Have you had enough?
Every survey indicates that a significant number of Americans have had more than enough! Pundits of almost every political hue have detailed the reasons why the Trump egotistical escapade has been a disaster. Perhaps David Remnick, writing in the Aug. 28 New Yorker, has expressed it for many of us.
“This is the inescapable fact: on Nov. 9, the United States elected a dishonest, inept, unbalanced, immoral human being as its President and Commander in Chief. Trump has daily proven unyielding to appeals for decency, unity, moderation or fact. He is willing to imperil the civil peace and the social fabric of his country simply to satisfy his narcissism and to excite the worst inclinations of his core followers.”
As I reenter the national frenzy after my August hiatus, I want to address a few words specifically to one constituency whose adherents supported Trump by a staggering 81%, and whose votes guaranteed his Electoral College majority. I refer to Christian evangelicals.
Just what is it in the President, or his policies, that still evokes your support? Is it his nobility, his character or his treatment of women, minorities, society’s nobodies, the least advantaged both in this nation and around the world? What policies has he championed that call for your allegiance and reflects the ethical standard Jesus described?
There surely lie at the core of anything to be called “Christian” certain persistent ethical presuppositions. I could tell you what I believe they are for me, but everyone who claims some relationship to a Christian identity must think that one through. There are more than enough clues, beginning in Scripture, for anyone to form more than a guesstimate of whether what is happening in this nation—supported by many who call themselves “Christian”—approximate the ethical standard one finds in Jesus?
There are those who hold that Jesus’ Kingdom is entirely of another reality, and who see no relationship between the ethic of Jesus and the world in which we live. If that is where you stand, by what standard do you call yourself a Christian? Or perhaps if the foundation of your religious commitment is wholly devoid of anything to be found in his life and teachings, in what way is he your life’s guide?
Then there are those whose understanding of our culture is totally derived from a political commitment. So be it, but in this column I am limiting my comments to those calling themselves by his name. While the Christian faith does not give us a political agenda, to assume that one of the world’s greatest moral authority offers no standards by which we are to live individually and together, is to deny him and his will in which God’s reign is to be manifest on earth as is shaped in heaven.