I continue to be at a loss for the support of our current president by a significant percentage of so-called “evangelicals”. No less famous a pastor than Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, swears by the man. Here are two paragraphs from a New York Times article following the death of his father in February.
Franklin Graham has defended the president on television and social media through the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the crackdowns on immigrants and refugees, the Stormy Daniels scandal, and the slur against Haiti and Africa.
“People say that the president says mean things. I can’t think of anything mean he’s said. I think he speaks what he feels,” Mr. Graham said in a wide-ranging telephone interview last week. “I think he’s trying to speak the truth.”
It’s hard to figure out how anyone with an ear to hear can say those sentences about Donald Trump. “I can’t think of anything mean he’s said”? The very first press conference as a presidential candidate began with calling Mexicans rapists, murderers, and drug runners. “I think he’s trying to speak the truth”? The very first thing he instructed his press secretary to emphasize was the obviously false claim that he had the largest inauguration crowd of all time – period!
Only the most fervent, Kool-Aid addicted followers of the man can claim that Mr. Trump doesn’t lie, often and habitually. Only those who intentionally turn a blind eye to his 180-turms when someone disagrees with him aloud could claim he’s never said anything mean; people who were once his best friends are suddenly backstabbing lowlifes whom he will take greatest pleasure in trying to destroy or (failing that) lying about their destruction.
[Interestingly, Franklin’s father Billy Graham made a point of saying that being so dedicated to ANY president as a pastor or as a dedicated Christian is a mistake, one he learned after having been perceived as being tied to Nixon before Watergate broke. This comes from the same article as Franklin Graham’s quote:
Pastors should not become too enmeshed with politicians and partisan politics. “Looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now,” (Billy Graham) said to the magazine Christianity Today in 2011.
And while it may be slightly less obvious than his lying and vindictiveness, Donald Trump has a driving purpose in his legislative and executive orders: to undo anything and everything that his predecessor, Barack Obama, did in office. The reason is not hard to speculate about – embarrassment at the 2011 press dinner, his own racist tendencies or a specific hatred of Mr. Obama for whatever reason – but it’s ultimately unimportant except within his own mind. What matters to us as Americans is his unyielding desire and quest to undo every accomplishment of the 44th president, and sometimes that leads to problems for him and his party.
For example, the Affordable Care Act, euphemistically called “Obamacare”, became the target of his and the Republican leadership simply because the name associated with it was the black man who signed the final bill. But the ACA was composed primarily of the original GOP proposals for a national health care plan, which Mr. Obama agreed to because it was better than nothing, and the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. So when they set out to fight it… they were shooting their own plan in the foot. Now, when they had to replace it with “their own plan”, they were stuck. Their best ideas were already in force! In the name of envy and jealousy, they dismantled their own health care plan.
What should the evangelicals say about such behavior – jealousy, rage, falsity? James 3:13-15 makes it very clear what that opinion should be….
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is NOT the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
Needless to tell you, that’s not what the majority of people who claim to be “born again” do. They stick with the Republican party because they have traditionally been the party of “family values”. The problem with that theory is that the individuals in power claiming that party name no longer adhere to anything resembling family values as the Bible describes them. They stand for the preservation of wealth, white supremacy and racism in general, and a host of other selfish desires unrelated to the health of the nation as a whole OR its people as individuals.
This group of individuals have used their power to enact the largest cash-grab for them and their fellow rich friends in the history of this nation through the “tax reform” plan they shoved through Congress and got 45 to sign into law last year – tax reform that had as its bait a small refund in the first year for most of us, followed by the raising of taxes on the poor and middle class over the next ten years to pay for the tax cuts for the rich people and businesses.
They implemented one of the cruelest methods imaginable to implement their closed border policy (the one that violates both the Bible’s commands to welcome the sojourners and the Statue of Liberty’s welcome to “the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free…Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…”) – the quickly-becoming-permanent separation of parents and their children for the “crime” of seeking asylum. Rather than turning them away…rather than even imprisoning them…. they took their children away without any way of reuniting them later. It’s hard to imagine any other non-lethal practice they could have implemented
Finally, consider the sources of the problems the president faces that are currently being investigated: payments to women he had affairs with leading up to the election; connections to the Russian government, and the many and obvious violations of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, designed to prevent using the office of the Presidency (among others) to personally enrich yourself from other governments (among other sources).
Then, consider Deuteronomy 17, verses 15 – 17. The Lord was giving the people who were about to enter the Holy Land of Israel after forty years of travel in the wilderness instructions about how to live life under His Guidance, and all people who consider the United States to be a country founded in the Christian faith and that is at least ostensibly a Christian nation today should consider these directions applicable to us as well.
“You may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself (which at the time equated with military strength) or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”
Beyond the horses part, I’m not sure what else Mr. Trump could do to be more in violation of this. And yet, “I don’t think I have anything I need to repent for”, as he has said on several occasions when asked about his religious beliefs.
Many on the right continue to stay with this group of ne’er do wells despite their obvious flaws because of one issue: abortion. “No matter what else they may do wrong”, they’re going to make sure they get an anti-choice justice on the Supreme Court to allow them to overturn the guts of Roe v Wade and prevent all but the most necessary of abortions. Beyond the flip-flop nature of the president on this issue (he was on the record as pro-choice as recently as 2006), the nature of the Faustian bargain these people have made with the devil – give us a president who will save the babies, no matter how many post-birth people he kills in the process – is deplorable, as the former Democratic candidate once labeled the people supporting Trump.
To be “pro-life” (undoubtedly you noticed I used the phrase “anti-choice” instead), you must be pro-life AFTER the babies are BORN, too!!! Too many of the folks who are so upset about the ending of life within the womb care not a whit for the care of those lives once they emerge from there: this administration has cut spending on day care, on health care for infants and toddlers, on early childhood education, and on and on.
Where are we going with all of this? What’s the point?
Here’s the point: I have written in this blog on several occasions that it seems clear to me that God has placed Donald J Trump in the office of President of the United States for His own purposes. I believe those purposes have to do with the End Times – he has successfully transformed our nation from the leader of the free world into an international pariah in less than eighteen months, which is a truly stunning accomplishment if you stop to think about it. The purpose of this positioning (from God’s perspective, which I am haughtily assuming I know) is to give the AntiChrist a target to aim the rest of the world’s hatred towards when he rises to power immediately following the Rapture of the church. At THAT point, Mr. Trump can be deposed by the Mueller special counsel commission, without disrupting the Lord’s ultimate plan (or perhaps it’s the Lord allowing Satan’s ultimate plan, which amounts to the same thing).
So having said all that, why am I arguing so vehemently against leaving him and his now-spineless lackeys in what remains of the Republican party in power? Because I know that God’s going to do what God’s going to do, and He expects us to exercise our free will in the meantime, appropriate to our understanding of His Will.
And the most obvious reaction to a traitorous, womanizing, self-aggrandizing, lying, mentally damaged leader is to seek to remove him from power at our earliest opportunity, for the sake of our nation.