If You Still Support Donald Trump After This Week

This has been a very sad and very difficult week in our nation’s history.  For those of you who have been living under a rock lately, let me catch you up and then let me try to wrap it up and put a bow on it, to the extent that is possible at this point.  A wound has been ripped open in our nation’s psyche and this will not just go away because the 24-hour news cycle is moving on, so I reserve the right to come back to this if future events warrant or if I feel like it.

ICYMI:  Several white supremacist groups, including the KKK and the Neo-Nazis, descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the proposed removal of Confederate statues.  The protests turned violent when one white supremacist took a muscle car and plowed into a group of people who were counter-protesting the spectacle, killing one and injuring several others.

In the immediate aftermath, Donald Trump made a statement that there was blame to go around “on many sides”.  Faced with mounting pressure from his critics, Donald Trump made a follow-up statement on Monday singling out the white supremacist groups for condemnation.  But this statement felt forced and disingenuous.  Sure enough, Donald Trump reversed field the next day and issued another follow-up statement that laid blame on both sides.

At this point, it is perfectly clear where Donald Trump’s sympathies lie.  By equivocating blame, Donald Trump made an unquestionable statement that he stands with the white supremacists.

Trump supporters:  OK.  I am sure that you had your reasons for voting the way you did this past fall.  This was a very difficult election, and none of the available options was particularly appealing.  Honestly, I wish there was a way that both could have lost.

Perhaps you were concerned about terror attacks in Paris and Brussels and concerned that lax immigration policies typically favored by Democrats could lead to similar occurrences here on American soil.  Perhaps you were concerned about American manufacturing jobs vanishing overseas and the devastation this has wrought in certain parts of the country.  Perhaps you were concerned about Hillary, Benghazi, the emails, and if she really was that bad there was no way in hell you could support her.

Some of you have disabled children who will be at or near the front of the line if the death camps come to America.  Some of you are otherwise decent people who are struggling to make sense of it all.

But at this point, ambiguity has been replaced with clarity.  We all know now that Donald Trump stands with those who murdered six million Jews and others in Europe for no reason other than their race.  If you still stand with Donald Trump after this week…well, that option is not open to you if you are a decent human being.  Or a human being at all.

Does Donald Trump Think Badly of His Supporters?

Today I direct your attention to this opinion piece at CNN.com.  For those of you who missed it, there was a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville this weekend to protest the proposed removal of Confederate statues.  One white supremacist used his car to murder one young woman and injure several others who were there to protest their actions.  Donald Trump, in his statements this week, made it abundantly clear that he is with the white supremacists.

But why?  Why has Donald Trump gone out of his way to make it clear that he is with white supremacists?  Commentator S. E. Cupp offers his opinion:  Donald Trump has them confused with his base, the largely white and economically disenfranchised voters from the flyover states.  In Cupp’s opinion, Donald Trump will not change course until/unless an overwhelming majority of his supporters yank their support and let him know he is wrong.

Donald Trump Shows His True Colors

So I got home late tonight to find this gem sitting out there on my Facebook feed.

This afternoon Donald Trump issued a statement that, basically, both sides were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville this weekend.  This was a reversal of field from yesterday’s statement, in which Donald Trump yielded to pressure from his critics to specifically denounce racism and single out the racist groups who were responsible.

If you suspected that yesterday’s statement was disingenuous, well, here’s your proof.

By saying that both sides are to blame, Donald Trump basically said that his sympathies are with the white supremacists.

David Duke got Donald Trump’s message loud and clear.  He took to Twitter as follows:  “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa”.

There you have it, people:  Donald Trump is a racist.  He has made it abundantly clear that he stands with the KKK, the Neo-Nazis, and all manner of other white supremacists.

If you doubted that before today, doubt no more.  Donald Trump’s statement has removed all possible doubt.

If you continue to stand with Donald Trump after today, then you are just as much a racist as he is.

Mr. Falwell, your phone is ringing.

Mr. Graham, your phone is ringing.

Mr. Jeffress, your phone is ringing.

Mr. Grudem, your phone is ringing.

