Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Reluctant Trump Christians, Where Is Your Confounding Love?

 

Consider this an exhortation. I hear things from Trump-ump David French (“calling balls and strikes,” but never tallying RBIs) and read articles from Christians anguished over the President’s ugly, New York Americanism, and I have trouble finding the Spirit in it. Rather than digging a channel to God’s ocean of mercy, it seems some Christians are trying to dispense it with a teaspoon. It’s all so pinched and joyless and, well, unfamiliar to me as “Christian.”

Donald Trump is a sinner. Christians should not be surprised by this. What is astonishing is the good he’s done and is continuing to do, which must, by necessity, originate with God, who is the source of all goodness. “Oh, but he’s not really Christian, he just mouths the right words about the preciousness of all human life as made in the image and likeness of God,” some say. The subtext of this criticism is he’s hopelessly irredeemable no matter what he says or does! Is that Christian love? Is it even recognizable as faith in God’s ability to work in and through Donald Trump’s life?

A reading from morning prayers from the book of James:

Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?

And from Romans:

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

“Yes, but affiliating with Donald Trump gives Christians and Christianity a bad reputation.” With whom? Are you really concerned about ingratiating yourself with the worshipers of Moloch? 

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

In case you haven’t noticed, apologizing and making excuses to the Left is just chumming the water. Donald Trump gets this. Never apologize. You should not attempt to reconcile with evil or evil ideologies.

“But his tweets are embarrassingly juvenile and crass.” Maybe my response isn’t so much about my Christian faith and is more about my family genetics. My family of origin has ornery in its DNA. We like sassy and get a lot of laughs out of each other’s antics. I like to think of us as little lambs frolicking in the Lord’s pasture, and get the feeling He gets a good laugh, too.

It’s not that I don’t believe we’re all called to holiness, it’s just that these are minor infractions against the calling and I do believe we’ll all get there by the grace of God — eventually. And “holiness” doesn’t mean boring. Even Saint Augustine prayed, “Lord, make me holy, but not yet.” Father Michael Gaitley likes to say, “Make me a saint, but be gentle.” Our Good Shepherd is gentleness personified. Mercy Himself. We should strive to be imitators of Him.

And finally, “But Donald Trump once said he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness, even though he’s been an adulterer, a fornicator, a liar . . .” Were you born knowing you need a Savior? When did you figure it out? Have you never failed to ask for forgiveness when you should have? Have you come to know God better than you did 20 years ago? Why would all these things not also be true of Donald Trump? Whose timetable is he on anyway? Yours or God’s? 

Frankly, I see a lot of ego and pride sneaking into the Christian angst over Donald Trump. And we all know where that leads. Will you be a joyful, loving, merciful disciple of Christ? Or a joyless scold, attracting no one to the faith? God gives us free will to choose.

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  1. Painter Jean Member

    I see quite a double standard applied by Trump fans in this area: Most Trump fans who get apoplectic when anyone from the Right criticizes Trump have absolutely no problem trashing any Republican or conservative not named Trump, past or present. As a conservative and a Catholic, I don’t have a problem criticizing the policies or behavior of any public official or pundit if I think they’re wrong. I do have a problem with putting anyone on a pedestal and regarding criticism as akin to treason.

    • #1
    • February 16, 2020, at 9:57 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  2. Painter Jean Member

    In case you haven’t noticed, apologizing and making excuses to the Left is just chumming the water. Donald Trump gets this. Never apologize. You should not attempt to reconcile with evil or evil ideologies.

    I get this. And if Trump never apologized only to the Left, I would be on board with that. But it’s across all aspects of his life, and includes areas where apologies are, in fact, necessary and/or the only decent thing to do.

    I am certain you went to Mass today or yesterday evening, WC. Then you heard what Jesus said in the Gospel reading:

    “You have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You shall not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother ‘Fool’ will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him “Traitor” will answer for it in hell fire.”

    Seems to me that everyone needs to ‘fess up at times and ask for forgiveness.

    • #2
    • February 16, 2020, at 10:10 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Jim Beck Member

    Afternoon Western,

    One of the major aspects of sin is that it deceives us, however pride is perhaps the most deceptive, Some of our sins, anger, sloth, lust often leave us us feeling guilty, we know we have sinned, even while we are denying it. With pride especially a religious pride, when we are sinning like the Pharisees, we, in our blindness, think we are being righteous. We love to compare ourselves to others, those poor lost fools, who are not as wise as ourselves, and who have lost their way morally, unlike ourselves who are so clearly acting in God’s behalf. Without us, God’s work would go undone.

