Facebook has become a place of nightmares. I rarely enjoy what I see, yet I feel compelled to scroll through and see what horrors have befallen our world in the fifteen seconds since I last refreshed. Okay, it’s not quite that extreme, but it’s close. The questions that keep running through my head are like “Is there anything that Donald Trump could do that his supporters would consider not okay?” and “How much lying and backpedaling are people willing to put up with?”
There seems to be a segment of the population that will support or excuse anything that Donald Trump does. It started during the election. His admitted tendency to sexually assault women was excused. His association with and later appointment of a known white supremacist and anti-semite was not challenged. His refusal to sever ties with his very expansive business interest is apparently okay. And now his complete ban on travel for “immigrants and non-immigrants” holding passports from seven middle eastern countries and the suspension of the 42 year old refugee program including indefinitely suspending entry of refugees from Syria (you know, the place where terrorist blow up children’s hospitals) is the new American way.
As a Christian, what has hurt the most is that people are saying all of this is ordained by God because God has anointed the lady part grabbing narcissists as he did Saul and David. Donald Trump is the new Cyrus; the unholy savior of God’s people (to be clear, this only includes Americans). I detest the way this represents Christians because a group is only judged by its worst; i.e. Muslim=Terrorist. In truth, all of the hate being spewed (just look on a conservative facebook page or website) is based on fear. Pure, unadulterated fear. There are dozens if not hundreds of official petitions to ban Sharia Law. Guess what! We already have that; it’s called the Constitution of the United States of America. The reason the US Constitution protects us is because of the Establishment Clause; it reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” It was later interpreted by Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black as meaning, ” Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.”
Sharia Law is religious law. Do you want to know what would open up America to Sharia Law in the future? Supreme Court decisions that favor Christianity. Yep, if there is a Supreme Court decision that is based strictly on the Christian Bible, then it sets a precedent for future laws based on the Quran. This is why the separation of Church and State is so freaking important. Continually pushing for a “Christian America” is advocating a Theocracy. A theocracy is not defined as a “form of government in which a deity is the source from which all authority derives.” Notice that it says a deity, not the Christian God. Once a Theocracy is established, a new deity could come with each new leader. I’m not saying that this will happen, just that it could.
Many of the Trump supporters I know are also some of the best, most loving people I know. I’m experiencing what psychologists call ambivalence. Ambivalence is defined as “the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.” What they are saying and posting does not match what I know to be true about them and it’s emotionally disturbing. I cannot reconcile the amount of love they show with the amount of hate they are exhibiting. It’s not what I understand as being a Christian.
Thankfully, not all Christians are in agreement. More than 3,500 religious leaders have signed a letter denouncing the immigration ban as immoral saying that “we are called by our sacred texts and faith traditions to love our neighbor, accompany the vulnerable, and welcome the sojourner.” This letter to Donald Trump and the members of Congress was signed by many of the major Christian denominations including The United Methodist Church, of which I am a member. I am proud to align myself with a religious organization that stands up for those in need and truly follows the example of Christ. Some others to speak out are the Episcopal Church, the alliance of Baptists, the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Lutheran Church, and leaders from many other faiths. I am encouraged by the massive call to end the ban and the call to keep the United States open to all faiths.
I celebrate our diversity and hope that we can continue to be a country for all people who seek the same freedoms that our country was truly founded on.