The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe captured in poetry a bargain pitting our desire to live our life free from God's moral expectations and free to live our earthly life as we well please. In his story, the protagonist is a man named Dr. Faust. Faust is hungry for unlimited knowledge and power and willingly cuts a deal with the devil who can make his wishes come true. The price is high. Faust must pay with his soul upon death and join the devil’s brigade.

This type of wager is timeless. Martin Luther claimed Pope Leo X cut a deal, and Luther called him the antichrist. President Warren G. Harding rode the coattails of mobster Al Capone and served illegal booze in the White House. Adolf Hitler was voted into power in Germany and didn't kill millions of Jews on his own. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special talents as a KGB expert were testimony to an apparent pact with Satan. Our President Donald Trump publicly asked Putin to tap into his power source and find political dirt on presidential opponent Hillary Clinton.

Our present moral compass is out of whack. We have a president whose moral integrity, if shared in a confession booth, would be hard for any priest to absolve. He openly pokes sticks into our own hornets’ nests of isms that divide us as a people. Even kneeling by athletes, a spiritual motion, Trump condemns from his bully pulpit.

Whether Trump has cut a deal with the devil is beyond my pay grade. He's famous for making all kinds of deals.

Those who do find him morally distasteful but champion him as the person who'll get them their earthly riches might have a difficult time defending themselves at the pearly gates. Will God question our voting patterns?

David Griffin