A guy I grew up with, Stephen Mucher, wrote a piece published at Religious Dispatches titled, “HOW TO TALK TO A TRUMP EVANGELICAL AT CHRISTMAS.”
He posted the article on Facebook, and I saved it to read later.
A bit of background, Stephen’s older than me by a few years, but we went to the same evangelical high school in High Point, N.C. His family was somewhat known as being a bit more liberal. And I’ve valued his posts on Facebook discussing politics and world affairs.
He has a Ph.D. his work has appeared in the LA Times, Washington Post, among other publications.
I’ll let you read the essay yourself. But his primary point is to encourage discussion between disagreeing parties regarding President-elect Donald Trump and some advice on how to do so.
I’m petrified to discuss this topic at my home over the Christmas holiday. But I am desperate for certain answers to questions I have about how any Jesus-loving believer could vote for someone like Trump. I can only identify one way that Trump resembles anything Christian, and that’s if you don’t agree with either of them, either will make your life hell. Jesus in the afterlife. Trump, via Twitter and taking your ass to court and suing the hell out of you.
This fear not discuss Trump with my family comes from a history of discussions gone awry. The result of the conversations going south are usually my fault. I am not as good of a talker as I am a writer (and even that is up for grabs). Number two: I’m a hot head and when I’m flustered, I communicate even worse than I do when I’m of sober mind and spirit.
Take this example: my Mom and Dad were visiting Tina and me this past summer. I was cooking them breakfast the day they were to leave. All things were going fine. There were no issues during their few days staying in our little two-bedroom condo in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
At one point, we all started talking about the economy and my back was to everyone as I cooked. We discussed how it seemed more money was in our pockets thanks to low gas prices and other elements of economic betterment especially since it was so bad in 2007 to 2009. We seemed to agree that the weight of the depression was alleviated and getting better all the time.
Within a few minutes of talking about something else, my Dad made a comment about how bad the economy is under Obama and started going on and on about the dismal state of the Obama’s flaccid attempts to make it better. I slammed down the pan I was cooking in. “This is patently untrue! That’s not what the record shows” I erupted. Not only had we just talked about it, everyone from my conservative, republican friends and colleagues in the banking and insurance industries continue to reflect a perspective of growth.
My Mom defended my Dad by saying, “I guess it depends on where you get your information from.”
But … but … but … we ALL just talked about the bettered economy!!!
I think the last point that was made was that there are Americans who are still suffering from a depressed economy.
Yes, there are economic ruins in this country in pockets that are still feeling the burden of the depression, but isn’t that the problem with trickle-down economics … if you’re in lower socio economic regions, trickles take a helluva lot more time. That’s Reagan Economics in a nutshell. We can all agree to that. It was the dig against Obama that drove me nuts especially when everyone was just singing Kum-bay-fucking-ya about the improved economy.
Not to mention, my family directly benefits from socialized, government infrastructures that protect and provide for them on different levels. There are no better poster-children for government-loving, democratic-loving secularists like people in my immediate family. But a vote for Hillary was disgusting as hell compared to a Christ-hating, orange buffoon because “He tells it like it is,” and “The supreme court will get stacked against ‘Republican values’ if we don’t vote for him!”
Republican values. What the hell does that mean anymore with a leader like Trump?
It’s the hypocritical disproportion of approach that is an unfair conversation approach. One cannot talk about improved economy and follow it with a disparaging illogical comment about it within minutes.
This hypocrisy is what we anticipate as an unfair approach to dinner-time political banter among disagreeing parties.
This is a guy who has yet to give props to the almighty for anything. Even atheists have claimed him for his lack of belief-affirming behaviors.
This is a guy who is as America-first as any tax-evading gangster can be.
This is a self-defined womanizer. Pussy grabbing aside. His three-wife, I wouldn’t have hit on that ugly woman who claims I assaulted her bullshit.
A man who criticizes our veterans and POWs.
A man who makes fun of handicapped citizens.
A man who calls for violence against his opposition.
A man who is the poster child for xenophobia.
Trump would certainly deport a brown man born of a middle eastern woman who isn’t married to the father of her child. He would balk at giving them a lease in one of his opulent buildings. Giving up his wealth for the sake of tradition as president … NOT going to happen. Camels walk through needles more easily. We know he wouldn’t hang with Zacchaeus; the man doesn’t pay taxes. Jesus didn’t command to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, unless there’s a loophole or two.
Trump has run out of cheeks to turn. His track record of caring for his enemies, in the below zeroes.
Although, welcoming home a prodigal son, like Rick Perry or Ben Carson … I guess you can’t get more Jesus-y than that.
All hail Trump.
I would love to hear a rational approach to supporting Trump. Rational in terms of a coherent message that supports the convictions of Christ-loving, life-loving, decent human beings and how they rationalize and align their love of Jesus and his message with a guy like Trump.
But this request for coherence is coming from a guy like me who thinks that the bar for the Good News Gospel is set way too low. That even if proven to be real, I’d still not support belief and allegiance to Jesus or God. But that’s my fault. Or Satan’s. Or whatever the hell.
The Ghost of Christmas past always shows Ebenezer where he came from and the Ghost of the Future shows him how dismal it’s going to be … I’m afraid I don’t know the script well enough to change life’s trajectory and Make the Christmas Dinner Table Discussion Great again.
But there’s always hope that Jesus will hear anyone’s prayers. So let him hear mine.