As I age however, I find it less and less possible not to speak up when things are wrong. As a minister I don’t want to get too political on Facebook or emails. I tend to be liberal, but as with my studies of various religions, I also can usually see both sides of a political issue. So I keep still until something really fires me up.
It takes a lot to get me to that point. It takes some form of injustice or ignorance. It takes evil, mean actions, hateful speech. It takes Donald Trump!
Every night on the news is a new episode of the circus/reality show of the Donald Trump candidacy for President. There is so much hateful nonsense coming out of that man that I could laugh at him if not for one thing. He has so many followers supporting his spewing of racial, misogynistic, hostile slurs. He appeals to every fear and prejudice that these people have and they clamor for more.
As far as I know I don’t know anyone personally that is backing him, but if I do, I imagine we won’t be friends for long. My husband and I have actually started looking at other countries to move to if he gets elected.
While I don’t always agree with my conservative friends, I also know that my real friends are kind and loving people. People that would give the shirt off their back if I needed it. People that wouldn’t turn away a hungry or homeless person because of their race or nationality. People who don’t take their love for their religion or their country lightly.
What scares me most is that the people following Trump must never read about or do any research on this man and his history. He does not represent any American or Christian values that I have ever heard of.
He crossed a really big line for me when he called Pope Francis “disgraceful” for doubting his (Trump’s) “Christianity.” The Holy Father simply said a real Christian doesn’t build walls. He builds bridges. I suspect Trump’s Christianity just came on in the past few months to suit his political ambitions. After all, anyone can carry a Bible and wave it around. That doesn’t make him a Christian. I have never seen anything in him that represents what Jesus would do.
I read a blog on Huffington Post that better describes what I am feeling. The title is Since When Did Scapegoating and Taking Revenge Become American and Christian Principles. It’s written by David Mochel and is really worth your time to read the whole thing. Here is a quote that resonated with me: ”I propose that the privileges of being Christian come with the responsibilities of showing compassion and generosity for those in need and mercy toward those who have offended. …Uncertainty can trigger anxiety and self-defensiveness. We can respond by being reactionary, rigid, and exclusive. But this is not our only choice. We also have the choice of compassion, inclusivity, and peaceful resistance. … I am tired of ‘American’ and ‘Christian’ being used as descriptors of what is happening in the popular discourse. …I am tired of letting the loudest among us be those who call for un-American behavior in the name of patriotism. I am tired of letting the dialogue be monopolized by those who pass off prejudice as faith. Compassion matters. Dignity matters. Exercising self-discipline when we are scared and angry matters.”
I know that Trump appeals to people’s pain, fear and ignorance. I know that most rational people see through his twisted rhetoric. I also know that if we let him rule our country (And that is what he wants to do, rule like a king not govern like an elected official.) then our country will lose a lot of respect from the rest of the world.
I say that our religions and country matter too much to let Donald Trump lead us to disaster. Please get out there and vote! It is the only recourse we have to end this tidal wave of nonsense!