Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Trump's theology

Interesting op ed piece in the NY Times on Tuesday, July 5. Peter Wehner  asked, since Donald Trump assures us that the Bible is his favorite book, just what is his theology. Good question. Trump has been meeting with evangelical leaders to solidify his support among that brand of Christians. Conservative, Biblical, and afraid the government of Obama, Clinton, etc, are out to take away their freedoms, Trump says he is on their side. Evangelical leaders like James Dobson is on Trump's side. He said he believes Trump is tender to the Spirit (The Holy Spirit). While few people would find the fruits of the Spirit growing in Trump's garden, the comments of evangelicals demonstrate how desperate they are to find ways to support their candidate. Wehner noted that Trump's worldview is so different from Christ's that Christ is not anywhere in the vicinity.

In Trump's worldview, Jesus was a "loser". He did not win, he was captured, suffered and died an undignified death. He did not call down vengeance on his enemies. He told his followers to forgive and love them. He was a friend to the weak and the poor. He despised the worldly demonstrations of power and he never seemed to have a denarius to his name. One time he paid his taxes by going fishing. It's hard to believe how Trump's worldview could be any more different from Jesus'.

What Trump is doing is not unusual. Politicians have courted the evangelical vote for years and evangelicals have compromised their convictions again and again for political gain. Jimmy Carter, born again, Southern Baptist thought he had fellow southerner Billy Graham's support for his presidential bid only to find Graham had deserted him for Nixon. Graham noted later in life that Nixon had him fooled. The twice married Hollywood star Ronald Reagan had the evangelical support even though evangelical leaders were not hiring twice married pastors or allowing their congregants to watch movies at the time. Evangelicals are free to vote for whomever they want as we all are. Just be honest about why. If you like Trump's politics, say so. Just don't make him out to be holier than he is.

No comments:

Post a Comment