him at the convention.

Hey, I’m a Christian. I believe in miracles.

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Don’t Bend Your Knee to Trump, Evangelicals


statue of libertyA candidate who subverts all of our most cherished values should be avoided at all costs.

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gun-free zoneI’m all for setting up some reasonable, narrowly tailored restrictions to lessen the chance that a would-be terrorist will get his hands on a gun. But if we don’t talk urgently and seriously about dealing with the real and growing threat of Islamic terrorism on our shores–and the number of attacks is multiplying–then we’re not really serious about protecting people (gay, straight, or whatever).

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Why I Can’t Repent My Defense of Marriage


father and babyWhen in the course of human events you are separated from your fellow citizens by a set of deeply held beliefs about the nature of the good, and when the demand is placed on you to change your beliefs, decency requires that you put into words, as best you can, why you are not sorry for what you believe about human life, about sex, about marriage, and, yes, about God. You must explain why, even if they will declare culture war on you and eject you from the circle of human fellowship, you will not change.

While I don’t agree with every detail, this is a staggeringly beautiful piece.

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toiletThe next business for The Donald: Trump Toilets, after he flushes the Republicans down the tubes.

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CastleThis was going to be the Republicans’ year–and, after two terms of Barack Obama, it had to be. They had a roomful of solid, accomplished candidates, including governors, senators, and a businesswoman. They also expected to face Hillary Clinton, a corrupt, unlikable politician whose main claim to the Oval Office seemed to be that it was her turn.

Unfortunately, they also had Donald Trump, who for reasons known only to him, decided to run as a Republican. Trump was probably the only candidate who could conceivably lose to Clinton, who was the weakest Democrat in a generation. But Trump, for all his personal and professional deficiencies, had star power and an innate knack for exploiting a plurality of Republican voters’ desperate angst.

So Trump is the party’s candidate, and his narcissistic campaign already appears to be imploding. He has no money, no organization, and is fighting with party leaders. Hillary, meanwhile, is teeing up a killer ad campaign for the summer. By the time The Donald figures all this out, it will be over.

Instead of a real chance to set the ship of state aright, it looks like the country is heading straight for the progressive vortex. The lesson?

The kingdom of man, despite its all high towers and bright banners, will always crumble, eventually. The only lasting hope is the kingdom of God.

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Christians Didn’t Commit the Orlando Massacre


crescentWe are now fully through the looking glass. A Muslim man walked into a gay nightclub and gunned down 49 men and women, most of them gay or lesbian. He paused in the middle of his massacre to call 911 and a local television station, making clear that he wanted the world to know he had pledged allegiance to ISIS. There are no dog whistles here. This is a textbook example of jihadism in action, plain and simple. Yet somehow, Omar Mateen’s massacre has put American Christians on the defensive.

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