"And no wonder, for Satan himself
masquerades as an angel of light."
2 Corinthians 11:14
I'm posting this for those of you (and I'm sure there are a few) who still support Donald Trump. This isn't going to be pretty, so you might want to move on now.
I've been going back and forth on this one, on whether or not to post it, for a while now. I'm fairly active in political groups on Facebook and I tweet and retweet on Twitter daily--but what I have to say now requires a much longer format, so here I am.
I've made no secret of my opposition to our current (and likely illegitimate) leader. I've been disappointed by the outcomes of elections before, but never concerned that the winner would destroy our country and perhaps even the world. I might not like some of their policies, but then, I've never agreed 100% with any candidate. As I've said before, I've never belonged to either party. I've just voted for whoever I felt would be best for the job. I'm pro-life--I don't think abortion should be legal except in cases where the mother's or baby's life is at risk. I had a child as a single mother. It wasn't easy--I was less prepared than most women for motherhood. But I look at Collin now and I can't imagine a world in which he would not exist. I can't take credit for how well he turned out (I think God just gave him the qualities he needed to survive such a pathetic excuse for a mother), but I'm glad I took the gift of life so seriously that abortion was never an option. Having him, being his mother, made me a better person--not perfect, just better.
I'm in favor of the Second Amendment. There might be a situation in which it would be a matter of life and death. I have no qualms about defending myself, my loved ones, or anyone else being threatened. Gay marriage? Not a lifestyle I'd choose for myself, but it's none of my business. It doesn't affect me, so I'll stay out of that fight. Transgender bathrooms? Opposed. Public restrooms have enough problems already. Deal with the broken latches on the doors and the toilet paper that should be on the rolls instead of in the floor before we figure out any other issues. It should be simple: if you have indoor plumbing, use the women's room; outdoor plumbing, men's room--no matter what you're wearing.
I grew up in the rural Midwest. We weren't confused about our identities; we knew who and what we were. Most of us, at one time or another, wanted to be something we weren't, but we faced reality. I wonder if this identity confusion might be a factor in the rising number of suicides annually.
But I've gotten off track here. Donald Trump. How did it come to this? How did we end up with a man so unqualified, so temperamentally unfit for the job, so self-absorbed and greedy as our 45th President? Was it voter manipulation by the Russian government? Partly. I'm convinced they were involved. But there's got to be more to it than that. I suspect it goes back to the 2008 election, when Barack Obama became our first African-American President. That had to infuriate the white supremacists, the neo-Nazis, and their like. From the day President Obama was elected to his first term, I imagine they were, fueled by fury, working on getting him out of office as soon as possible. Yet he was still thankfully elected to a second term.
"Then Peter said, 'Now I understand that God
doesn't play favorites.'"
Then there were the Evangelical Christians. Gay marriage was now legal in many states. It wasn't a matter of live and let live, though. Gay couples wanted to force Christian bakeries and wedding planners to handle their weddings, rather than find other bakers and planners who'd be happy to have the job. No--instead, they sued those who refused, sometimes driving them out of business. Another angry group fed up with political correctness.
Add to that anger of the coal miners and others who were out of jobs because of EPA regulations. They felt no one in Washington was listening to them. No one in Washington cared. The 2016 election was coming up, and they were taking a stand. They wanted a new President who was an outsider, a problem solver, not someone who was part of the political establishment. The Democrats failed them. Instead of the popular independent running as a Democrat, Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democrats were determined to have the nomination go to their choice, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who didn't inspire the Millennial voters who were so strongly behind Sanders.
We were ripe for the picking, when you think about it.
In spite of a large number of Republican candidates, Donald Trump took the lead early on. I'm still trying to figure out how anybody could see him as an outsider. It's no secret that most politicians are bought and paid for by wealthy donors--the so-called elite 1%. Think, people. Trump is one of them--one of the 1%! He's the guy who lines the pockets of politicians to get them to vote his way. Why did he bother to run for President instead of just buying himself a candidate? Simple. He wanted the attention. And for some reason, he thought everyone loved him. Surprise! He's divided our country as no leader before him ever has.
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than
it is for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
Evangelical leaders took to social media, declaring him to be sent by God. Some even compared him to Jesus. I find that offensive. Jesus healed the sick--Trump and his GOP stooges want to take away healthcare for all but those who can afford high insurance premiums. Jesus told the rich man to sell all he owned and give the money to the poor (Matthew 19:21). Trump and Co. are followers of the so-called Prosperity Gospels, believing that God wants everyone to be rich (this is why I have issues with organized religion). Jesus despised sin; Trump embraces it. Jesus was humble; Trump is an arrogant braggart who's all about profit, all about himself and his needs. Jesus lived as a poor man; Trump lived in the Tacky Palace high about Manhattan. Trump has, by all accounts, unapologetically committed every one of the seven deadly sins.
Yes, God chooses those who are broken, sinners he can transform to show the world it's his hand at work. The keyword here is transform. Trump hasn't changed, at least not visibly. He's not an example to follow. Yet follow they do.
This is what I find most troubling. In the past, presidents who fell from grace lost the favor of even their most devoted supporters. Not so in the case of Donald Trump. He once said he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his followers would still support him. That may be the most truthful statement he's ever made. They would. And that's unnatural.
He's signed the Religious Liberty executive order--supposedly to benefit churches, but actually a means to allow tax-exempt churches to oppose or endorse political candidates. Good for politicians, bad for churches. In fact, having seen countless posts online by Christians who are devastated at having to leave their churches because the political arguments have become too much to bear. It's tearing the churches apart--not something God would want, but I can think of someone who would....
I've been disheartened by posts declaring God to be dead or nonexistent because "if there were a God, how could this man be in the White House?"
"Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you
who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury, because he
knows that his time is short."Revelation 12:12
Some believe Trump was sent by God as a test; some believe he's been sent as a punishment for our godlessness. Others wonder if he's something much more sinister. I don't know. I know something is not normal. I believe that we as a nation are weaker under his questionable leadership than we have ever been. I believe the world is at risk. We have two unstable leaders, Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, making threats, playing chicken with the nukes.
Not a good place to be.
Years ago, I asked our pastor if the Book of Revelation is literal or symbolic, expecting a long discussion of it. Nope. He said, quite simply, "It comes down to one question: are you ready?"