Conservatives/”Evangelicals” are Really Beginning to Scare Me

You know, sometimes life hands you an absolute victory, something so easy and so perfect that it would be virtually impossible to mess up.

And, somehow, we manage to mess it up.

Thus I have been thinking about the decision the Mitt Romney made to vote for the the impeachment of Donald Trump, and the immediate (and continuing) vitriolic response to Romney’s decision. Romney has graciously and repeatedly explained his decision – he took an oath to defend the Constitution, and much further than many politicians, he believed his oath was first and most importantly made to God. Therefore, when he came to realize that Trump abused his power (which, I agree with 100 %), he knew he had to vote to convict. It was not a vote of convenience, it was not a vote to placate the maddening crowd. It was a vote of conscience.

Now, conservatives and “evangelicals” (whatever in the world that term means anymore) have been clamoring for years – decades – for more politicians who will uphold their oaths to defend the Constitution. They have been clamoring for years – decades – for men and women of conscience to stand up and be heard, even if (or especially if) that voice is contrary to the herd mentality. So, they get a senator who is willing to defend the Constitution and vote his conscience and what happens? These same conservatives and “evangelicals” are ready to lynch Romney from the nearest tree.

I don’t get it. Here is a perfect example of how conservatives are so perfectly different from liberals, at least in general (not one Democratic senator voted to impeach Clinton). Here was an opportunity to say, “See, the conservative approach (and the Republican party) is the place where people can hold conscientiously differing opinions, and we are all stronger for it.” But, no. Like a crazed group of cannibals, the extreme right (and maybe some of the mainstream right) is having a conniption fit and calling for the head of the one man they should be honoring. And, in so doing, they are demonstrating why I believe that currently neither party can lay claim to being safe or sane. The right wing of the country is seriously beginning to scare me, and that in and of itself terrifies me, because the left wing is so far from redemption that, should they gain power, I honestly do fear for a second “civil” war.

From gender bending issues to abortion to rabidly insane calls for the repeal of the 2nd amendment to the Constitution (and the flat out repudiation of the 1st amendment), the far left wing (is there a center-right wing of the Democratic party??) of this country is becoming seriously deranged. Now more than ever those who consider themselves conservatives, and especially those who consider themselves to be disciples of Christ, need to stand up and defend individuals who hold to their morals, even if (and perhaps especially if) those morals do not align 100% with a given political leader.

We need men and women of courage. We need men and women who will stand up to other elected officials and remind them that we are a country of laws, not of entitled men, and when laws are violated then there must be repercussions. We need men and women of courage who will take their oaths seriously, even if it means voting in a manner that jeopardizes their political future.

I disagree with Mitt Romney profoundly on a number of issues – theological and political. But, I am proud to defend his actions in regard to his keeping his oath, and his reasons for voting against “his” party and president. It may cost him some votes, it may cost him an election, it certainly has cost him within the right wing of the Republican party. Good on him, I say, because for once we see a politician act like a statesman, a leader, and not a sycophant.

I wish we had more like him in the senate and in the house of representatives.

Author: Paul Smith

Paul Smith was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He holds the Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministry, Master of Biblical Studies and Master of Divinity, all from Abilene Christian University; and the Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Paul's passion is in teaching and preaching the gospel. Beyond the study of the Bible, his main academic interest is in the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He is an unashamed mountain-goat, and longs to spend his time with his feet in a cold trout stream.

6 thoughts on “Conservatives/”Evangelicals” are Really Beginning to Scare Me”

    1. It is at least conceivable that some voted along the concept of “acquit the innocent” and truly believed the president was innocent, or at the very least that the charges themselves were illegitimate. Given the totality of the whole sordid ordeal as it has transpired, I just do not find that to be a plausible scenario. It is obvious to me that Trump did apply his position to effect an investigation of the Bidens. Impeachable?? In my mind no, but certainly within the realm of having Trump censured. The whole thing just stinks – and from both sides of the political spectrum.



  1. Are you so sure that none of the other senators voted their conscience? Had the prosecution proved its case? Did they even have a case to prove?

    I did not vote for and cannot stand Mr. Trump, and feel that he is very likely guilty of impeachable offences. Yet, for some strange reason, the articles of impeachment that the House sent over did not cover clearly impeachable offences – and seem to have rested mainly on overheard telephone conversations. Having not been present to hear all of the evidence, I would not feel comfortable claiming that Mr. Romney is the only one who voted his conscience.

    Frankly, I think nearly everyone in Washington is guilty of impeachable offences. Most of them are guilty of treason, it seems to me. But if I were asked to impeach any of them, and given silly, petty evidence such as “I heard one end of a phone call and it sounded to me as if he was seeking his own interests…” I would feel obligated to vote that the case had not been proven. Now, on the other hand, if straightforward statements undermining the constitution were presented as evidence, I would vote guilty, guilty, guilty. But the Dems would not do that, because they know that they are guilty of the same thing and worse.

    I am tempted to say, “Let’s just hang them all and let God sort them out.” But instead I think we should say, “Let’s just ignore Washington and get on with our work.” I do not think that it is the place of those who have the blessed Gospel to proclaim to be wasting time on this stupidity.


    1. Hello Thayer, and thank you for the comments. You make some good points, but I find it rather unbelievable that when the Republicans impeached Clinton, that every acquittal vote by the Democrats was a vote of conscience. Likewise, while the Republicans might have been “voting their conscience” when they voted to acquit, it is rather surprising to me that every single conscience lined up with their president. Your point is valid, but given the strong-arm tactics of this president, and his withering attacks against anyone who even dares to challenge his actions, I have more than enough reason to doubt that every Republican senator (or Democrat, for that matter) was sincerely following his or her conscience.

      I honestly do not know what I would have done in this instance. I honestly believe Trump used his power to coerce the Ukrainians to investigate Biden – a rather wasted effort, just like Nixon breaking into the Watergate hotel to eavesdrop on a colossal failure of a campaign. However, that being said, I also believe that every president has, to some degree or another, abused the powers he has been given. “Power corrupts…” So – was it impeachable? Probably not, and given no other alternative I would probably have voted to acquit or would have simply abstained. Actually, I think a vote of censure would have been appropriate – just like with Clinton (he certainly did not endanger the constitution by having sex with Lewinski).

      My main point – perhaps poorly articulated – is that the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot by attacking Romney. I appreciate his stand and especially his explanation. On a national level the decision could have been recognized and then ignored. By continually attacking Romney, the Republicans are clearly stating that nothing other than 100% fealty will be accepted, and that is profoundly dangerous to me. I want a movement where the leaders are open to critique, and where the movement itself is open to critique and for improvement.

      Once again – thanks for the comments, I appreciate the conversation very much.



      1. I certainly agree that the Republicans have done exactly what the Democrats wanted them to do, and have thereby shot themselves in the foot (if not in the head). Very likely, they should have refused to let this Trump guy change his affiliation (he had been, I think, a long-time Democrat). Did he switch parties just so he could ruin the one he switched to? I have my suspicions, but I also have work to do. Frankly, Washington has become a pointless waste of time. I cannot have any effect on what goes on there, so I intend to ignore them and have an effect where I can have one. Many years ago I wrote an article titled “Local Justice.” It was translated into Korean and posted on the internet. The views I expressed then I feel even more strongly now. Let us stop complaining about the big boys and get to work on our own little corner of the world.


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