There’s Our President

This afternoon Donald Trump issued a statement on the protests and violence in Charlottesville.  He succinctly stated that “racism is evil”.  He called out the KKK and white supremacists specifically.  He even offered words of remembrance for Heather Heyer, who paid with her very life for the hatred that was expressed on the streets of Charlottesville.

It all sounded so good.  It all sounded just right.  Trouble is, Donald Trump had already betrayed every word he spoke today.  Given the chance to be presidential and denounce the Neo-Nazis who took to the streets of Charlottesville on Saturday, he instead saw an “…egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides.”  He took two whole days to deliver today’s statement in which he finally denounced the evil of white supremacy by name.  And even today’s statement came only after self-congratulatory remarks about the economy and a nasty early morning tweetstorm in which he denounced/ridiculed Kenneth Frazier, a black CEO, for resigning from an advisory panel of business executives in protest of Donald Trump’s handling of the events in Charlottesville.

There’s your president, ladies and gentlemen.

There’s my president.

Contrast this with the statement issued by another influential Republican on Saturday:

It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great Nation with bloodshed. Heidi’s and my prayers are with the loved ones of those killed and injured in the ongoing violence in Charlottesville. The First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans to speak their minds peaceably, but violence, brutality, and murder have no place in a civilized society.

The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate. Having watched the horrifying video of the car deliberately crashing into a crowd of protesters, I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism.

These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail. America is far better than this. Our Nation was built on fundamental truths, none more central than the proposition “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Ted Cruz, ladies and gentlemen.

Did you ever think we would reach the point of wishing that Ted Cruz was our president?

Yet here we are.

People:  We just had a national tragedy, in which Donald Trump had a prime opportunity to at least appear presidential.  Instead we come away wishing to God that Ted Cruz–Ted Cruz!!!!!!!!!–was our president.

Something is very wrong here.

A Massive Failure of Basic Christianity

ICYMI:  Several white nationalist groups came together to protest in downtown Charlottesville this weekend.  Someone, presumably affiliated with the white nationalists, took a car and slammed into a group of people who were protesting their display, killing one and injuring several.

Donald Trump, our president and racist-in-chief, spoke thusly:

“The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now….  We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides.”

Notice that there was no specific mention of racism or white supremacy in this statement.  You can rest assured that this detail will not go unnoticed by the white supremacist groups involved in this outrage.  They will probably even take it as an endorsement, just as when Richard Spencer and others of the alt-right lunatic fringe took Donald Trump’s delayed, halfhearted “disavowal” of David Duke as an endorsement.

Evangelicals:  If you supported Donald Trump, you will have to answer for this.  These are the people whom you linked arms with to get your Donald Trump into the White House.  Your linking arms with those who preach and practice unmitigated hatred against those who are not white, in support of a candidate who has made said hatred a cornerstone of his message and agenda, is a MASSIVE failure of basic humanity, basic Christianity, and basic love.

I don’t need to tell you that the Lord hates this.  You already know.

Mr. Graham, your phone is ringing.

Mr. Falwell, your phone is ringing.

Mr. Jeffress, your phone is ringing.

Mr. Grudem, your phone is ringing.

I have said this before and will say it again:  Think about this through the filter of “What does love require of me?”  If you can make a convincing case that what love requires of you is to link arms with racists and white supremacists of the worst kind in support of Donald Trump and his agenda of hatred and anger against those who are not privileged white Christian males…no.  There is no such case to be made.  This is not what love requires of you.  That’s all there is to it.

Franklin Graham on Russia

Today I direct your attention to a quote which appeared on Franklin Graham’s Facebook page.

First, to all you Donald Trump supporters out there:  Feel perfectly free to comment as you wish, if you wish to do so.  Just know this:  My views on Donald Trump are clear to anyone who has been tracking with me regularly.  They have been clear ever since all this began and they have not changed; if anything I am now more convinced in my position than I ever was before.  There is nothing you or anyone else can say, nor any way in which you can say it, which will cause me to suddenly see the error of my ways and join you in your wholehearted and unwavering support of Donald Trump.  So you will basically just be exposing yourselves.  If you’re okay with that, then hey, have at it.

