I posted a story on Facebook today that had a link to a video of Donald Trump getting called out by a young man for telling a lie in a speech he made. When the young man started to clarify what he was saying, Mr. Trump (in true Trump fashion) cut him off, loudly talked over him, and dismissed his criticism of Trump’s false statement with the wave of his hand and contorted face… Right after he asked the young man if he was from South Korea, and dismissed his answer (“I was born in Texas, and grew up in Colorado”) with a different contorted face that conveyed a deep sense of “Who cares…” You can read the article and watch the short video RIGHT HERE, but I took a screen capture of the “Who cares…” face for you viewing pleasure. It is one of Mr Trump’s go-to expressions, and he employs it every time someone makes any sort of comment that zings him in any way. It’s a face that says, “So what… I’ve got all kinds of money.” I’ll post a big version….
With the article, I said something along the lines of “If you are thinking about voting for this man, you are 100% delusional.” Or something thereabouts. So, here is something interesting that I’ve noticed happening lately: Trump has a surprising amount of support from evangelical Christians… And as surprising as that fact is, the interesting part to ME has been the way that many confused Christians have been attempting to defend the things Donald Trump has been saying. Because there are many, MANY quotes from this man that people are rightly critical of. And because there is really no defense–especially from a Christian point of view–of the things he has been saying, it is putting Christians in an awkward situation. Here are a few ways that Christians have been dealing with that awkwardness:
- They talk about how they like the way he “tells it like it is.” They admit that he is brash, but try to turn his lack of concern with whom his words are hurting into a some sort of virtue. And they try to do this all in a very “At least he’s telling the truth” sort of way…. But a person can “not beat around the bush” while still saying vile, hateful, and prejudice things.
- They will say, “At least he’s better than ________.” And the person who finishes that sentence will almost always be a democrat. And I get that… I believe that if we are given the choice between “Not Good” and “Even Worse,” we probably have a responsibility to vote for the lesser of two evils. But there are many choices right now. The choice is not between Trump and Hilary… The choice is between Trump and roughly 16 other republicans. But this one is easy for me to spot, because I’ve got three kids. And when I ask the boy “Why did you go into your mom’s desk and get her Sharpies?” (a serious sin in our household) he will invariably tell me something one of his sisters has done in the past couple days. But that’s not what we were talking about, was it….
- And this one is the most interesting to me–They will talk about how we all have our faults. Christians have been getting very “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” when people start being critical of Donald Trump. I have had that card played on me twice in the past couple days. And initially, it sound right… I thought, “Yeah, he’s a person, just like me. I have faults too. Who am I to focus on a person’s shortcomings?” And then I thought, “WHAT THE HELL AM I TALKING ABOUT?!?! THIS GUY IS A JACKASS!!”
And here is why it’s okay for Christians like me to shine a light on the many indefensible things Donald Trump has said and done….
Imagine we’re sitting on a bus. It’s a pretty big bus, and there are all kinds of people on it–young and old, rich and poor, red & yellow, black & white–and we’re getting ready to leave on a long trip. While we’re waiting to leave, in walks the bus driver. Now, not everybody on the bus is paying attention, and not everybody is in a position to see him, but let’s say I notice something peculiar about the bus driver. At first I think to myself, “Wow, those are some really dark sunglasses he’s wearing.” And then I see him folding up something thin and white with a red tip, and I think, “Wait a second… Is that a CANE?!? Is this guy BLIND???” You walk over and wave your hand in front of his face…. Nothing.
I say to the lady sitting next to me, “Hey. I think that our bus driver is blind.” And she’s like, “He sure does have a nice uniform though, doesn’t he?” I look at the guy sitting across the aisle and say, “Dude. Our bus driver is totally blind. This is not okay, right?” And he says, “Well, at least he’s better than a lady with no arms and no legs.” I blink over and over at the idiocy of it all. Finally I stand up and yell, “People of the bus! The man who is getting ready to drive this bus is BLIND. Like, he literally cannot see!” And someone with a WWJD bracelet stands up and says, “Whoa, whoa, whoa… Let’s not start casting the first stone here. Who are you to be pointing out anyone else’s inadequacies? Are you perfect? I’m sure if you got to know him, you’d find out that he has all kinds of very redeeming qualities. I actually know some stuff about him–He’s a really good businessman. He a person just like you. Let’s look for some POSITIVE things to say about him.”
This is what has been happening with Donald Trump. I posted a picture (this one) with a Trump quote about how he thinks that his daughter Ivanka is hot enough for him to date. The right response for people to have when seeing something like this is to say, “This is indefensible.” NOT, “Have YOU ever said the wrong thing or made an inappropriate joke before??” And there are pages and pages of things this person has said that are completely indefensible… Things that are not just insensitive or “brash,” but things that are completely CONTRARY to everything Jesus is stands for. Some Christians who can’t deny this (but are so desperate for a republican president) are even looking (in a desperate attempt to win the “Christian vote”) for Bible stories about God using bad kings for good purposes. It’s gross. Trump’s xenophobic (and Sodomistic) comments about immigrants, his sexist and demeaning comments about women, his complete lack of knowledge about world foreign policy and world leaders, his propensity toward conspiracy theory, his lack of a basic self-awareness that leaves him unable to even understand his own need for redemption…. The list of things that disqualify him for the office of the Presidency grows every day.
I am not “throwing the first stone.” Donald Trump is a man who is worthy of love and compassion…. Just like the rest of us. I believe that God loves him completely. He has his issues, and I have mine. We all need help, and we all have a lot to learn. But calling a person a buffoon who is clearly practicing buffoonery is not being any more judgmental than pointing out that a bowling ball is round. And dense… Especially when that bowling ball is leading the pack of republicans running for President. This person is no more qualified to be President of the United States of America than I am qualified to do open heart surgery. Come to your senses, America. And please, PLEASE, come to your senses, Christians. I’m not saying Donald Trump is not worthy of sitting on the bus… I’m just saying that he is CLEARLY not fit to drive the bus.
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