POLITICS + RELIGION = THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS
Have you ever heard people say that they are choosing the “lesser of two evils,” when it comes to making a difficult choice or decision about something important?
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, the “lesser of two evils” is defined as “something that is bad, but not as bad as something else,” or “the less unpleasant of two choices, neither of which is good.”
When it comes to many things, for instance, I’ve often heard people profess to not really agree with a particular position or idea, but chose to support one over the other, because they believed that choosing the “lesser of two evils” was far more important than not making a decision at all.
How crazy is that?
You do realize that when you say you are choosing the “lesser of two evils,” that you’re still knowingly choosing evil and choosing someone you don’t agree with or something that you don’t believe to be right according to your internal beliefs, correct?
In politics, the “lesser of two evils” principle is the idea in politics that of two bad choices, one isn’t as bad as the other and should be chosen over the one that is the greater threat. I find this “lesser of two evils” philosophy to run rampant in the lives of many Americans who claim to be evangelicals and it comes across extremely hypocritical to me.
Let me give you a few examples of what I mean.
When Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, won the Republican nomination in his quest to become president in 2012, many evangelicals openly chose to support him – including many prominent evangelical leaders who previously held firm to beliefs and convictions that were in direct contradiction to the accepted practices associated with Mormonism.
In 2012, when Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church went on CNN, and other media outlets to talk about the ongoing debate amongst Christians over whether or not Mormons are actually Christians, Pastor Osteen said, “When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God–that he’s the Christ, raised from the dead, that he’s his Savior–that’s good enough for me…Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ.”
That is in stark contrast to what staunch evangelicals believe, have been taught in seminary and have preached from their pulpits. As a matter of fact, do you also recall in October 2012 when Romney visited the revered minister of the gospel, Billy Graham, prior to the November elections to try and gain Graham’s support and get much-needed evangelical support?
Let me help you with your recall in case you may have forgotten.
On the day that Romney met with Graham and his son, Franklin, Graham’s website reflected that Mormonism was a cult. Miraculously, a few days later, that passage was gone, and Graham issued a statement that included the following statement:
“It was a privilege to pray with Gov. Romney—for his family and our country. I will turn 94 the day after the upcoming election, and I believe America is at a crossroads. I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms.”
Then this past Monday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went to Liberty University – a Christian-based university founded by evangelical minister Jerry Falwell – and while at Liberty, Trump tried to relate to the crowd and referenced a scripture found in “Two Corinthians 3:17” as opposed to “Second Corinthians 3:17.” Many of the evangelical students found it funny, but Trump had seriously bungled the scripture, in an attempt to try and impress a key voting bloc for Republicans and one that he would need if he wins the nomination.
Jerry Falwell, Jr., the son of the founder, introduced Trump and proclaimed before the evangelical students that he was a “breath of fresh air,” and then went on to say the following:
“Matthew 7:16 tells us that ‘By their fruits, you shall know them. Donald Trump’s life has born fruit. Fruit that has provided jobs to multitudes of people, in addition to the many he has helped with his generosity. In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment.”
I guess Falwell hasn’t heard the many offensive statements that Trump has made about women, minorities, people of different faiths and much more than I have room to write about, when he compared Trump to the type of person that Jesus was ministering about.
It is amazing how many people in the evangelical community – those who profess to be evangelicals anyway – will go out of their way to religiously (pun intended) support any person who is a part of a political party who claims to represent the evangelical Christian point of view, but then turn a blind eye to those candidates who openly display “lesser of two evils” attributes.
I get so sick and tired of party politics, where you are considered an unbeliever if you are in the Democratic Party, while being considered a Christian and a standard-bearer for righteousness if you are in the Republican Party. The Republican Party does not have a lock on Christianity.
I find it interesting that an evangelical Christian can know someone has attributes and beliefs that are a direct contradiction to their religious convictions, yet turn-around and sacrifice their ‘holier than thou’ principles because they believe supporting the “lesser of two evils is a position they are willing to take as long as the right political party is involved.
I hate such hypocrisy!
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and has a daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney. He is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org