Thursday, March 2, 2017
Michelle Obama, George W Bush, and Christianity
Loving your enemies
Turning the other cheek
Showing mercy and grace
When do these exceptions apply? In politics. When it comes to politics, you can toss out everything the Bible says. All that matters is defeating the other party. Anything is on the table: slander, character assassination, lies... you name it. Oh, Christians may not always do all of those, but they have no problem with it if their candidate or favorite news source uses those tactics and it makes the other party or candidate look bad.
I have a unique prospective on this, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff lately. For the first time in my life, I felt I could not vote for the person who won the GOP nomination. As a Christian, I felt there was no way I could vote for a man such as Donald Trump. I had paid attention to how he acted - still acts - and the things he said and done. I took a stance early on that as a Christian, I could not vote for him. The applause, accolades, and admiration I received from other Christians overwhelmed me.
Just kidding.....no, I was urged to vote for him anyway. People in my own church tried to say I was for Hillary if I didn't vote for him. They didn't come out and say it, but the idea was there: defeating Hillary was more important than doing the right thing - politics is more important than Christianity. I'll admit the more pressure I got and the more nastiness I got from those firmly in Trump's camp, the angrier I got. I wish I had just backed off, kept my convictions to myself, and voted third party quietly...... but it brought out the outspokenness in me, and I fought back as good as I got.... or almost as good.
Something happened today that showed me how pathetic we American Christians are, and how we have been sucked into this political fray and have become totally un-Christ-like. A good friend of mine posted this, and nothing against her for posting it: "George W. Bush Breaks Down His Affection for Michelle Obama: ‘We Just Took to Each Other’. Hummm....."
What got my attention were the comments. "What a RINO" "I'm disappointed in him", and other similar comments. Put aside politics, if you can, and read what she posted again through the lens of the Bible. Forget the political parties and politics of Bush and Michelle. A former president said something nice about the wife of another former president. What is wrong with that? (It isn't like he said she'd make a great president.........) Had he said that about the wife of a former Republican (are there any surviving ones other than his own mother?), no Republican would have had an issue with it..... but since it was Michelle Obama, suddenly he is a RINO and a horrible person.......
"But she said, she did, her husband did......" So what? Have we become so hate-filled for the opposite political party that we have no decency or Christianity when it comes to anything to do with them?
I don't say this lightly, and I am as guilty as the next person...... it has just become more noticeable since I haven't caved into supporting Donald Trump in any way: No matter how good of a Christian we are, we are fine with a candidate being put down, called nasty names. shredded, slandered, having their character assassinated...... unless we voted for, or are going to vote for that candidate.
The same people who had no issue with the harsh things I had to say about Obama have major issues with me saying them about Donald Trump.....because they voted for him, and he has an "R" by his name. Had he run as a Democrat and they had voted for someone else, they wouldn't care what I said about him.
But poor Hillary.....no one cares what you say about her. She is an evil woman who helped get good men killed, and who has done only God knows what else. She is fair game. People will "like" insulting things you say about her.
And the list goes on: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the Obamas, Rosie O'Donell, and on and on. As long as the politician is from the opposite party that we are of, they are fair game.
Of course I get it that these politicians need fought, and that when they are running for an office that the truth needs to be brought out so we know what kind of person we are voting for...... but must it be done in the way it has been done, and must we Christians jump on the bandwagon and do the same?
If a person of logic thought on these things, they may conclude that politics, our freedoms, and our "rights" are too important to us. They may even conclude that these things are more important to us than the things of God and of being and doing what Jesus wants. We have basically made politics into a god.
I get it. We want to be free. We don't want liberal policies and ideologies crush us and forcing us to do things we believe is wrong. We don't want evil and sin to reign, and it seems that the Democratic party wants that.
This is not an anti-Trump post, but the support, defense, and excusing of his actions and words by Christians is beyond comprehension. Just as anything was said or done to defeat Hillary Clinton, anything was said or done to keep his image intact (a huge job the way he acts)..... No Christian should have voted for the man in the primaries, and no Christian should have gone to the extremes so many did to get people to vote for him...... but defeating Hillary Clinton took precedence over everything...... including being Christian in word and deed..... and more important than values, morals, conviction, and common decency.
