Must A Leader Be Moral?

The following was a quick post I made on Facebook recently, revised and expanded with some additional reflections. Enjoy and share!

It baffles and concerns me greatly when people, especially Christians, question why we need a leader to be a moral person. You’ve probably heard people say “we’re not electing a pastor” or “they’re just being hired to do a job.”

To those people, I would ask: do you hope the president makes moral decisions with his position and power, or immoral ones? I hope we can all agree on the answer to this question, at the very least.

If you prefer one candidate, party, or platform over another, then you probably have an opinion about morals that is important to you. Even if you and I disagree, you probably came to your conclusions at least in part because you believed they were the moral ones.

So if we can agree that morals are important and that we would want the president to make moral decisions, I’d next ask who is most likely to make moral decisions with the office of president: a moral man or an immoral one? I hope this one is another easy answer.

Jesus said it himself: a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit (Matthew 7:18). Sure, a leopard can change its spots, but we should be wary of that until we see real “fruit” of change. A man who is immoral in his personal life isn’t going to suddenly become moral when given political position and power. If he disrespects people, acts carelessly, and shows poor judgment in his personal life, then why do we think he’ll make political decisions that show respect, care, and good judgment? We’d be naïve to assume this–and our current president has consistently demonstrated for the last four years that this isn’t the case.

I’m not asking for a sinless candidate–there isn’t one–but just for someone whose consistent actions and values represent good morals and character. A man’s morals and character, good or bad, naturally overflow into everything he does. They can’t be divorced from the decisions he makes or compartmentalized into a position of insignificance.

Good morals aren’t just a peripheral quality for the presidency. They must be among our top priorities and criteria.

I read a good article recently that phrased some of these concerns more eloquently than I can in this space. It argued that, once we abandon a prioritization of moral right and wrong, we can’t claim to be fighting for right and goodness anymore with our party preferences; we’re only fighting for our own side to win. Or, as the original author put it, “if we insist upon submitting truth to power, then we have nothing else to offer or to lose. The only remaining distinction between conservatism and liberalism will be which identity groups they represent, not which party more justly and righteously pursues the common good.” The author phrases this as a hypothetical future scenario; I would argue that we’ve already reached this point in our current political climate.

Let’s all remember the preeminence that moral right and goodness should have in all of our decisions, big and small–and vote accordingly this year.

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, Politics

One response to “Must A Leader Be Moral?

  1. Pingback: Shall We Choose Evil That Good May Result? | The Adventures of Samuel

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