    What is so troubling about French and the rest, is that he seems so judgmental and arrogant and in response I become judgmental and arrogant toward him. I probably as impatient with his blindness as he is with mine. So how are we to respond to public criticism, joyfully is a good response.

    • #3
    • February 16, 2020, at 10:30 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  4. Painter Jean Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

     

    What is so troubling about French and the rest, is that he seems so judgmental and arrogant and in response I become judgmental and arrogant toward him. I probably as impatient with his blindness as he is with mine.

    Thank you for acknowledging this – this is what I see so often as the double standard! Trump fans will trash conservatives such as David French or Jonah Goldberg, claiming that they’re blind or stupid or judgmental (or all three), without realizing that they themselves are acting blind or stupid or judgmental (or all three).

    So how are we to respond to public criticism, joyfully is a good response.

    Yes, and I think it’s also important to give people who disagree with you the benefit of the doubt, especially if they are otherwise on your side. David French is no Lefty, nor is Jonah Goldberg. They have reasons for their opinions. Disagreeing with those opinions is fine, but that is no cause for calling them traitors.

    • #4
    • February 16, 2020, at 10:43 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  5. Jim Beck Member

    Afternoon Painter,

    The Pharisees, the most religiously observant at the time, had their reasons for their behavior, but they unlike the lowly tax collectors, and other sinners, were so sure of their righteousness that they were blind to their own corruption. They were in love with their own righteousness and fervor, and were put off that others could not match their devotion. The Pharisees were more blind than all the others. We don’t want to be charmed by our own wisdom or righteousness. The Frenchs and Jonah of our time are focused on the lack of character in others and yet seem to be blind to the biggest sinner in their own lives. The biggest sinner in all of our lives is ourself, and we are to work on our own heart and not be so focused on others who don’t measure up. Hopefully we can be better ambassadors of God, than those who dwell on the shortcomings of their fellow “conservatives”.

    • #5
    • February 16, 2020, at 11:05 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  6. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Amen WC! This is precisely the problem I have the David French(s) of the world.

    • #6
    • February 16, 2020, at 11:38 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Sisyphus (Rolling Stone) Coolidge
    Sisyphus (Rolling Stone) Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mitt Romney, phone your office.

    • #7
    • February 16, 2020, at 12:01 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  8. Sisyphus (Rolling Stone) Coolidge
    Sisyphus (Rolling Stone) Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Mitt Romney, phone your office.

    And, yes, I just “Frenched” Mitt Romney. And WC “Frenched” French. I love hypocrisy, and other agencies of circular firing squads. Lord have mercy. Please.

    • #8
    • February 16, 2020, at 12:05 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. MarciN Member

    No one is happier than I am with President Trump’s work these past four years.

    But in defense of David French et al., the few times I’ve read his writing on Trump in the last few years, my sense is that the issue for David French is not forgiveness. The issue is that some of Trump’s past transgressions are not deeds David French wants to see in the resume of a president. Presidents should stand tall in the character department because they are an example, a role model, for the rest of the country, particularly young people. To David French et al., the fact that other presidents have the same number or more transgressions in their resume does not excuse those transgressions in Trump’s past or present.

    The issue really is how bad is the sin. If Donald Trump had, say, murdered twenty people, that sin would disqualify him from running for president (that said, we do wonder about the Clintons :-) ). If murdering twenty people was the sin on the table, we wouldn’t be talking about forgiveness.

    The Catholic Church distinguishes between venial and cardinal sins. For me and the majority of Americans, the stories we’ve heard over the years about Donald Trump-the-womanizer are in the venial category. For David French and others, they are more serious. My daughters, for example, like what Trump has done as president, but they cannot get past Trump’s womanizing past. They think he has at times degraded women, and they really don’t like the way he talks to (insults) people. They will never be enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump.

    I think Trump is an eccentric, that he has a one-in-a-billion personality, that we will never have a president like him again, and that some day we will laugh about the way he talks to the Democrats. But I can understand David French’s misgivings.

