The pastor who persuaded the Southern Baptist Convention to adopt a resolution this summer denouncing display of the Confederate flag says he will vote for Hillary Clinton Nov. 8, because the biggest pro-life issue at stake in this election is the shooting of unarmed African-American males by police.
Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, said in a blog Oct. 5 that while many evangelicals not enamored by either major party candidate say they will reluctantly vote for Donald Trump because Clinton would appoint Supreme Court justices who support abortion rights, he has no confidence that a Trump presidency would do anything to limit access to abortion or defend traditional marriage.
McKissic, who after years of voting for Republicans now regards himself a political independent, said he was planning to vote for a write-in or third party candidate until he heard Clinton and Trump respond in the recent presidential debate to the question what they would do to bring healing to America’s racial divide.
McKissic said Trump’s answer to the question was essentially “law and order” and “stop and frisk.”
“I thought to myself: you’ve got to be kidding me,” McKissic wrote. “That spoke volumes to me. He saw black people as criminals. In order to heal the racial divide, his solution would be to stop and frisk my 12 grandchildren and, upon sight, see them as in need of law and order supervision. His answer was horrifying to me.”
McKissic, in the past a single-issue voter opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage, said people being mistreated by police, regardless of the color of their skin, “is just as much a quality of life issue as abortion.”
“Police brutality is one of the most pressing, unresolved social issues of our time,” he said. “It certainly is a life and quality of life matter. It will certainly impact the environment my grandchildren are raised in. Therefore, I must ask myself which candidate will do a better job and be more objective and fair in making sure the citizens and the police are being treated fairly? Who best understands and empathizes with both sides of this issue? Whose justice system and attorney general’s office would I rather see be involved in these matters?”
McKissic, sponsor of a 2009 SBC resolution celebrating the election of America’s first African-American president, said the last Democratic presidential candidate he voted for was Jimmy Carter. He has voted for Republican ever since, he said, with the exception of Mitt Romney. Because Romney refused to distance himself from racist teachings associated with Mormonism, McKissic said that year he voted down the ballot but did not select a candidate for president.
While Democrats “have totally abandoned God’s definition of marriage and the protection of life in the womb,” McKissic said the GOP has left behind George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” and President George H.W. Bush’s anger over the videotaped police beating of African-American driver Rodney King that triggered race riots in Los Angeles in 1992.
“So after much soul searching, I have reached the conclusion that the life issues that I’m voting to protect this year will be my grandchildren,” McKissic said. “The racial healing atmosphere and the level of accountability that police know that will be expected from a Clinton administration suggests to me that police persons will be slightly more cautious in pulling the trigger in the future than they have been in the past.”