Now then.  The quote:

This whole debate about Russia influencing our elections is a giant smokescreen. The progressive socialists had plans for our country and Donald J. Trump disrupted those plans. They were sure he would lose the presidential election. They are still infuriated and want to keep President Trump and his administration distracted so they will not be able to pass the tax reform, healthcare reform, and immigration reform we need so badly. They also want to keep the American people distracted. They would rather see the country spiral downward than for problems to be fixed.

I shall now translate for you:  Hey liberals (and by that he means anyone who is not a wholehearted, unwavering Trump supporter), GET THE HELL OUT OF OUR WAY and let our Donald Trump enact his policies because the only thing that can solve our problems and the world’s problems is a good hard dose of Donald Trump.

As to the Russia thing:  The idea of a foreign power being able to influence our electoral process ought to at least give us pause.  It didn’t affect the outcome of the election this time (we lucked out), but next time it might.  We have got to make sure there is no next time.

But this is bigger than Russia.  This is about a prominent Christian leader saying to a large group of the American populace, in effect, “You are the reason for the problems which our country faces today.  You are trying to keep us distracted and keep our country distracted so our guy cannot enact his agenda.  You would rather see our nation spiral downhill than see problems be solved.”

People:  Think about this from the perspective of “What does love require of me?”  Can you make a convincing case that what love requires of Franklin Graham is to accuse a vast segment of the American populace of being the reason for our nation’s problems and wanting to see these problems get worse instead of be fixed, because they do not share his wholehearted and unwavering support of Donald Trump?  (We have already covered multiple times the question of whether love requires you to support a leader whose agenda is one of unmitigated anger and hatred for all who are not privileged white straight Christian males.  Answer:  No.)  Can you make a convincing case that what love requires of you and what love requires of me is to support prominent Christian leaders who make statements like Franklin Graham’s?

Didn’t think so.

Civil Religion Is Back

Civil religion is back.  With a vengeance.

Feast your eyes on this announcement from the website of First Baptist Dallas.  Their pastor, Robert Jeffress, has been one of American evangelicalism’s most vociferous supporters of Donald Trump.

People, this is not Christianity.  Never has been, and never will be.

I get it.  Well, I’m trying to, at any rate.  Many of you are longing for a return to what you see as a more stable, moral, and prosperous period of our history back in the mid-20th century.  You think back on those times as the “good old days”.  But there were no good old days.  There were, however, times when certain expressions of Christian culture and morality held sway in the halls of power and in the cultural imagination.  So when you say you long for the “good old days”, it’s just a thinly veiled way of saying you long for the days when we white Christian males were in charge.

Not a very Christian attitude, people.

You see, the so-called “good old days” had a seamy underbelly, and many who were not straight white Christian males experienced the full brunt of it.  Segregation was the order of the day.  The KKK was rampant.  A woman’s place was, by and large, in the home.  And all of this was considered part and parcel of the Christian message and witness.

What we had back then was a Christianity that basically wiped its ass with the very people for whom Jesus Christ came to earth and died on a Roman cross.  As long as they were not straight Christian white males.

People, our calling as Christians is to love God, love our neighbors, and even to love our enemies.  These elements are notoriously lacking in the civil religion that now holds sway in much of evangelicalism.

Our calling as Christians is not to promote the civil religion of any nation or political party, to seek power at any and all possible cost, and then to wave the flag and/or the cross in the face of any and all who hold dissenting views.  Such behaviors fly in the face of loving God, loving our neighbors, and loving our enemies.

I find it appalling that so many prominent evangelical leaders like Robert Jeffress are falling all over themselves to support this…I don’t know how to call him.  Though he is courting white evangelicals as part of his power base, it is perfectly clear that he shares nothing whatsoever in common with us except the lust for power and control.

This is not going to end well, people.

I’ve said this before and will say it again:  Think of it through the grid of “What does love require of me?”  I refuse to accept that what love requires of me is to support a candidate whose message consists entirely of sheer, unbridled hatred and anger directed against those who are not straight white Christian males.  No one can convince me otherwise.  Not even Robert Jeffress.