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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
Well go talk to French, then?
As for urging the sinner to repent…how does telling us that Trump is a jerk (which we already know) helping him to repent?
The Character of Trump discussion is like the colon: it’s where we always end up. Why? Because people think they gotta point out that Trump is a jerk, and how can you support him if he’s a jerk. Yet, as mentioned here or on another post: no alternative is ever given.
So sorry, Jean. I’ve been the breast cancer route. Starting my fifth year post-radiation and on Tamoxifen. There’s so much they can do these days. But, it doesn’t help alleviate all the traumas and stresses in our lives. My teenage daughter had her chemo port implanted on my birthday in 2015 and I started radiation the day after. It’s so big.
God bless you and comfort you on this journey.
I don’t know; it probably doesn’t. (Not from us; maybe from someone close to him.)
But that’s not the question I was answering; see above!
How can I support him if he’s a jerk? Quite easily this November, I expect. That’s how: quite easily.
And quite often not. But I’ve decided that I don’t really care, because when he’s being a jerk, it’s toward people who have long needed someone to puncture their self-inflated egos. He’s a jerk when being a jerk is called for. Because sometimes it’s called for.
When we send soldiers off to war, their goal is to kill bad guys and break things. We don’t charge them all with murder when they return home. Sometimes the good thing requires doing things that in other situations would be considered bad. Being a jerk is a relatively minor thing, and I am happy to excuse it when our enemies are methodically destroying our nation from within.
David French tells us what he’s thinking. His critiques of the President’s no good, awful, very bad character are meant to convince Christians to withhold their votes so as to protect their Christian witness, even if it means subjecting us to President
Hillary ClintonBernie Sanders. He’s taking the “eternal view” and asking us to trust in his judgment (this is where the egotism come in) that it’s better in the long run for Moloch to take charge. Burn down the village.
Me? I think we’re called to fight evil every step of the way even if it gets a little dirt on us, and I consider leftism evil. I trust that God can bring good out of such bad and boorish people as Donald Trump (and I don’t understand why Christians don’t see him progressing in the right direction). The reshaping of the judiciary is a good that will last a generation. I want to improve people’s lives today and into the future if it’s possible. And if it only costs me a vote and keeping my reservations about Donald Trump’s character to myself? I don’t have much an excuse to do different.
As a priest once told me, my life isn’t about me (and my witness) anyway. It’s a gift for others.
You were answering a question no one was asking! Nobody asked “What question any sin?” I asked “Why point out Trump’s moral failings in the context of policy discussions?” They are a given. Already factored in.
But it fills out his contract requirements. “Publish or perish.” Which is why he’s written the same column 178 times. (Sort of like Max Boot’s weekly “Why I’m leaving the Republican Party, I really mean it!”)
What is the good of it? What are your intentions? Are you helping to bring Donald Trump to Christ? Are you helping others come to Christ by “witnessing” to Trump’s flaws? Are you acting as a member of the Body incarnating the law of love in this world?
What is it that’s attractive about Christianity besides the truth of it? It’s the surprising and unexpected love shown to the unworthy — not the David Frenches of the faith. And I don’t mean that as a denigration of David French. I believe him to be a good man. But, that’s what makes him easy to love.
Loving Donald Trump takes effort. Sacrifice maybe. But, it’s made easier by the good he is doing for our people — for ordinary Americans whom we are also called to love. I would not subject them to Moloch if I have a say. Or, in this case, if my silence serves to spare them.
I tend to see it all as an echo of Luke 18: “I thank you, God, that I am not like other people — deplorables, irredeemables — or even like those Trump voters!”
It’s a form of virtue signaling — which is just another word for self-righteousness.
The thing about self righteousness. When one is caught up in it. It is almost impossible to see oneself as self righteous
The other thing is. When calling self righteousness out in another. It is a slippery slope not to fall into the very same self righteousness.
It is an ugly business.
It sucks to be us.
Lord have mercy on me/we a sinner.
The Lords Church is full of a bunch of porcupines. French and Jean poked us and we poked them.
Far more important. Praying.
I like the living stones imagery. Pretty tough to build a church out of stones that keep shifting. We’re unruly. One might even say, “ornery.” I like ornery.
Morning Kevin, and WC, Drew, Percival, Saint Aug
All such wonderful observations and comments, however, it does not suck to be us, we are the luckiest folks in the world. Yes, life has complexities that we can not fully understand, but we knew it was always going to be like this. We don’t have to rely on ourselves, and when we head out independently we are making a common mistake. We were made to follow, heed our Counselor, and have faith. All these comments in WC’s post are very encouraging, even when we are not in agreement.