    • #9
    • February 16, 2020, at 12:55 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    I see quite a double standard applied by Trump fans in this area: Most Trump fans who get apoplectic when anyone from the Right criticizes Trump have absolutely no problem trashing any Republican or conservative not named Trump, past or present. As a conservative and a Catholic, I don’t have a problem criticizing the policies or behavior of any public official or pundit if I think they’re wrong. I do have a problem with putting anyone on a pedestal and regarding criticism as akin to treason.

    Who is doing this? Putting Trump on a pedestal? This suggests Trump supporters endorse his sinful behavior. As if he can do no wrong. I don’t see that happening. What I see is that no president has been as relentlessly attacked in my lifetime; and people who see the good he is doing prefer to refrain from yet more criticism — especially for behaviors outside our control and which, if anything, seem to be fed by the attacks.

    What is the point of your criticism in this case? Is it to modify Trump’s behavior, which would seem rather fruitless, don’t you think? Or is it to signal your own piety in the face of his boorishness? What good does it serve if every supportive statement of Trump’s policies must be prefaced with, “I think he’s an awful human being?” Do you think he’s going to be moved to virtue and holiness by such caveats? I have my doubts. 

    As to accusations of “treason,” I believe that comes from the sense that there’s an existential threat from the Left. In the face of such a menace, anything that aids or encourages the Left looks like a betrayal. 

    • #10
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:07 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  11. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    In case you haven’t noticed, apologizing and making excuses to the Left is just chumming the water. Donald Trump gets this. Never apologize. You should not attempt to reconcile with evil or evil ideologies.

    I get this. And if Trump never apologized only to the Left, I would be on board with that. But it’s across all aspects of his life, and includes areas where apologies are, in fact, necessary and/or the only decent thing to do.

    I am certain you went to Mass today or yesterday evening, WC. Then you heard what Jesus said in the Gospel reading:

    “You have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You shall not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother ‘Fool’ will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him “Traitor” will answer for it in hell fire.”

    Seems to me that everyone needs to ‘fess up at times and ask for forgiveness.

    No doubt. But, I read that as Jesus speaking to me, not as Jesus speaking to me about Trump. I have great hope for his ultimate repentance and salvation. He’s a work in progress, just like the rest of us.

    • #11
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:10 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  12. Samuel Block Member

    Western Chauvinist:

    Frankly, I see a lot of ego and pride sneaking into the Christian angst over Donald Trump. And we all know where that leads. Will you be a joyful, loving, merciful disciple of Christ? Or a joyless scold, attracting no one to the faith? God gives us free will to choose.

    Yes, I’ve noticed that too. I’ve noticed something else: it’s the people that I find have the most in common with the man who loathe him the most passionately. The most obvious are the vulgar bigmouths, but the careerists, and the ultra-privileged, and the egoists that I encounter are wont to subject the people around them to bilious exhortations.

    Unfortunately I have seen some of that ugliness thrown the other way, so I can understand how some feel vindicated in their stance on the President’s influence on the country. It’s another interesting phenomenon, so much of this debate has been dominated by people who are especially unconvincing.

    Excellent post!

    • #12
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:15 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    We hired a warrior to protect us not a pastor . When the doctor is saving my life I’m not concerned about his two divorces.

    • #13
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:19 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    We hired a warrior to protect us not a pastor . When the doctor is saving my life I’m not concerned about his two divorces.

    This is such a simple calculation, and I’m surprised that after four years, allegedly smart people still don’t get it. Perhaps they’re not that smart after all.

    • #14
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:22 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    We hired a warrior to protect us not a pastor . When the doctor is saving my life I’m not concerned about his two divorces.

    Yes, and I’m not impressed by the appeals to “he should be a role model” either. I don’t remember a president I ever looked to to be a role model for myself or my kids. Not one. Saint JPII, yes. Saint Mother Theresa, you bet. The president is the chief executive and, as such, sometimes he needs to be a jerk to be effective. 

    • #15
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:29 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  16. Painter Jean Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

     

    The Frenchs and Jonah of our time are focused on the lack of character in others and yet seem to be blind to the biggest sinner in their own lives. 

    How do you know that?

    • #16
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Front Seat Cat Member

    Boy! C.S. Lewis would have a field day with today’s Christians…..Donald Trump has done more for, not only causes dear to both Christians and Jews, but also for all faiths, standing up to radicals and dictators, the American worker, law enforcement, the military, minorities including women, mothers, the unborn, seniors, the list is long and it’s only been three years, than the last eight years under Obama. Obama greeted Israel’s Prime Minister at the back door of the White House and left him waiting, he championed the multi-gender causes while diminishing and in some cases, admonishing long-held traditions of our Judaeo-Christian heritage. Anyone, especially “Christians”, who see cause to pound on Trump because they don’t like his tweets need to look in the mirror, long and hard, especially Catholics like Pelosi and Biden. His record speaks for his personal convictions.

