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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.Published in General
In the case of David French, we’re responding to something he started by taking evangelicals to task for supporting Trump. Jonah Goldberg doesn’t care how evangelicals appear, but he’s not being helpful in the struggle with the Left, at minimum. Neither of these men put themselves in the position of taking mortar fire on our behalf, like Trump has. Their criticisms are petty at best and are providing aid and comfort to the Left at worst.
Honestly, it looks like ingratitude for the sacrifices Trump is making. He could have retired comfortably to Mar a Lago and spent his days on the golf course. I admire him for his resilience and fierce combativeness against the Left. I don’t care about his tweets, except that they’re a source of guffaws for us and head-explosions for the Left. The most entertaining presidency evah!
Correct me if I’m wrong, but, unseemly or no, aren’t most of these criticisms on Republicans and conservatives in response to said Rs and Cons going after the President?
For instance, on the occasions where I’ve been unmoved by, or even approving of, such criticisms are when self-righteousness was involved – unfortunately a commonality in this game. I think it’s why conservatives are so off-put by what we call “virtue signaling.” We’re conscious of the tricks people play in order to make the case that they’re better than others.
Here are your exact words: ” I care about results. He is delivering results, and people like Jonah, conscious of it or not, are thwarting his efforts. And that is why my opinion of Jonah, David French, all the Bulwarkians and all the Dispatchers, is that they are traitors to the cause. At best mercenaries in it just for the graft. But I think traitors is the better word.”
Just like a Leftie – people who disagree with me are EVIL!!!
Lots of very thoughtful and probing questions! Thanks for a great post.
(I couldn’t help but spend a lot of time on a reply, to continue your dialog toward a useful confluence of ideas, but the computer system that we all rely on to achieve that purpose made everything I wrote inexplicably vanish without a trace, as it often does.
You’ll have to muddle through without my contributions!)
N.B.: I’m sure that the new generation of humans will do great things with green energy, equality, and climate change, but they are utterly incompetent at designing and implementing simple information technology tools. They should study the craft before being allowed to practice it.
If you young IT folks (the Mac keyboard engineers, or the makers of the Framework or Programming Language of the Week, and the customer-facing field guys and gals who try to use their stuff) think that I’m professionally judging you, or that I’m suggesting that you are idiots, you may rest assured that I am professionally judging you (as I am professionally qualified to do) and that I am positively affirming that you are idiots. Your job is to make sure that users can do, fast, well, and cheap, what they are trying to do.
When did I ever claim to be a better Christian because I comment on Trump’s political and moral failings???!! The only thing I’ve claimed is consistency – I don’t have a problem with criticizing any public figures. What strikes me about many Trump fans is that they are so willing to pile on other figures on the Right. Only Trump is exempt. I can’t respect that double standard.
Ah. So I was speaking of specific Trump-haters, and specific Trump-hating outlets who cash in on their Trump-hatred. Not just anyone on the right. Thanks for clearing that up.
That’s all well and fine, WC. You have complaints about people like French and Jonah, and I get that. I don’t have a problem with you criticizing them. I just don’t get why Trump shouldn’t receive the same treatment.
I’m not sure I’d agree with that. There are some conservative writers who will argue against his trade policies, some who might criticize some of his foreign policy decisions…..and yes, sometimes the subject is Trump’s behavior.
I think it’s easy to apply the label “virtue signalling” to those you disagree with. Don’t assume that people make the arguments they do because they’re making “the case that they’re better than others”. WC started this conversation with an appeal to our Christian values – assuming the worst of people’s motivations is not exactly a Christian virtue.
We can agree about that!!
We are going to have to give this one to Painter Jean.
What ANY “people like Jonah” (not just specific “Trump-haters”, as you now claim in your backtrack) did that implied that they are traitors, according to your words, was to criticize Trump, a person who “delivered results.”
That’s without even considering your basic premise, which is that anyone who “delivers results” should be immune from criticism.
I didn’t backtrack. I said what I said and the context is obvious. I’ll thank you to stop mind-reading like Jean’s doing. If you want to divine some greater meaning, that’s your business. You’ll be in the wrong and everyone can see it. I consider it insulting for the two of you to keep slandering me.
