If you’re a Christian or a follower of Jesus, you shouldn’t vote for Donald Trump.
I realize these are fighting words. I get that I’m speaking out on matters of the world political . . . and I get that as a minister, I’m not supposed to support one political candidate. So be it. I’m not advocating in favor of or in support of any particular candidate. But as a woman of faith and a minister to God’s people, I will not (nay I cannot) remain silent when faced with evil.
Jesus demanded otherwise. Trump’s attack on the very roots of my faith demands otherwise. Trump, after all, is a flouter of all that Jesus taught, and if elected, Trump will rip at the foundations of all that Jesus taught and when he’s finished tearing up these roots, he will spread poison throughout the body politic with the dismembered branches of all that godly men and women hold dear.
What did Jesus teach? He said that above all, to love God and to love your neighbor as you would be loved. Trump loves no one. He attacks women like here, where he admits to calling women, “Pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals” . . . and when he is asked by Megyn Kelly about it, he suggests that “Blood is coming out of wherever . . . and later calls her a bimbo.
Trump is a bully rather than a statesman. Rather than debate intelligently with fellow Republicans, he has made fun of Rubio at least eight times for sweating and went so far as to heap scorn on Marco Rubio in a video segment.
If you don’t have time to watch the segment, Trump opens a water bottle and splashes the air with it and with a scoffing laugh mumbles, “Ha, this is Rubio,” and he smirks and eventually throws the water bottle over his head with a smug and disgusted chortle.
Trump, in other words, makes fun of people. He does not help the homeless, the needy, or the unfortunate; in fact, he walks past a homeless man and chortles aloud to his daughter that the homeless man has eight billion more than he has at the moment. According to an article in Forbes magazine, Trump’s actual donations to veterans amount to a paltry $57,000 and over the past several years, Trump has made no personal contributions to the charitable foundation created in his name.
Contrast this behavior, in other words, with what the Savior did while he was here. Jesus gave. He didn’t take. He gave, and he gave generously, and he told his disciples to give just as radically because he knew a simple truth: those who give love receive much more than they give because they receive grace. Jesus knew that love was all a soul really needed to obtain salvation, and the more love we give, the better off we are and the closer we are towards building the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.
Does Trump care about the Kingdom of Heaven? Does he care about souls who need tending? Does Trump care about being a shepherd of God’s flock, or about taking care of the poor, the needy? Does Trump care about the public good at all?
He cares about making America great again.
Since when did goodness get removed from moral or political consideration? Since when did America become a nation that seeks greatness at the expense of goodness? Since when did we sacrifice the public welfare to the pursuit of superiority over other nations, peoples, creeds, or ethnicities?
Because make no mistake, if Trump has his way, American greatness will come only when all that’s good in the American heart is extinguished. Burnt up at the altar of making WE THE PEOPLE great. We as a people are only as great as we are good.
Which is exactly what Christians should focus on: building individual grace in the service of the public welfare.
Or to put it another way, what would Jesus do if he were here? Would he stand by in silence and allow a soul as dark as Trump to spread his vile and hateful speech? Or would he speak out with courage and discernment?
This isn’t rhetoric, nor is it a difficult question to answer in any way. When a mob wanted to stone an adulterer, Jesus defended her. He said, “Let he who has committed no sin cast the first stone.”
Can you imagine Trump standing up for the disenfranchised, the weak, the imperfect? Nay. Trump would have grabbed the nearest stone and hurled it at whoever stood in the way of American greatness. After all, Trump is amazing. He’s wonderful. He’s GREAT. And America must be superior to all other nations, just as Trump must be superior to all other individuals.
Did Jesus think this way? No. He said, “Judge not so ye be not judged.” He hung out with the homeless, the sick, the indolent, the castoffs and castouts of his society. He helped those in need. And he spoke out against evil, greed, hypocrisy, and immorality. He spoke out fearlessly and he spoke out radically.
When seeing money collectors brazenly gathering in the public space outside a temple, Jesus took an actual whip to the collecting tables. Sure, Jesus answered a question from an attacking member of the established order with the famous, “Render unto Caesar’s what is Caesar’s,” but he nonetheless railed against the misuse of political power by members of the Jewish religious leadership. Jesus spoke out and he spoke up—no matter the physical pain he knew would be inflicted on him due to his outspoken opposition to immorality and greed.
As disciples and followers of Jesus, so too should we speak out against Trump’s spread of hatred. Indeed, any religious leader, any priest, any minister in America who fails to speak up against the rise of Trump will be guilty of allowing the rise of evil in the land of the free and the brave. Those who serve God must love their flock by having the courage to speak up when evil is being done or served or propagated by threat of human hand.
Evil is as evil does, and Trump does evil. He does not speak love. He does not speak kindness. And he does not do or encourage kind acts. He simply spews hatred, breeds superiority and instills fear of anyone who is different. Trump will not make America great again. He will make America into a killer of all that is good in the collective and individual soul.
And we must not stand by in silence and allow it.