NOTE: Remember — while I am a Wiccan now — I am also an evangelical pastor’s daughter, attended religious schools from 5th grade until my sophomore year of college and continue to have Biblical discussions with my entire family, including the nephew who is following in his grandpa’s footsteps. That wealth of Christian doctrine and Biblical understanding doesn’t just disappear simply because I converted to a different religion.
I’m seeing and hearing quite a lot of people who are on the conservative side of the spectrum trying to talk those who are on the liberal side into “giving President Trump a chance.” Heck, even President Obama is encouraged the country to do so.
And many of them take the stance that since he is President that he was anointed by God to that position. Looking at it from a Biblical standpoint, that stance is supported by the Bible. It is particularly noted that many of them also use Mark 12:17 (“Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”)
But, that is also where the problem with this stance comes into play. They have chosen to look only at Mark and not some of the other chapters and verses that discuss this in more detail. Let’s look at a couple of places taken from the Bible that speaks to this specifically:
This particular excerpt from Romans 13 seems to support their stance. It certainly says that one should submit to a governing authority because it has been “established by God.” But this is also the point at which the stance becomes hypocritical.
The special added emphasis section above is Romans 13:2. President Obama was also given the same authority “established by God” as President Trump by this very same Biblical chapter. Yet these very same people have likened President Obama and his family as differing species of primates, and some varying disrespectful and dishonoring epithets. Even Congressional Republicans admitted that they would (and did) everything they possibly could do to obstruct anything President Obama attempted.
How is this living your Christian faith? How do you excuse the cherry picking of Biblical verses outside of their contexts to support your own biases?
I’m not speaking to those who disliked President Obama but still treated the office of the President the respect it deserves. As much as I dislike, distrust and actually fear President Trump, I will still be giving the office of the President the respect it is due.
I am speaking directly to those who are trying to wiggle out of the words they said and the actions they took in relation to President Obama, claiming that they were “acting as their conscience dictates.” In whose definition of conscience were you justifying calling the person in the Presidency a monkey or any other version of primate? How is that not racist?
Before you make claims about some liberals calling President Trump the “Cheeto-in-Chief” being racist, I give you two comments:
Is this really the kind of role model that you want to have for future young Christians? This is certainly not the kind of evangelical Christianity I grew up in. Where is the grace? Where is the mercy? When did hate become synonymous with Christianity? It’s certainly not the Christianity my family practices, including my pastor father and my soon-to-be pastor nephew.
I know very well that some liberals absolutely hate the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Given how I’ve seen it used, I can understand why some liberals would cringe and become angry at hearing those words. My role models (i.e. my parents), on the other hand, practiced it (and still practice it today) by actually giving love to the people whose sin they hated. This doesn’t mean they approve of the sin. Taking myself as an example, none of the rest of my family approve of either my religious choice or my choice to be polyamorous. To approve of either would be counter to their spiritual faith. They do, however, accept that I have the right to make those choices. The disapproval of the sin does not mean that they do not love me. In fact, even while my sister disapproves of my religion and lifestyle, she has opened her home to me while I recover. We’ve agreed upon certain restrictions in the home, not because she has imposed them on me, but because she respects and loves me and I respect and love her. Or, take the example of a man I loved deeply but lost to AIDS. My parents were very much aware that he was a homosexual and knew how much I loved him. They treated him with respect and caring, even while making it clear to both me and to him that they did not approve of his homosexuality. Heck, they accepted my ex with loving care as well, no matter what their opinion of him was. They cared about him because I loved him.
I truly fear for this country. Not because of any choice made by President Trump. I fear for this country because of the actions and choices of the fringe elements of our society. It doesn’t matter which end of the spectrum creates and supports the dictator (and if it is President Trump who becomes it, we all know he will only do so as a puppet with others pulling his strings), it is still a dictatorship. We need to pull back from the fringes and learn to work together again. We need to learn that compromise isn’t a loss, that it is instead a win-win situation.
A large portion of that means that the large percentage of the country who are Christian need to stand up and speak the Gospel rather than the “brimstone and fire” that the Christian fringe has been spouting. I’m asking that we can learn to stand together, respecting choices without necessarily approving of them. I’m asking you not to look at me with hate, and I won’t look at you with hate. I’m asking you to follow Christ’s stricture to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.