Evangelical leader and founder of Living Proof Ministries, Beth Moore, must have earned herself brownie points with never Trumpers and the crusty conservative establishment when she claimed last week to have “never seen anything in these United States of America more seductive and dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism”. Her comments on Twitter came in the wake of the massive pro-Trump Stop the Steal rally and Jericho March in Washington, DC, last weekend, where an array of speakers invoked their faith in support of President Trump’s allegations of election fraud. Later in the week Moore shared an article that elaborated on the theme of so-called “Christian Trumpism”. Echoing conservative writer Rod Dreher’s supercilious sniping, the article bizarrely took issue with evangelical Christians gathering alongside Catholics and Orthodox Jews at the Jericho March, and lamented the “spiritual adultery” of pro-Trump Christians who are apparently subjugating theology to idolatry.
Moore correctly points out the error of worshiping “flesh and blood” and placing “faith in mortals”. But the suggestion that Christians are being led astray through the idolization of Trump is woefully two dimensional. Christians who demand that serious questions about election and voter fraud be addressed are embracing truth, not idolatry. Reports of election irregularities and illegality cannot be willed away, and Christians who demand transparency shouldn’t be shamed and belittled by church leaders. Reliance on God’s truth, whether that reveals a Biden or a Trump victory once all legal votes are counted, is the only remedy for the rot that is eroding this country and dividing its people.
Yes, Jesus is our heavenly King and Christians shouldn’t worship God’s creation but the Creator himself. It is nevertheless a biblical truth that God acts through individuals. We read in Scripture that kings, prophets, saints and martyrs including King David, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, St. Elizabeth, John the Baptist, St. Stephen, and St. Peter, were all filled with the Spirit of the Lord and inspired to proclaim the Word of God.
We cannot judge what dwells in the hearts of our fellow men and know for sure where the third person of the Trinity might be acting. That said, we can look for evidence of the paraclete’s operations. St. Paul explains that “no one who is led by the Holy Spirit can say ‘A curse on Jesus’”. Therefore, by committing themselves to the path of truth, and rejecting falsehood, Christians are honoring the Savior, the Word made flesh, who said that “I am the Way, the Truth and theLife”, and allowing the gifts of the spirit to flourish. Settling for anything less than God’s truth, whether through corruption, intellectual laziness or a superficial reading of scripture, allows evil to enter through the backdoor.
Moore must be convinced that there was no election fraud. That’s her prerogative and she may be correct. Maybe she has perused Bernie Kerik’s several volumes worth of affidavits and concluded that it’s all a ruse. She may have answers for why, in Georgia alone, well over 100,000 thousand people are alleged to have voted illegally. She may have an innocent explanation for the election night CCTV footage from Fulton county that shows election workers and journalists being cleared out of the counting room, ostensibly because of a water main break, leaving four individuals to stay behind unobserved, and spend hours surreptitiously beavering away at ballots extracted from a concealed container. She may be able to explain why this midnight working bee coincides with a mathematically improbable vote spike recorded in Georgia in the wee hours of November 4th. Perhaps Moore knows why potentially upwards of 200,000 pre-marked ballots were transported from New York to Pennsylvania on October 21, and why the trailer and ballots in question subsequently disappeared at a USPS depot in Lancaster, PA. Moore may have devised her own mathematical solutions to the impressive array of statistical anomalies and improbabilities. She may understand why a forensic audit of Dominion voting machines used in Antrim County Michigan revealed a 68% chance of creating error with ballots when the maximum error rate allowed under federal law is 0.0008%.
Roughly half of voting Americans think that Biden’s election week victory involved some funny business. No one has presented any reasonable explanation for the allegations of irregularities and outright violations, despite the accepted Democrat party line that the allegations are “debunked” and “baseless”, and amount to “disinformation”. No court in any State has yet considered the allegations of fraud on their substantive claims, ruling instead on issues of standing and procedure. In a recent case before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Chief Justice Patience D. Roggensack underscored the issue when she said in dissent that the four majority judges had chosen to “throw the cloak of laches over numerous problems that will be repeated again and again, until this court has the courage to hear them.”
I suspect the reality is that Moore hasn’t the faintest clue about the extent of the allegations, and has no capacity to refute a single one of them, far less explain away the entire litany of alleged abuses. It’s much easier to sit back and tweet a blanket condemnation of Christians who believe their vote was stolen and want the matter to be investigated using ever legal means possible. To insinuate that this is the product of the seductive powers of Trump idolatry is misguided.
Standing up for election integrity necessarily has implications for but is not predicated on a Trump’s presidency. It’s about the future of the American Republic. If the greatest democracy in the world can’t ensure free and fair elections, all hope is lost. If presidential elections are won by fraud, the whole country becomes a sham. It will inexorably pass from being one nation under God to an authoritarian state beholden to lies.
Scripture tells us that where there is deceit and duplicity, Satan’s hands are at work. Our Lord promises that the truth shall set us free and warns that those who indulge in falsehood separate themselves from God and align themselves instead with he for whom lying is natural – the Devil, the father of lies. This is why former Nuncio to Washington, DC, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in his letter read at last Saturday’s rally, invited Americans to turn to God’s “Supreme Court” in the hope that “the Will of God may be fulfilled, and Truth may triumph over falsehood”.
If Christian voters insist on truth over vacuous talking points, it is about ensuring that this nation thrives under God through commitment to the light of truth, instead of railing against him by hiding in the shadows of deceit. Those who refuse to consider evidence, scoff at witnesses, and deride the millions of Americans who demand explanations, rival the cynicism of Pontius Pilate when he mockingly asked Jesus, “And what is truth?” As Senator Josh Hawley argued during Wednesday’s Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, telling 74 million Americans to just shut up, when they already feel disenfranchised, and that the election was rigged, is not a recipe for success in this country, nor for unity.
According to one of the most profound theological truths in Scripture, a nation that turns to God is blessed and rewarded by him. When King Nebuchadnezzar takes the people of Judah away as prisoners from Jerusalem to Babylonia, God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah: “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call me, and I will answer you … because you will seek me with all your heart.”
Turning to God necessarily entails embracing His truth – not the narrative, perspective or preference of any one man or political party. Christians who ask that the light be shed indiscriminately on shadowy aspects of this election saga are not succumbing to the cult of Trump but rather are pursuing the path of truth, wherever it may lead.
Carina Benton is a native Australian living in Washington State. She is a practicing Catholic and has taught for many years in Catholic and Christian schools. She is a mother of two young children.