On July 19, 2016, Donald J. Trump officially became the 2016 Republican Nominee for President of the United States. What was once looked at as an impossible dream for some and a worst case scenario for others has happened. It is clear that many Republicans, and many Christians for that matter, favor Trump. Others do not. But what do Christian teenagers think about all this? After all, they are the next generation of Christian leaders. The next generation of Republicans.
Just to be clear, I am not equating Republicanism/Conservatism with being a Christian. I am good friends with many Christians who happen to be Democrat or Libertarian. What I am saying though, is that the majority of Christian (specifically evangelical) teenagers have strong leanings toward the GOP.
That being said, I decided to take up a study involving Christian teenagers from several different ages, denominations, and states. The results surprised me. Not only did many of them have strong opinions on the subject, but they had great reasons as well.
The study consisted of six or seven questions, depending on what they answered for previous questions. Many of the surveys were done via text messaging due to the several different areas being interviewed, but some were done in person. I attempted to record everyone word for word, and when I did summarize I made sure to receive consent from the person being interviewed. And so, after collecting and organizing dozens of interviews, I have put together this summary.
Question #1: As a Christian, would you vote for Donald Trump?
With answers ranging from “heck yeah” to “I would not ever in my life”, this was one of my favorite questions. Not many people knew what this interview was about before hand, which made their reactions priceless. Even on this first question, many of the teenagers interviewed would begin degrading their knowledge of politics and insisting they were not qualified to participate in this study. I disagreed.
When pushed, everyone believed something. Everyone knew whether they would or would not vote for Donald Trump. In fact, approximately 81% of Christian teenagers would vote for Trump! That’s more than four out of five!
Question #2: Why or why not?
Next I would ask this crucial question concerning reason. Why would you vote for Donald Trump? Or, if they answered in the negative, why would you not vote for Donald Trump? Many of the reasons given contained the phrase “the lesser of two evils” or “the better option”, but some of them were quite original and intelligent. I found that both sides had some great points. Here are a few,
“Because I believe that I would rather have someone as our president who has at least some of the same values than someone with none of the same. Preferably I would have neither of them, however since this is the situation I would choose Trump (since he is the Republican nominee). I do wish Trump would not have gotten the nomination, but it is what it is and I believe he is the lesser of two evils. Along with his VP pick and Supreme Court picks, I do think he is better than Hillary.” -Briana S. of North Dakota (15)
“Donald Trump was a pro-choice, anti-gun liberal until he decided to run for president. He changes his policies when politically expedient and has no competence or integrity. We have to place character and a trust in God at a higher point than (fake) policies. I believe Trump has been pandering to the party to get elected, and I believe he’s extremely dangerous. That being said, Hillary is no better. I will either find a third party, independent, or a write in campaign to support or I will support no one at all. Because voting against my morals, my principles, my beliefs, and voting for someone of no character is not worth voting at all.” -David H. of Wisconsin (16)
“Because he’s our only choice. He’s surrounding himself with good people.” -Abi S. of New York (15)
“Why not?” -Madison R. of New York (15)
Question #3: Do you have any Biblical support for your decision?
I am honestly disappointed at the absence of Biblical reasoning behind many of these decisions, but I am not surprised. It is a hard subject, but should still be looked into with the help of Scripture. That being said, I did get some great Biblical reasons for both answers. Here are a few,
“Titus 3:1-11, I would not want Hillary as my leader.” -Alyssa B. of New York (18)
“There are not specific passages of Scripture per se that I could point to in support of my opinion. However, having a big picture view of God’s Word, I would find it very difficult to place my voice in the government behind a man who so openly defies the heart attitudes I ask God to grow in me every day.” -Grace D. of New York (17)
“Her [Clinton] and her party are fine with abortion which is basically murder.” -Reese C. of Texas (15)
“Trump is essentially going against God’s fundamental rules because he has thrown insults time and time again against all sorts of people. The Bible says to love thy neighbor and your enemies as you would for your own family. And not to mention he also wants to hear nothing about people he considers enemies and says that he will wipe them out without a shred of mercy. Not to mention that the Bible speaks about the leader to be humble as well, which he clearly is not. And as stated from him, he has lots of money to the point of bragging…” -Ryan O. of New York (16)
“God transformed Saul into Paul.” -Sereenah G. of New York (14)
“Conscience, not violating your conscience is Biblical.” -Nicholas M. of Oklahoma (17)
“James 4:17” -Briana S. of North Dakota (15)
“The Bible says, ‘Thou shalt vote for Donald Trump’.” -Aric B. of New York (16)
Question #4: On a scale of 1-10, how much are you in favor of a Trump presidency?
This question was by far my favorite. It puts thoughts, emotions, and reasoning together into one number. A number that can be put together with other numbers to get the big picture. Here are the results,
Mean (Average): 4.97059
Median (Middle Number): 5
Modes (Most Common Numbers): 1 & 3
Question #5: Do you view Mike Pence in a favorable or unfavorable way?
Understand that most of these interviews were done relatively soon after Pence was announced as Trump’s VP pick. That may have something to do with the amount of confusion I was shown when I would ask this question.
As I tallied up the results, the number of people who view Pence favorably came to match the number of people who do not know of him. They ended up at exactly the same number. Here are the final percentages,
Percent of Christian teenagers who view Pence favorably: 48.5714%
Percent of Christian teenagers who view Pence unfavorably: 2.8571%
Percent of Christian teenagers who do not know who Pence is or enough about him to make a decision: 48.5714%
Question #6: Does Pence affect your view of Trump?
The majority of Christian teens had no answer to this question. They were either unsure or not ready to give an answer. Here are the percentages,
Question #7: Would you consider voting Libertarian or another third party?
I was hesitant to ask this question at first, but I ultimately decided that it belonged in this study. The results surprised me. The answers were much more divided than even the answers to the first question! Here are the percentages,
I don’t know: 12.5%
Further dividing the answers were those who made it clear that they would never vote Libertarian, but maybe for another third party. In fact, 17.6471% of Christian teens who answered yes specified that they would not vote Libertarian.
What do you think?
What do you think of the results of this study? Are they what you expected? Are they surprising? Do you have an idea for a future study? If so, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your answer in the comments! Make sure to subscribe to this blog and share it with all who might be interested!
I look forward to hearing from you soon,