Monday, November 7, 2016

"My Christian duty is to not support evil"

Trinity Christian College students Zach Fitch, Josh Coldagelli and Karlyn Boens discuss their choices for president.
     So how to end this awful campaign? I did not feel like thundering against Trump—I've been beating that drum for a year and a half. One more thump won't make a difference. I preferred to yield the floor to someone who wasn't me, and evangelical students seemed a good way to understand whatever it is that's going to happen on Election Day.
     As a former editor of the Wheaton Daily Journal, my first impulse was to call Wheaton College. But the administration there, still curled up in a defensive ball over the school's shameful canceling of their students' health insurance (because ObamaCare was requiring it offer contraception), and their cack-handed fumble of a professor who put her religious faith into practice by wearing a hijab in solidarity with beleaguered Muslims, refused to cooperate. "I don't know we would do that," their director of media relations sniffed. "We don't usually facilitate that kind of thing."    
    So I shrugged, sidestepped the administration entirely and used this Internet machine to start rounding up Wheaton students directly. Then Trinity Christian College, which obviously doesn't have the shame issues that Wheaton does, said, in essence, "C'mon by!" and I spent a pleasant hour with their thoughtful, articulate students and then a second hour wandering the campus. This column suffers from space constraints in the paper -- I would have liked room to more fully bring out the students' thinking, which was more nuanced than I could relate here, and touch upon some of the more interesting elements of campus, such as the existence of an Ozinga Chapel, named for a patriarch of the well-known concrete company, who was one of the businessmen who got together in the late 1950s and bought the former Navajo Hills golf club and turned it into a Christian college -- the old clubhouse is now the administration building. Another day.

     Zach Fitch, 20, a junior at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, views Donald Trump as a deeply flawed candidate. But he’s voting for him anyway.
     “He says ridiculous things, sometimes really inappropriate things,” said Fitch. “Yet, I’d rather have somebody right now who is a little more toward my beliefs — he doesn’t like abortion. I feel like he’s my more evangelical vote. I would like somebody better, but God can change anyone.”
     Geena Calomino, 21, a senior at Trinity, drawing upon the same faith, finds that impossible.
     “As my first election, I feel horrible that I have to decide between these two candidates, because I don’t agree with what they’re doing, either of them,” she said. “But I cannot and I will not support someone who puts down women and makes fun of the disabled. . . . To have a president or presidential candidate who openly does that is horrifying to me.”
     The American public, exhausted by the 2016 presidential election, finally collapses across the finish line Tuesday. Having written dozens of columns parsing every aspect of this bitter and historic race. I decided not to add one more voice, telling voters what to do. But rather to yield the field to young people, grounded in a particular morality, and see what illumination they might offer. So however the vote falls, we might better understand what just happened. On Friday, while the city was celebrating the Cubs victory, I visited this 1,200-student college in the southwestern suburbs. The administration gathered a half dozen students. Each took a different approach. Josh Coldagelli, 21, a senior, won’t vote for anyone....


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15 comments:

  1. Interesting comments. Drumpf is said to have tried to get Marla Maples to get an abortion. He has never been honest about anything.

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  2. It still exasperates me when people say Trump and Clinton are somehow equally objectionable, like that one kid who didn't like her because she's "under FBI investigation." No she isn't. You're supposed to be a student, so do your goddamned homework.

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  3. The part that really gets me is that Mike Pence and now these young people will follow their religion before country. If it comes to the making of law, will their beliefs count first? Again following that logic, if we are attacked should we just turn the other cheek? Using YOUR faith as a guide to government sounds a little too much like certain Middle East countries to me.

    Werner

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  4. I know youth must be served, but don't really care much about what these kids think. To misappropriate a somewhat dubious medical term (What's wrong with me Dr. Ruth? Doing it doesn't make me feel sad.) I greatly look forward to post election tristesse beginning on the 8th. No more compulsive googling of Real Clear Politics; no dread of another October/November "surprise"; no further assault on the senses from endless, and increasingly stupid campaign ads. God willing, no more Trump and such poisonous surrogates as Newt, Rudy, and the fat guy from New Jersey. I will, again if things turn out well, take some satisfaction reading about the forming of the usual GOP circular firing squad.

    Interesting that stock markets worldwide jumped up, the Dow over 200 points, over the latest missive from Comey clearing Mrs. Clinton. Hopefully a good augur.

    Tom Evans

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  5. It's interesting to read about how our youth interprets the political zeitgeist as seen through their particular prism. As always, it's the young people who will be trusted to keep our country moving in the right direction, and I take comfort in that thought.

    SandyK

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    1. Were I now 20 years old, I might vote for Trump just because he's even less qualified than I to be President of the United States.

      john

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    2. @tate -- Thank God you're not 20, then.

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    3. @tate: I have the distinct feeling that this motivates more than a few of his followers

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  6. NS-How did you keep from laughing at some of their naïve comments?

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  7. Naïve in what way? The guy who isn't voting because he doesn't want to support evil? That's a very common reaction, found on the left as well as the right, by those who -- mistakenly, in my view -- are more concerned with keeping their hands clean than saving the country. I went in not wanting to argue -- though I did challenge them about the repercussions of their actions or non-actions. It blows to be young, in some ways, and I wouldn't dream of bigfooting in with my extra 35 years of experience and ridiculing their attempts to figure out the world. That doesn't help anybody. As I used to tell my older son when he was feeling pumped up about his brilliance, "Is that why you learned stuff? So you could lord your knowledge over other people?"

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    1. Going in not wanting to argue was probably wise. As a Thurber fable has it, "The saddest words of pen or tongue, are wisdom's wasted on the young."

      Tom Evans

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    2. Wise words to tell your son, Mr. S. More parents need to tell that to their offspring.

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  8. "I’d rather have somebody right now who is a little more toward my beliefs — he doesn’t like abortion" But of course Trump was pro abortion until he became a GOP candidate for president. And he is alleged to have tried to have his girlfriend get an abortion. Then he suggested women getting abortions should be sent to prison. Then he said they shouldn't.

    Who knows what Trump really believes? What he believes in is what's best for him right now. Being against abortion is a way to look in a mirror and see a righteous person staring back - without having to exert a single calorie worth of effort. The student is going to vote for a bullying misogynist xenophobe so he can look in the mirror and see that righteous person staring back. Zero calorie righteousness. The philosophy of sanctimony.

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  9. Maybe not much to do with these kids but I read this article about what type of people would go for Trump. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/216700/who-goes-trump It is based on a parlor game started by Dorothy Thompson. She was very well known in the 30's and 40's until she was accused of being anti semitic. She was the first American to interview Hitler and shortly after was kicked out Germany. http://harpers.org/archive/1941/08/who-goes-nazi/

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