And now you are both off my Christmas Card list for the foreseeable future.
Jean! You think Trump hasn’t received enough criticism yet?? Not orders of magnitude more than what is directed at French and Goldberg? Why is it important for your criticism to join the others? Is it about your integrity? Would your conscience suffer if you remained quiet and let others do the critiques? There are plenty of people willing to take up the task.
Good point. I should add that I stay out of most of the drama, so I miss a lot of what goes on in the “news.” But I can admit that I’m quick to come to this conclusion because I’ve seen so much of it.
My view on conservatives who are, let’s say, mostly against the President is that I think they’re making some mistakes. Some of them slip up, like I did just above, but there are quite a few who have established a pattern. It’s a pity that so much oxygen has been sucked out of the room. But, on the bright side, this debate has struck me as mostly civil, even somewhat productive.
Yay Ricochet! Yay America!
Whether we are guilty or not–and I am not confessing that either of us is–this is an unreasonably harsh and inappropriate punishment.
No. Sorry. Beg all you want. You aren’t getting one.
Maybe he could reduce the punishment to having the House impeach you? That seems awfully inconsequential.
I think Trump has received bucketloads of criticism. I think that he drives the Left absolutely batty, which I admit to enjoy seeing (probably not a Christian virtue…). So what? It comes with the office. And again, if you don’t want those on the Right to refrain from criticizing him, why don’t you apply that to other Republicans and conservatives? Why should I respect your double standard?
Is this a good place to rant, because I just watched a few stories on 60 Minutes and I need to rant!!!! Trump was elected in Nov. 2016 and has been president for a little over 3 years. 60 Minutes story talked about Russia and Ukraine – Ukraine and Russia – servers – Hillary – cyber warfare – we get it ok??? The voters know the Russians – the Ukrainians – probably the Chinese hacked and spewed dis-information. If Russia elevated Trump somehow thru the media and dissed Hillary, so what???
Did you vote for Trump based on that?? Or did you vote for Trump because Hilary was a clear path to continue the 8 past years of Obama policy? Did you vote for Trump because you didn’t like what happened to our country in those eight years? They can beat the Russia drum all they want, it’s not the reason he won! It won’t be the reason he wins or loses in 2020! Please! Stop CBS with the BS! The voters have brains. We vote on issues, not who has the latest dirt on who! Ok – I think I’m done…………maybe not…………………UGH!
But it’s in the name. See BS.
Now I know what I’m writing about tonight. Spot on analysis. I’ll strive to be half as enlightening, which would still be good.
I don’t know why you would assume that. Look, I am an orthodox Catholic. I love my Faith and my Church. But I can’t stand the current pope, and have no problem whatsoever in criticizing him when I think there’s a legitimate reason to criticize. But I don’t preface my criticism with a lengthy exposition on how much better Francis is than a Satan worshipper. I don’t need to insult the intelligence of those who hear or read my criticism. Likewise it shouldn’t be necessary for a journalist to preface any criticism with a comparison to someone else. It’s an insult to the reader, as well as tedious.
Front Seat Cat, take comfort from the likelihood that all that focus on those issues will convince some people who don’t particularly like Trump to vote for him just because of blatant media bias.
If I don’t have the approbation of David French, I shall cry bitter tears of shame into my pillow every night before I go to bed. Every single night!
That’s a helluva lotta laundry to do…so many pillowcases!
If it’s a Ricochet post, I think we’d like to see a link to it from here.
Mr. French, has it occurred to you that maybe, just maybe, your fellow Evangelicals are smarter than you?
Yup, that’s the Christian way – insult the intelligence of those who differ with you. That’s bound to convince so, so many reluctant Trump voters!
Criticizing Trump is OK.
Insulting Trump supporters while presenting yourself as a “principled” conservative is a problem. French and Goldberg are “principled” conservatives who were willing to let their fellow Americans suffer the depredations of Hillary appointed judges.
How would the Little Sisters of the Poor be doing right now if their votes (or non-votes) had carried the day?
Excellent post W.C.!