There needs to be a big change among we Christians in regards to politics. Yeah, I know... I am one to talk. I have a lot of anger and resentment to deal with, that has as much to do with the reactions of Trump voters as they do with the man himself. It isn't easy to stand up and not cave to pressure to vote for the party candidate. Other Christians don't want you to have values and convictions at that time...... they want you to toss them aside so the other candidate doesn't win, and when you won't cave to that pressure.....you become a pariah, not a hero.
I've been fairly quiet about politics lately. I have watched and observed a lot. I have watched a lot of the same over the top worship and adulation of DT by Republicans that I saw from Obama supporters. I have seen men and women turned into heroes that otherwise would not have been.......because they support Trump and are picked by him for a position. I have seen others demonized and had some nasty things said about them all because they oppose Trump and won't support him.
The thought has come to me to not even vote anymore..... yet I am not sure that is a wise choice. Even if I never vote for a presidential candidate again, there are issues that need to be voted on.... and there may come a day when there is a presidential candidate I feel I can vote for. Regardless of what I do, I am making a resolution to back off from politics. It is hard, especially when I do intensely dislike the man in the White House. Oh, I know he has done some good things....... but I still see the same things in him that didn't let me vote for him. No, I am not stubborn or proud as I have been accused of. That is not the case.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find exceptions to living this Christian life the way we should. There is no exception for politics. We aren't given the blessing to call politicians names if they are of the opposite party that we are of, nor if they criticize our candidate and don't support them.
Seriously, what makes us think that God is OK with what we say and how we act towards a person because they are a politician? Yet we seem to think it is OK to do just that. What we seem to forget, or would like to not think about, is God loves all of these politicians. He loves Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi......even Donald Trump. He loved Hitler, Stalin, and anyone else who has ever lived. How would He act towards these people? What would He say about them? Would He say anything bad about them? Most likely not, so why do we feel we can?
Could it be that we Christians should all stop being so political? If it is affecting friendships and what we think of people, and taking precedence over our Christianity, maybe that is necessary.
I'll be honest, this election about destroyed my faith, and it has had a lot to do with the deep depression I am dealing with. I am not guiltless, and I am not going to claim I am. Were people the kind of Christians they should be, were they truly like Jesus....they would not have said the things they did to me. They would not have reacted the way they did to my criticisms of their candidate and my decision to not vote for him.
And yes, if I were the kind of Christian that I should be, I wouldn't have reacted the way I did to what was said to me. I wouldn't have reacted in the ways I did to people voting for a candidate that I still have a lot of issues with and a man I still believe Christians shouldn't have voted for.
But politics blinds us to everything except wining arguments, defending our candidate, putting down the ones we don't like, and wining an election, And Jesus weeps. Seriously, He probably does. While we were arguing about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and others, people were plunging into hell all around us. Friends and family were hurting..... but winning arguments about politicians was more important to us than showing God's love.
What if all the world saw of Christians was our political arguments? I know of atheists who were horrified at Christians supporting Donald Trump because of his immoral lifestyle, but what also of the arguing and fighting among Christians during the election?
We as Christians are to love everyone.....politicians or anyone else who disagrees with us politically are not exceptions. Yeah, easier said than done..... I truly get that. We cannot just love the people who support our candidate, or whatever else causes us to look distastefully at people.
Back to George W Bush. I didn't agree with him on everything, but he is the most decent president we have had for a long time. He was - and is - a class act. It is not surprising he would say something nice about Michelle Obama, a woman who maligned him several times. Maybe he does this thing better than we do of being like Jesus to those who do us wrong or disagree with us. And how ironic Christians would take issue with that. It is indeed one of many signs we have given politics too high a place in our lives.
As for me, I don't think I'll ever be able to acknowledge Donald Trump as my president, nor respect him...... but I will do my best to not hate him and speak my mind about him. That is a start :)