By Ronald F. Owens:

We Americans have the luxury of intellectualizing, hypothesizing and philosophizing over “of two evils, vote neither.” But thousands of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, millions of peaceful Muslims terrorized there, plus millions of others victimized by radical Islamic terrorists elsewhere can’t enjoy such a luxury. Their lives are directly affected by our electoral action. Their lives are directly affected by our electoral inaction.

Long before the Republican Party’s front runner secured the Republican nomination, I pondered and prayed if I could ever vote for him. For the first time in my adult life I was leaning toward sitting out the general election. I considered deferring to God and letting the will of God happen without my involvement. 

As a Christian, I was sucked into this admittedly-interesting and certainly-thought provoking “of two evils, vote neither” theological vortex. But as an American citizen as well as a Christian, I wanted to do my small yet important part to express what goes in my country. I only have one opportunity every four years to indicate who’d I prefer to lead and preside over us/U.S. 

We are spiritual beings existing and operating in the natural realm. Even though it is good to intellectualize, hypothesize and philosophize, we citizens must be pragmatists as well. We can, at times, overly spiritualize. I too, am guilty of this. In the past and particularly now, I have viewed and do now view campaigns and campaigning as a very long and arduous interview process. 

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Essentially, we are millions of employers selecting/electing an employee. He or she might be selected/elected President of the United States, but the President works for you and yours and is employed by me and mine. We’re paying the President’s salary, funding the President’s travels, bankrolling the President’s staff and underwriting the President’s activities. 

We’re not coronating an emperor, enthroning a potentate or thank God, ceding our freedoms to a dictator. We’re not ordaining a pastor, anointing an evangelist or selecting a man of God.

We’re selecting/electing a federal employee — answerable to us/U.S. and who serves us/U.S.! 

So, here I sit, putting the finishing touches of this post on an early rainy Sunday morning. And there you sit, reading this post (thank you for your time). It’s 22 days before Election Day and I think about our men and women in harms way.

Most of us haven’t served our country in the military. Most of us haven’t been in combat. Most of us haven’t heard bullets whizz by our head or seen bullets land harmlessly at our feet. Most of us haven’t killed the enemy or seen the enemy kill one of us or shoot two of us or blow up some/many of us. Most of us haven’t bled for our country or have been physically injured or permanently marred and maimed after serving our country. Most of us haven’t gone to a funeral nor have we heard the quiet weeping of a widow or widower. Most of us haven’t seen a numb-struck son or daughter or extended family. While most of us have seen/heard a bugler play Taps on the news, in TV shows or on movies, most of us haven’t attended military funerals and heard Taps live, nor has a 21-gun cannon or artillery salute ever shudder or shake us. And most of us haven’t embraced grief-stricken loved ones nor dried the tear-soaked cheeks of grieving family members. 

Most of us can’t and won’t battle the enemy abroad, but all of us can fight for our nation here at home. 

A friend told me several weeks ago that Christian brothers and sisters in Middle East countries are depending on me to vote for the one of the two major presidential candidates who can help them. This friend also said if the unborn could speak they would plead for me to vote for the candidate who said he is pro-life, and not vote for the candidate who said she is not. 

I am reminded that the next President of the United States (POTUS) will appoint about three to maybe four Supreme Court Justices. The next POTUS will also appoint a number of federal judges. Their rulings will affect our kids and grandkids long after we’re dead and gone. The candidates aren’t the only one on the ballot. Our Constitution and religious liberties and freedom of speech are all at stake.

Other Christian friends I confided in and reasoned with — whose candidates like mine were eliminated during the Republican primary — made me feel comfortable with the idea of voting. 

Other dear friends who I love with all of my heart intellectualized, hypothesized and philosophized this “of two evils, vote neither” with me. I thank them for presenting good reasons why I should heed it. Their contrary opinions, as well as the opinions who are currently aligned with mine, aided me in writing this post. 

My very wise, quite discerning and politically-astute 85-year-old Mother, Dora Owens, even weighed in. She challenged me to participate, vote and not throw my vote away. 

I suspect many reading this post will agree with me. We’re not casting our vote for Hillary Clinton. That’s for certain! 

The question for us has always been: “of two evils, vote neither.”

But since Clinton is the presumed front runner, aren’t we voting for her when we abstain from voting for him? And aren’t we tacitly voting for her when we vote for another or write in another lesser known candidate? 

Yes, I’ve seen him lie. Yes, I’ve grimaced at his statements. Yes, I think that he needs to be more temperate. Yes, I question the veracity of all these ”October Surprises.” Yes, I am concerned about this nation’s future. Yes, I question does he truly have the temperament to govern? And yes, he will say and do things that will vex me as well as red-face you. 

Yet I discern that beyond all that bluster and underneath all that brash and brazen bravado there’s a tender-hearted man inside Donald Trump.

I sense that Trump really does care for the United States. Trump really does love the American people. Trump does want to protect you and yours and me and mine. And yes, with the help of Almighty God, Trump does want to “Make America Great Again!”

So if you choose to abstain from voting neither candidate or write in a candidate, that certainly is your electoral prerogative. I respect your electoral choice. 

Millions of other Americans and likeminded Christians such as me are owed your respect when we vote for Trump. 

Just like you, we have confessed our sin. Just like you, we have accepted Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior. Just like you, we’re trying to live like/for Christ. 

But unlike you, we’ve decided to vote for Trump.

Voting for Trump doesn’t mean we approve of his past or approve him owning casinos. Please don’t presume to know that we haven’t heard from God. We’re not sinning. We haven’t committed apostasy. 

And I, for one, do not fear her. I just don’t want Hillary Clinton elected 45th President of the United States! It’s really as simple as that.

So if you were like me and are still struggling with “of two evils, vote neither,” consider this: There may be less unborn babies chemically burned, dismembered, vacuumed, and body parts sold if we vote for Trump. 

If you were like me and are still wrestling with “of two evils, vote neither,” think about who created the chaos in Iraq and Syria. There may be far less crucifixions, far less dismemberments, far less people being burned and women being raped if we vote for Trump. 

If you were like me and are still wrestling with “of two evils, vote neither,” visualize watching an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighter behead a spouse. None of us has ever seen evil men crucify a loved one. None of us has ever witnessed wicked men disjoint legs and pull apart arms from elderly father or young son or brother or uncle or cousin. None of us has ever been horrified at seeing what a human being looks like after being stoned or burned. There may be civility, far less atrocities and Middle East stability if we vote for Trump.

If you were like me and are still struggling with “of two evils, vote neither,” imagine hearing the cries of our wife or daughter(s) or aunt(s) or niece(s) or other women being raped; Imagine seeing women sexually assaulted over and over and over again and we’re powerless to stop it; Imagine listening or trying not to listen to women pleading to be ”droned” and attempt to commit suicide. 

Imagine watching cruel, depraved and wicked men torture these women more because they were unsuccessful in killing themselves. There may be far less ISIS men abusing Muslim, Christian and Yazidis women in these areas where the United States vacated under this current administration if we vote for Trump.

Consider and think about the people who could be imperiled if this nation chose a leader whose policies caused all of this human misery in the first place. Visualize and imagine the people who would suffer from her bungling incompetence if she is selected/elected as our most powerful federal employee. 

It is easier to intellectualize, hypothesize and philosophize about “of two evils, vote neither” from the safety and security within our borders and inside our comfortable homes. But it really means absolutely nothing to the unborn, to persecuted Christians and to the victims of ISIS.