Can your Christian faith be reconciled with your support of Trump?

Millions of Christians apparently have, but here are observations from a conservative person of faith  who is deeply troubled by President Donald Trump’s trashing of Christian values.

David French, a senior editor of The Dispatch recently asked the same question in his essay, Will Somebody Please Hate My Enemies for Me? Donald Trump is making it even harder for Christians to defend him, and yet they still do. (Subscription may be required.)

He begins by noting the stunning and ugly performance of Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast. Before Trump

What would Jesus say? (White House)

What would Jesus say? (White House)

spokes, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks “delivered a theologically true and moving address about a profound and difficult biblical command—loving our enemies.”

Trump followed, and proceeded to do exactly what Trump does—spewing hatred  on his enemies.

He aired his grievances against political opponents in personally insulting terms, at length. But none of this is truly news. This is what the president does, day after day, on Twitter, during rallies, and to the press. It’s been a core theme of his presidency and, before that, his candidacy. When many of his most zealous Christian defenders say that “he fights,” this is exactly what they’re talking about. [Emphasis in original.]

Some of my fellow Christians who support Trump don’t see this as a problem because he is prolife in his policies and his judicial appointments. [This is a question that French addresses directly.] But for me, this is an intellectual and moral conundrum. Trump spits on so much of what Christ taught and commanded us to follow.

Please read French with an open mind. I did and I’m still thinking about it.

By the way, for Republicans and conservatives who are troubled by the leader of their party and who is supposedly redefining conservative thought, I recommend The Dispatch,  headed by Steve Hayes, the author of two New York Times best sellers and a frequent guest on Bret Baier’s All-Star panel.

Also for independent conservative thinkers, I also recommend The Bulwark. It’s executive editor is Jonathan V. Last, who, like Hayes, was a senior editor of the Weekly Standard.  That honorable publication which was shut down, reported the New York Times,

after it was purchased by Clarity Media, which is controlled by the billionaire conservative businessman Philip F. Anschutz, [who] has devoted resources to The Washington Examiner, a publication that provides cozier coverage of the president. Talk of selling The Weekly Standard was floated, but the company decided against it.

Disclosure: I was a contributor to the Weekly Standard and truly regretted–in addition to personal reasons–to see it shut down. 

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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  • The teachings of Jesus cannot be reconciled with the support of Trump. The Gospel of Jesus preaches love not hate, forgiveness not revenge, respect for all of God's creation, not bigotry and name-calling, conservation, not exploitation.

  • I think of three acts of love and forgiveness shown by Jesus that David French might have trouble discerning:

    1. Jesus confronting the crowd of men wanting to stone a woman for adultery. He stoops and writes in the dust, the only time there is any scripture reference to Jesus writing. What does He write? Is if about the woman or about the men? I think it is an act of love for the men to change their ways and not murder. But it WAS a rebuke.

    2. Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers in the temple. He drives them out as well. It was a violent act, but an act of love -- a warning and rebuke of those who physically and spiritually defile the temple. His rebuke may have saved some of them.

    3. Jesus tells some of the assembled on the mount that they are flat ut hypocrites and He does this by telling them to take the plank out of their own eyes before they attack their brethren for the same or lesser slivers of wood. A rebuke and an act of love -- as some will have their eyes opened.

    These actions and words ask me, "What is Love?" Loving your enemies is the hardest commandment, and it may sometimes mean not killing them with kindness but speaking the truth about their evil.

  • "Speaking the truth about their evil" is precisely what the Democrats and other patriotic Americans are doing.

  • And so they should.

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