I don’t know her personally, but I have always liked the public character of Michele Bachmann. I remember defending her when she came under the heavy scrutiny and unfair disparagement of the mainstream media during the era of the TEA Party and 2012 election cycle. And when ABC’s Diane Sawyer and Brian Ross tag-teamed on Bachmann to discredit her husband’s Christian counseling as anti-gay, I spoke up on their behalf.
That said, in recent days Ms. Bachmann has ventured into
territory that I have no interest in defending or attempting to justify. Specifically, these comments made recently on a podcast hosted by Jan Markell, are at once indefensible and
Donald Trump has had the courage and the fortitude, and I will say to your listeners, in my lifetime, I have never seen a more biblical president than I have seen in Donald Trump. He has so impressed me with what he’s done, and we haven’t even talked about Israel, what he has done to advance Israel.
He is highly biblical, and I would say to your listeners, we will in all likelihood never see a more godly, biblical president again in our lifetime. So, we need to be not only praying for him, we need to support him, in my opinion, in every possible way that we can.
It is disappointing enough to see so many conservatives who,
for the sake of expediency, have willfully allowed Trumpism to become the
modern definition of conservatism. But
allowing the cross and the cause of Christ to become sullied by President
Trump’s political conduct is a bridge entirely too far, and Bachmann should
recant or restate these remarks immediately.
Christians who support the President should understand they
have but one logical defense at their disposal: pragmatism. That is, a Christian can support Trump for
his political alliance with them that has benefitted their agenda. I have no qualms with Bachmann, or anyone for
that matter, making the case that Christians have seen more of their preferred
policy goals achieved in Trump’s administration than any in recent memory. Even if I came to another conclusion about
that, it’s a morally defensible position.
It’s what folks here in my home state of Indiana called the
Bob Knight principle. Self-respecting IU
fans knew that the chair throwing, player choking, and profanity spouting was
wrong and an embarrassing stain on the university. They also knew Knight won games. So they made the pragmatic decision to offer
support to a coach they wouldn’t write a character reference for in order to
achieve athletic ends.
You could still argue, and many did, that such a calculation
was moral compromise and those who made it lacked character to stand up for
what was right. But it was a compromise
that undoubtedly resulted in beneficial and noteworthy accomplishments for the
Politically, that’s precisely what Christians like Bachmann
should be willing to admit they’ve done with Trump. They have chosen to support a profane,
adulterous, and unrepentant egotist for the sake of achieving political
ends. Others will argue that such moral
compromise is unbecoming of believers, but the laundry list of Christian
political objectives Bachmann cited in the podcast can be rattled off as
But intentionally confusing the petulant character of Donald
Trump with that of a godly, biblical man is immensely damaging to the public
witness of Christianity in our culture.
That has to be our highest concern, far above any struggle for worldly