Oh, I agree. I was just being ornery. ;-)
Afternoon Painter Jean @painterjean and WC @westernchauvanist,
I did not know that either of you had these problems with your health or that of your spouse. I should have, most folks have some parts of their lives that are difficult. I can hardly offer you more than comfort and sympathy, if there is anything else we could offer, please ask. I am sure all of us feel the same and that our political disagreements are much less meaningful than what happens at home.
Thank you, Jim. Very kind of you. It’s just the tip of the iceberg of my story with my two daughters’ serious health conditions. My own breast cancer was a small bump in the road comparatively. But we keep each other updated and praying in the Divine Help thread. Maybe you’d like to join us:
Thanks for the link, I will join you. Sorry that your children have had trouble with their health, I am sure that their problems have caused you greater suffering than your own health problems. I hope that current advances help your children, and they can return to a more normal set of challenges.
We don’t do “normal.” Both girls have rare genetic conditions they’ll have to cope with for life. The Elder, though, is studying at Hillsdale after a two-year medical hiatus and is doing great! She’s regained her confidence and is learning to cope with her condition.
The Younger (Little Miss Anthrope on R>) is responding to treatment, although the side effects are a challenge. A bunch of challenges, actually. But, we are very blessed to live in this time and place where this relatively new treatment is available and more are being developed.
I do wish President Trump would address the fact that China produces over 80% of our pharmaceuticals. And I wish he’d do it on an emergency basis, what with CoViD-19 and all. I wouldn’t even mind if he directed tax dollars to the effort. I’m more worried about the disruptions in pharma supplies than I am the virus.
Instapundit noted that 80% of our antibiotics are made in China and that this is a foolish risk. Perhaps the virus will cause lots of companies to rethink sourcing so much in China. I think Trump has exposed China’s weaknesses; in a way China is fragile and not the upcoming world’s power. I think most drug customers would pay more for drugs made in the West, I would. I have no affection for the FDA, but I trust American manufacturing far more than Chinese.
We live in Indianapolis, and should you or your daughters ever visit, let us know and we get some carry out Chinese food, of course it is ok because it is made in Indiana, just a joke. Hoping the advancements keep proceeding.
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My plea for clemency: I’m just teasing my friends about grammar, in violation of the Ricochet Criminal Code and my own strict policy, because…admit it…the coincidence was kind of funny!
I’ll keep that in mind, Jim. We met a wonderful couple from Indianapolis at the Hillsdale shooting sports camp for couples last summer. Have you ever been up there? It’s wonderful to be with so many like-minded people. I always say it’s like a religious pilgrimage for conservatives. ;-)
Well, I wouldn’t say “called for,” but you’re quite right that the targets of his jerkdom often do deserve it.
I had just war theory in my head when I wrote that.
So why did you ask what he’s thinking in in # 202? And why did you there suggest two answers now abandoned for this new answer?
Yeah, I take the eternal view. There’s some Augustinian City of G-d stuff there; it’s why I’m voting for Trump in 2020.
So French is mistaken. What else do you want from me? Other than making a wiser judgment, what else do you want from French?
Nonsense. I was asking. And I asked in response to your question “But what’s the point?” I asked my question to show that there are plenty of answers to yours.
No, you asked what is the point of criticizing a jerk president. But now that you have asked this new question–# 206 points to three answers that apply in various contexts, and for this particular context see also # 196.
To repeat myself, whatever may apply from #s 206 and 196 (especially 196).
Very good! Back to # 200 then: Yes, if you think silence will do some good for an election, by all means carry on! I’m not convinced that overrules all the other reasons to speak, and I’m not convinced it’s even true–see the case of Painter Jean.
But it’s a great reason in favor of silence, if you think it’s true.
David French wants to sabotage the 2020 election for Trump. He wants to save Christian witness by seeing to Trump’s defeat. An admittedly unprofessional psychological reading of his views might also suggest he’s doing it out of pride in his moral superiority to Trump (and, by extension, Trump voters). Embrace the power of “and.”
I’m happy to have your vote for not-Moloch. And, I really don’t think your criticisms are a problem because you don’t have a national platform and claim to represent “principled conservatism.”
French? I’d like him to spend most of his time critiquing the Left (target rich environment) and lay off the repetitive, boring, and tense articles exhorting Christians to NOT for for not-Moloch. It’s that simple.