Joel Belz: Even less?

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, September 10th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Well, we are a little more than a year away from Election Day, but WORLD Founder Joel Belz has already given it some thought.

JOEL BELZ, FOUNDER: The record shows that a significant majority of white evangelical voters in the U.S. resorted to so-called “lesser of two evils” thinking as they headed to the polls in November of 2016. 

Most of these folks weren’t ready to anoint Donald Trump as their choirboy conservative. But they were convinced Hillary Clinton—with her 30-year record of scandals and liberal alignments—was more objectionable.

“Your candidate is worse than mine!” is a pitifully bankrupt motto as we enter our nation’s 59th presi­dential election. But it’s pretty much where evangelical Christians find themselves: another race to the bottom.

I’ve written a WORLD Magazine column for 33 years—and never found myself harder pressed to suggest a biblically principled path to follow.

Indeed, I’ve voted in 15 presidential elections, and in almost every single contest there was some element of “lesser of two evils” thinking involved. But never in all those 59 years has it dominated the discussion the way it does right now.

When all 25 of the originally registered Demo­cratic candidates maintain steadfast support for abortion on demand—and at taxpayer expense—there’s not much sorting or ranking for me to do there. 

Abortion is not the only issue worth considering, but it is certainly one of my top three. For the Democrats not to give their rank-and-file membership a single opportunity to support a pro-life candidate seems incredible.

So let’s switch parties, even at this early date, and consider the view at the bottom of that other barrel.

Four years ago, there was a whole lot we didn’t know about Donald Trump—and some of what we did know was grievously distressing. Now we know a lot more.

On policy, many con­ser­vative evangelicals find enough for a pretty long list of Trump accom­plishments. They include judicial appointments, policies friendly to life and religious liberty, and undoing years of costly federal regulations. Those have all been duly reported here in WORLD. 

But that doesn’t mean we evangelicals should make a hero out of someone who clearly isn’t. Far too often—like in his visit to West Virginia just a few weeks ago—our president engages in behavior that is arrogant, untruthful, divisive, and even blasphemous.

I know I speak for many in the WORLD community when I say bluntly: If we had a choice in the matter, we’d take it. My personal prayer is that a brand new person might take the presidency a year-and-a-half from now.

But for now, we should stop fussing so much about the “lesser of two evils” approach to our electoral process. The great God who rules sovereignly from his heavenly throne has always worked with flawed leaders. This time will be no different.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Joel Belz.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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2 comments on Joel Belz: Even less?

  1. Elizabeth Edgren says:

    I believe our 3rd option – with much prayer and research, to vote our conscience with a 3rd party – is a real option. I see it not as throwing away my vote but as acting with integrity and trusting our sovereign God to do what He will. If enough of us do vote for 3rd party candidates, maybe it won’t be too much longer before we have other viable choices. Could WORLD take a look some time at other parties, what they’re about, how they’ve done in the past, any current candidates?

  2. Phil W says:

    I was disappointed Joel did not touch on the GOP primary candidates. I can understand how long of a shot they have defeating Mr. Trump, but are they not worth talking about a little bit? I’d like to know more about Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford.

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