Opinion

Trey Pearson: Why evangelicals should vote their beliefs, not their fears

Trey Pearson, 35, has been the lead singer of the popular Christian rock band "Everyday Sunday." But he decided to put his career on the line recently and tell his faithful fans that he is gay. Photo courtesy of Trey Pearson
Trey Pearson, 35, has been the lead singer of the popular Christian rock band "Everyday Sunday." But he decided to put his career on the line this week and admit to his faithful fans that he is gay. Photo courtesy of Trey Pearson

Trey Pearson, 35, has been the lead singer of the popular Christian rock band “Everyday Sunday.” But he decided to put his career on the line recently and tell his faithful fans that he is gay. Photo courtesy of Trey Pearson

(RNS) Evangelical is an important word in the arena of American politics. It is often seen as a voting bloc to be targeted for votes.

And, in too many people’s eyes, it has become almost a dirty word.

However, in its truest and historical definition, an evangelical is someone who spreads the good news of Jesus Christ. It means spreading the word of God’s grace, that we stand with the poor, the immigrant and the outcast.

As Rob Bell says: “If it isn’t good news for everybody, then it isn’t good news for anybody. Evangelical does not mean anti-gay, anti-science, anti-immigrant, and that is so far from the good news that God’s love extends to everyone who has ever felt the boot of the empire on their neck.”

Early evangelicals not only believed they should care about others on a personal level, but they did so in a communal way because what mattered the most was caring for each other.

As an evangelical, I have thought a lot about the kind of person I want to vote for in November. I want a president who cares about the poor, the outcast, the marginalized and the suffering. I want a president who represents and leads a country in which all God’s children have a place.

I don’t want a president who brings bigotry, oppression and division. I don’t want a president who is mean and hateful. I don’t want a president who promotes a world of fear, of things or people who are different.

This world of fear is the world in which too many evangelical voters live. I know what it is like. For most of my life, I lived in fear of what God would think of me if I were gay.

From the time I was a teenager, I tried hard not to be gay. But in a rude awakening when I found myself seven years into a marriage with two kids, I became painfully and fearfully aware of the truth.

What I learned in my own life is that leaving our fears behind and living into our truths, we can realize the good news of Jesus is not exclusion but inclusion, not shame but grace, love and commitment, both to each other and to the least among us.

That good news must transform how we view the world around us, freeing us from our fear, because “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Our politics as well as the policies and politicians we support should reflect our beliefs, not our fears. The politics of Jesus, and of the Christian faith community, are ones of love, of equality and of compassion.

Exercising our faith on Election Day means supporting policies that care for the poor, take in immigrants and refugees and create opportunities for others — even if they are different from us.

If we do not believe in hate, name-calling or bullying, we should vote like it. If we believe that Jesus’ good news is for all people, we should vote like it.

I’m an evangelical. I believe in good news for everybody and promise to vote like it. That’s why on Nov. 8, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.

(Trey Pearson is the lead singer of the popular Christian rock band Everyday Sunday)

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  • No disrespect folks, but if you have to pump-up your sales-pitch with a ROB BELL quotation, your stuff is already DOA.

  • While much of Trey’s argument evokes sympathy in me, I would contend that as believer who lives in a fallen world who professes faith in Christ, I would hope that he would recognize that whatever constitutes the root of his gayness (including the possibility of biological factors outside what I believe God designed as the norm), the requirements of his faith as defined by the teachings of the bible require that he strive to be sexually celibate in his walk with Christ in the absence of reconciliation with his wife. I would recommend this to Christian heterosexual divorcee’s as well. Beyond that, I respect his arguments subject to some minor tweaking.

  • Trey we don’t hold it against you for being gay; we hold it against you for being wrong! Hilliary Clinton cares for the poor only to the extent that they are useful to her in getting votes, like Democrats have done for decades. Everybody is worse off under the Obama administration, but blacks have fared worse than anybody else. Obama’s policies have put more people on food stamps than any president before him.

    The appeal of helping the worldwide poor is the window dressing behind the Clinton Foundation, which is actually a very profitable business that fills the coffers of the Clintons tax free. Haiti is a good example. The Clinton Foundation makes the connections that gets their friends big contracts to help the Haitians. Their friends gratefully plow some of the money back into the foundation, and Bill Clinton gets big speaking fees from someone, to extoll the foundation’s good work in Haiti

    Trey, Baby, you need to study a little deeper than the fascades that Hilliary is selling the likes of you. The Clintons are all about greed and corruption. Wise up!

  • “Obama’s policies have put more people on food stamps than any president before him.”

    Actually that would be Walmart and McDonalds. In the past everyone who worked for a living would be able to survive without government assistance. Now we have employers who are soaking taxpayers with starvation wages and encouraging full time workers to seek public assistance.

    Seriously, to bring up Clinton, and Clinton Foundation foibles and avoid addressing her opponent’s far far worse acts and abuse of charitable efforts is not really the best faith argument one can make. I can say one thing about the Clinton Foundation, they never issued a check as settlement for a personal lawsuit of either Hill or Bill.

  • As an evangelical in this coming election, I will vote for a candidate who is pro life, supports traditional marriage between a man and women, anti war. Religious freedom and strong national defense. Hillary Clinton falls short of all these. She won’t have my vote!

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