How Donald Trump, Fox News, and Evangelicals soiled Christmas and Christianity

How Donald Trump, Fox News, and Evangelicals soiled Christmas and Christianity
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There have been 13 Presidents in my lifetime. In my 67 years, I do not remember any President of the USA trying to divide our Nation at Christmas.

President Kennedy, one of our most eloquent Presidents, chose Christmas to remind the people of East Berlin they were not forgotten. He spoke of brotherhood, goodwill, and peace.

President Reagan’s first Christmas at the White House the message was also about peace. He spoke directly to the religious, yet also acknowledged not all Americans hold the same religious beliefs. He talked about love and learning to care for one another.

On Christmas Eve of 2017, Americans got a different kind of message from President Trump. President Trump chose one of the holiest days of the year in the Christian calendar to practice the politics of division. He soiled the very spirit of the day of peace on earth and goodwill toward men, to pit Evangelical Christians against their fellow Americans.

He used his favorite tool of division, Twitter, to rile Evangelicals and to fan the flames on a non-existent war on Christmas. Here is his tweet.

There is no war on Christmas. There is no war on Christianity in the USA. We do have separation of Church and State. That is an intentional design by the Founding Fathers. Many came to the United States to flee the tyranny that happens when a religion becomes official in a nation.

Tax dollars spent on religious observances is not in keeping with the Freedom of Worship clause in the US Constitution. Why should Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhist, Hindus, or any other religion subsidize Christian Holidays?

A quick search of how many religious holidays fall in December is revealing. In addition to Christmas and Hanukkah, other religions have holidays during the month. Did you know 6,000 Zoroastrians are living in North America? They have a significant holiday during this month.

Fox News, the propaganda tool of Donald Trump eagerly participates in the division. Just before Christmas, Fox aired a program, “Is President Trump Winning the War on Christmas?”

There is no war on Christmas. You can say Merry Christmas to your heart’s content. You can put up a Christmas Tree and sing carols at the top of your lungs. You can buy presents for your families, send out religious-themed Christmas Cards, go to Church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Nobody from the government is going to stop you.

Using our tax dollars to subsidize any religious holiday is stopped by the Constitution, and rightly so. If you open that Pandora’s Box, then you must provide your tax dollars to pay for all religious holidays of all religions practiced in the USA, is that what you want to do?

After signing the tax bill into law, I find it cynical to mention Jesus, or Christmas by Trump, or his supporters. I do not lay claim to being a Christian Biblical Scholar, but I have read the Christian Bible dozens of times. The Christian, sacred writings are a magnificent collection that is a message of peace, reconciliation, and taking care of one another.

There are also some penalties listed for behaving in the manner of Trump and his supporters. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the new tax law will strip 13 million Americans of their health insurance. The GOP is discussing going after Medicare, Medicaid and food subsidies next year. They reindexed Social Security so seniors will get less of a boost in the future.

How does that wash with the words found in 1 John 3:17: “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

One of the reasons I left Christianity and came to Judaism is the belief people are called to do nothing about the human condition, other than whisper a prayer and be on our way. I saw Christians trying to pass off to God work they should be doing.

It does not work that way. Christians include the Jewish Tanakh and Torah as part of their Bible. They call it The Old Testament. I have heard some Christians say it is meaningless. The only reason to read it is to show Christians their liberation from Judaism’s laws.

That is one point of view. It seems not to have been Jesus’ point of view. Matthew Chapter 5, verse 17 is pretty clear, “I did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” The words about helping the poor in Judaism in the books of Proverbs, Isaiah, Psalms, and Deuteronomy are part of Christian dogma.

At least they are supposed to be. You would not know it by the GOP agenda. I wish Evangelicals would be honest. Why not just say, “Yeah, I know Jesus said those things in the Bible. I just don’t feel like doing it and do not care.”

All this talk of Trump being guided by Jesus on Fox and the entire GOP agenda is the antithesis of what the Bible has to say about the sick and the poor. Jesus also spoke a great deal about hypocrisy. Re-read those parts and be sure to look into a mirror when you read them.

I often wonder about Fox News and Trump’s end game? Are they looking for civil war?  Christmas is supposed to be about peace, and brotherhood, and not about division. Not to Donald Trump, Fox News, and Evangelicals. For them, it is one more opportunity to divide our Nation.

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