    • #17
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:50 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  18. Painter Jean Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Who is doing this? Putting Trump on a pedestal?

    Drew in Wisconsin comes to mind, who basically said that people on the Right who criticize Trump are treasonous. I’m sure he’s not the only Trump fan with that mindset. And since this standard isn’t extended to other figures on the Right, yes, it is reasonable to characterize that as putting Trump on a pedestal.

    This suggests Trump supporters endorse his sinful behavior. As if he can do no wrong. I don’t see that happening.

    No, I’m not suggesting that.

    What I see is that no president has been as relentlessly attacked in my lifetime; and people who see the good he is doing prefer to refrain from yet more criticism — especially for behaviors outside our control and which, if anything, seem to be fed by the attacks.

    If he didn’t want to be criticized, he shouldn’t have run for President. If he doesn’t want to be criticized for his behavior from those on the Right, then maybe modifying that behavior would be a logical start. Since he’s not going to, there’s no reason to refrain from criticizing the behavior.

    What is the point of your criticism in this case? Is it to modify Trump’s behavior, which would seem rather fruitless, don’t you think? Or is it to signal your own piety in the face of his boorishness? What good does it serve if every supportive statement of Trump’s policies must be prefaced with, “I think he’s an awful human being?” Do you think he’s going to be moved to virtue and holiness by such caveats? I have my doubts.

    So do I. He’s not going to change. As for the “point” of my criticism, why do I have to justify it?! I think that rational criticism of public figures, whether of behavior or policies, is perfectly reasonable for a Catholic living in a free country. At least I’m consistent: I have had problems with some policies and/or behavior with many public figures. Again, if you who don’t like criticism from the Right against Trump also didn’t like criticism of other Republicans and conservatives, then I could at least respect your position even though I would disagree with it. But no such standard applies to anyone not named Donald Trump.

    As to accusations of “treason,” I believe that comes from the sense that there’s an existential threat from the Left. In the face of such a menace, anything that aids or encourages the Left looks like a betrayal.

    So what do you want to do with traitors like me? Despise them, with every fiber of your Catholic being? This attitude is repulsive to me, as it smacks of the tactics used on the Left – those who disagree are EVIL and need to be shunned (or worse!)!

    • #18
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:50 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. Painter Jean Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    We hired a warrior to protect us not a pastor . When the doctor is saving my life I’m not concerned about his two divorces.

    Yes, and I’m not impressed by the appeals to “he should be a role model” either. I don’t remember a president I ever looked to to be a role model for myself or my kids. Not one. Saint JPII, yes. Saint Mother Theresa, you bet. The president is the chief executive and, as such, sometimes he needs to be a jerk to be effective.

    I don’t disagree with this. He’s the President, not a pastor. I get that. What I don’t get is how that means he shouldn’t be criticized, but every other Republican or conservative is fair game.

    • #19
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:52 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Front Seat Cat Member

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

     

     

    What I see is that no president has been as relentlessly attacked in my lifetime; and people who see the good he is doing prefer to refrain from yet more criticism — especially for behaviors outside our control and which, if anything, seem to be fed by the attacks.

    If he didn’t want to be criticized, he shouldn’t have run for President. If he doesn’t want to be criticized for his behavior from those on the Right, than maybe modifying that behavior would be a logical start. Since he’s not going to, there’s no reason to refrain from criticizing the behavior.

    What is the point of your criticism in this case? Is it to modify Trump’s behavior, which would seem rather fruitless, don’t you think? Or is it to signal your own piety in the face of his boorishness? What good does it serve if every supportive statement of Trump’s policies must be prefaced with, “I think he’s an awful human being?” Do you think he’s going to be moved to virtue and holiness by such caveats? I have my doubts.

    So do I. He’s not going to change. As for the “point” of my criticism, why do I have to justify it?! I think that rational criticism of public figures, whether of behavior or policies, is perfectly reasonable for a Catholic living in a free country. At least I’m consistent: I have had problems with some policies and/or behavior with many public figures. Again, if you who don’t like criticism from the Right against Trump also didn’t like criticism of other Republicans and conservatives, then I could at least respect your position even though I would disagree with it. But no such standard applies to anyone not named Donald Trump.

