Monday, May 16, 2016

The Religious Right and Donald Trump

The headlines barked the naked, strange truth this morning. The religious right “is warming to Donald Trump.” Oh, my God!
by Charlie Leck

In the eyes of conservative Christians, I would imagine that Donald Trump must be viewed as a sinful man. Yet, for many things such Christians are forgiving – not for all things, mind you, but for many things. For instance, Donald Trump has been generally supportive of the Gay/Lesbian/Transgender movement. It appears that the religious right can overlook that and his traditional support of Planned Parenthood. In these days when they are moving closer and closer to open support of Donald Trump for President, those matters are set aside and his more serious sins of contempt and misuse of women are being outright forgiven. He is a changed man. I’m not sure that change has come from a come-to-meeting encounter with Jesus, but the faithful followers on the right believe he has matured into a meaningful Christian.

“Anyway, he’s better than that Hillary women,” more than one of them have been heard to say.

“Amen! Halleluiah! You betcha!”

Trump has been trumpeting a promise that he’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade! That gets him a lot of support among the very religious right.

This support from the right is not to be seen as a small matter. It is, as Bernie Sanders would say, “Youuge!” It comes with millions of dollars of campaign support and plenty of door to door volunteers – and mentions in sermons – and admonitions to congregants about whom to vote for from pastors – and blessings galore.

It is quite a bullet the religious right will need to bite, but bite it they will. Anything, they will say, is better than the godless, sinful Hillary!

Any of us who think that Mr. Trump hasn’t a chance to get elected had better think again and look back on how we tittered and hooted when he first announced he would take a crack at the Republican primaries. Oh, my!

Forgotten is all the concern about how sinful the religious right thought Donald Trump was way back then – when!

The right is thinking of Mr. Trump as a convert these days, though I don’t think he has really had an enlightened encounter with the Lord; and, I believe, he is religiously where he has always been.

If you examine the newspapers carefully, you will be noticing the emergence of dozens and dozens of women who want to relate their encounters and experiences with Donald Trump (and most of these women speak or write about disgusting behavior on the part of the man who would be President). This is not just an injected paragraph. It's meant as part of my description of who this man really is!

How does one measure whether or not one has encountered the man we call Lord?

I’m quite sure my thoughts on this are sound. It comes from plenty of thoughtful attention to the historical life of the man we call Lord. To link oneself to him means to develop a deep and loving concern for those who are orphaned or in refuge, poverty, disease and helplessness; however, most of the religious right does not understand encountering the Lord the same way I do. Their concept has more to do with what they get out of such an encounter, in terms of an improved life, rather than the challenge and responsibility it places on them to love and serve their brothers and sisters in life. Donald Trump will fit in with that concept better than they, themselves, ever really thought.

Our Lord speaks of loving our neighbor as a means of inheriting eternal life. He is asked: “Who is my neighbor?”

I think his answer to that question says everything we need to know to become one of his followers.

In reply Jesus said:...
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”



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