Op-Ed

Trump policies, rhetoric a long way from being called Christian

FILE- In this Oct. 30, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands during a service at the International Church of Las Vegas in Las Vegas. President Trumpâs pledge to scrap limits on church political activity could have sweeping effects that extend beyond his conservative supporters to more liberal congregations, including the black evangelical church that has long helped anchor the Democratic Partyâs electoral machinery. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
FILE- In this Oct. 30, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands during a service at the International Church of Las Vegas in Las Vegas. President Trumpâs pledge to scrap limits on church political activity could have sweeping effects that extend beyond his conservative supporters to more liberal congregations, including the black evangelical church that has long helped anchor the Democratic Partyâs electoral machinery. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) AP

In a brightly lit waiting room, a man leans my direction. “I guess you’re a liberal,” he says, having, I assume, overheard a conversation I’ve just had with the woman in line ahead of me.

“I have to confess I voted for Trump because I’m pro-life and a Christian and I trust in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” he said, “but I gotta tell you straight up, I can’t stand the guy.”

He leans back, burden unloaded, and waits. I say OK and change the subject. He seems relieved.

I hear confessions like this on the regular, men ostensibly patting me on the arm to let me know everything will be all right and that I should rest my head because he has gone out and done the hard thing, the thing I could not bring myself to do, by voting for a man he despises in order to serve the common good.

Meanwhile, it’s been of a heck of last few days. After LeBron James spent millions of his own money to open an Ohio school where every student receives free tuition, a uniform and a bicycle, free food and paid college tuition upon graduation, “President Donald Trump unleashed a withering attack on the state’s favorite son, savaging NBA star LeBron James in a late-night tweet that derided the intelligence of one of the nation’s most prominent African-American men,” reported the Associated Press.

At a Florida rally where the crowd “chanted “CNN sucks,” and yelled “stop lying” and “liar,”with one man showing off a t-shirt reading “F*ck the media” the president kept them going, pointing at the media pen and calling journalists the “fake, fake, disgusting news.” He also tweeted, “the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!”

I think it is safe to assume there are Christian supporters at these rallies. Why are none of them publicly standing up to say the president’s behavior is decidedly un-Christian?

“What can’t be ignored is presidential behavior that might best be described as incitement,” writes conservative Bret Stephens. “Maybe Trump supposes that the worst he’s doing is inciting the people who come to his rallies to give reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta the finger… (but when) journalists are dead because some nut thinks he’s doing the president’s bidding against the fifth column that is the media, what will Trump’s supporters say?”

Robert Jeffress, one of the president’s top religious advisers, tweeted on Aug. 5, “Pope Francis is dead wrong about capital punishment. God has commanded government to use the death penalty to demonstrate the seriousness of murder: ‘Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.’ — Genesis 9:6”

Is this pro-life?

The president calls NFL players who kneel to protest police violence “sons-of-bitches;” refers to African nations as “shit-hole countries;” calls everyone from LeBron James to broadcaster Don Lemon to Congresswoman Maxine Waters “dumb” or “low IQ”. The list goes on.

And he willingly lies. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star tweeted, “Trump lied in June that U.S. Steel was opening six plants. Then he made it seven. Last week, at a meeting with inner city pastors, he said, ‘United States Steel just announced another two plants. They’re up to eight.’ It is restarting blast furnaces at one plant.”

Jacob Soboroff of MSNBC reports that “the Trump administration separated 2,551 migrant kids from their parents at the border. 572 of them are still separated. 410 have parents who were already deported. The government simply can’t find them.”

I often hear the argument that if parents did not want to be separated from their children, they should not have come here illegally. It is not illegal to seek asylum in the United States. But the president has a penchant for misinforming his supporters about immigration.

The Washington Post reports that “immigration is the top single source of Trump’s misleading claims, now totaling 538. Thirty times just in the past five months, for instance, the president has falsely claimed his long-promised border wall with Mexico is being built, even though Congress has denied funding for it.”

And what of Leviticus 19:34. “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

The president has been in office a year and a half. The above represents less than a week. To this president’s supporters who so often confess that they voted for a man they secretly despise, what makes you think things will be allright? Is any of this what it means to be a Christian?

Teri Carter is a writer in Lawrenceburg. Reach her at KentuckyTeri@gmail.com.

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