    As to accusations of “treason,” I believe that comes from the sense that there’s an existential threat from the Left. In the face of such a menace, anything that aids or encourages the Left looks like a betrayal.

    So what do you want to do with traitors like me? Despise them, with every fiber of your Catholic being? This attitude is repulsive to me, as it smacks of the tactics used on the Left – those who disagree are EVIL and need to be shunned (or worse!)!

    Painter – C’mon! You don’t have to like Trump or vote for him – we know there are middle of the road Democrats and Republicans as well as very staunch voters on either side, even extremists. It’s ok if you don’t like Trump and you shouldn’t be beat over the head for it. 

    • #20
    • February 16, 2020, at 2:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    Painter Jean

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Who is doing this? Putting Trump on a pedestal?

    Drew in Wisconsin comes to mind, who basically said that people on the Right who criticize Trump are treasonous.

    I’m pretty sure there was more to my statement than that. But if it helps you to simplify it so you can insult me, go right ahead.

     

    • #21
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    No Jean. I’m not hating on you. But I am disputing that you’re a better Christian for commenting on Trump’s political and moral failings.

    Jesus ate with tax collectors and prostitutes and was criticized for it, and now we’re supposed to be apologetic and embarrassed for supporting Trump with our vote? You’re going to be lectured on President Trump’s unsuitability for the office by people who support baby killing? Not me. I’m perfectly happy to be supporting President Trump.

     

    • #22
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  23. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    So what do you want to do with traitors like me? Despise them, with every fiber of your Catholic being?

    You despise me, right? That’s certainly been your attitude toward me. Lots of hate flowing from you toward anyone who supports the President. Lots of mind-reading and lazy slander. Don’t worry, you’ll always have a place here. I’m not sure I will.

    • #23
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I don’t disagree with this. He’s the President, not a pastor. I get that. What I don’t get is how that means he shouldn’t be criticized, but every other Republican or conservative is fair game.

    Is there a single moment of a single day when President Trump isn’t being criticized??? And, yet, the Nevers and Reluctants feel the need to pile on. It’s unseemly. And unloving. There. I said it.

    • #24
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:09 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  25. TallCon Coolidge

    Western Chauvinist: Frankly, I see a lot of ego and pride sneaking into the Christian angst over Donald Trump. And we all know where that leads. Will you be a joyful, loving, merciful disciple of Christ? Or a joyless scold, attracting no one to the faith? God gives us free will to choose.

    Just Donald Trump? Why not Mitt Romney, Bill Clinton, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, John Bolton, or Bernie Sanders?

    • #25
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:13 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Painter Jean Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Boy! C.S. Lewis would have a field day with today’s Christians…..Donald Trump has done more for, not only causes dear to both Christians and Jews, but also for all faiths, standing up to radicals and dictators, the American worker, law enforcement, the military, minorities including women, mothers, the unborn, seniors, the list is long and it’s only been three years, than the last eight years under Obama. Obama greeted Israel’s Prime Minister at the back door of the White House and left him waiting, he championed the multi-gender causes while diminishing and in some cases, admonishing long-held traditions of our Judaeo-Christian heritage. Anyone, especially “Christians”, who see cause to pound on Trump because they don’t like his tweets need to look in the mirror, long and hard, especially Catholics like Pelosi and Biden. His record speaks for his personal convictions.

    I don’t disagree with you about Trump’s accomplishments, especially when compared to his predecessor. I just don’t agree that he shouldn’t be criticized, when those who think so do not also exempt any other Republican or conservative.

    • #26
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:18 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Jim Beck Member

    Evening Painter,

    It is true that I do not know what goes on in the hearts of Mr. French or Mr. Goldberg, but from what I have read and seen of both, they have mainly spoken about the character flaws of Trump and the confused moral understanding of Christians who support Trump, with few side statements about the accomplishments of the Trump admin. I have never seen Mr. French non Mr. Goldberg speak of their own faults, one could say that that would be very, very unusual for a professional political analyst to do; I entirely grant that but I would assume political commentators would at the minimum compare the morals of Trump with past presidents, on the moral side think JFK (look up Fiddle, Faddle, and Mimi for a reference), on the corruption side think about the Obama DOJ. Since Mr. French and Mr. Goldberg do not do this in what I have read or seen, then I assume they have a different way of measuring moral behavior. Specifically as Christians, and this sets Mr. Goldberg outside this comment, we are to focus on our own sins and not make public the sins of others, especially in a way to further our own agenda.

    It is a difficult to point out the sin in others, yet because we cannot see our own sins we need loving souls to rebuke us. As WC says Trump has been criticized about 90% of the time, this is not a loving rebuke, this reflects a different agenda. Today Trump made comments before the Daytona 500, “No matter who wins the race. What matters is God, family, and country.” Many will say the Trump is just a show man playing to his base, they said this when he went to the Right to Life March, I disagree. It is more than enough that Trump says that each life is sacred and as at the Daytona 500, Trump points to the importance of God. I don’t think WC is wrong when she suggests that many critics of Christians who support Trump are joyless scolds, and this is unhappily ironic in the case of Mr. Goldberg who encourages gratitude.

     

    • #27
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:20 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  28. Painter Jean Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I don’t disagree with this. He’s the President, not a pastor. I get that. What I don’t get is how that means he shouldn’t be criticized, but every other Republican or conservative is fair game.

    Is there a single moment of a single day when President Trump isn’t being criticized??? And, yet, the Nevers and Reluctants feel the need to pile on. It’s unseemly. And unloving. There. I said it.

    Again, if you Trump fans didn’t pile on the criticism of other Republicans and conservatives, I’d have respect for your position. But you do, and that is unseemly to me.

    • #28
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:23 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    TallCon (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist: Frankly, I see a lot of ego and pride sneaking into the Christian angst over Donald Trump. And we all know where that leads. Will you be a joyful, loving, merciful disciple of Christ? Or a joyless scold, attracting no one to the faith? God gives us free will to choose.

    Just Donald Trump? Why not Mitt Romney, Bill Clinton, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, John Bolton, or Bernie Sanders?

    Sure, love your enemies and pray for them. But recognize their actions as destructive to our freedom, which Donald Trump is not. He’s a brother. I honestly believe he ran for president because he loves the country and our people and didn’t like the direction things were headed. He said as much over 20 years ago as a rationale for running. 

    • #29
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:23 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  30. Painter Jean Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

     

     

    What I see is that no president has been as relentlessly attacked in my lifetime; and people who see the good he is doing prefer to refrain from yet more criticism — especially for behaviors outside our control and which, if anything, seem to be fed by the attacks.

    If he didn’t want to be criticized, he shouldn’t have run for President. If he doesn’t want to be criticized for his behavior from those on the Right, than maybe modifying that behavior would be a logical start. Since he’s not going to, there’s no reason to refrain from criticizing the behavior.

    What is the point of your criticism in this case? Is it to modify Trump’s behavior, which would seem rather fruitless, don’t you think? Or is it to signal your own piety in the face of his boorishness? What good does it serve if every supportive statement of Trump’s policies must be prefaced with, “I think he’s an awful human being?” Do you think he’s going to be moved to virtue and holiness by such caveats? I have my doubts.

    So do I. He’s not going to change. As for the “point” of my criticism, why do I have to justify it?! I think that rational criticism of public figures, whether of behavior or policies, is perfectly reasonable for a Catholic living in a free country. At least I’m consistent: I have had problems with some policies and/or behavior with many public figures. Again, if you who don’t like criticism from the Right against Trump also didn’t like criticism of other Republicans and conservatives, then I could at least respect your position even though I would disagree with it. But no such standard applies to anyone not named Donald Trump.

    As to accusations of “treason,” I believe that comes from the sense that there’s an existential threat from the Left. In the face of such a menace, anything that aids or encourages the Left looks like a betrayal.

    So what do you want to do with traitors like me? Despise them, with every fiber of your Catholic being? This attitude is repulsive to me, as it smacks of the tactics used on the Left – those who disagree are EVIL and need to be shunned (or worse!)!

    Painter – C’mon! You don’t have to like Trump or vote for him – we know there are middle of the road Democrats and Republicans as well as very staunch voters on either side, even extremists. It’s ok if you don’t like Trump and you shouldn’t be beat over the head for it.

    I am going to vote for him. But I’m not going to refrain from criticizing him anymore than I would refrain from criticizing any public figure.

    • #30
    • February 16, 2020, at 3:32 PM PST
    • 6 likes