Christians and Politics

Clinton trump

Well the conventions are over and done with for another Presidential election cycle. I sure feel a lot more enlightened, don’t you?

I know now that Hillary Clinton is a liar, crooked, corrupt, and has no significant accomplishments in her professional political life.

I am more recently aware of the fact that Donald Trump is a racist, homophobe, anti-Islamic, anti-migrant, and a failed businessman.

The Republican convention and Democrat convention which followed spent most of its time demonizing the opponent in this Fall’s Presidential election. And while I know many who are reading this now will openly and frequently say they HATE Clinton or they HATE Trump or the HATE both of them, I would ask you to consider your faith, or the faith that you claim to possess.

Are the descriptions I wrote about Trump and Clinton accurate? True? Like most people these negative characterizations are possibly true to some people and not true to others. It’s like those grainy cell phone videos of police shootings that we’ve all seen. Maybe half this country see’s police acting irresponsibly and abusing and sometimes killing innocent individuals. Different people seeing the exact same video see a potential criminal suspect resisting arrest and in doing so threatening the law enforcement officers; and in the natural progression of things being man-handled or shot. As much as you see one side, you have to acknowledge that others see the other side. And so we have conflict.

I am not a fan of Trump or Clinton. I don’t think either is nearly as bad as their detractors claim. I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I’m leaning toward voting for the Libertarian ticket with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and his Vice-Presidential nominee former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.

But as I contemplate my choice and try to sway some toward my way of thinking I am constantly amazed how our “Christian” nation continually forgets the main tenants of our faith. The message from Jesus over and over and over again in our Bible is LOVE. 

jesus

We’ve all heard it whether you’re Christian or not, “A new commandment I give you is to Love one another…” John 13:34. It’s important to note that Jesus didn’t say “Love one another…unless the other guy is part of a different political party”. You, of course, will say “but how can I love Hillary, she lies. And her lies offend me”. Fortunately, Jesus once again has you covered. He said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” JOHN 8:7. Have you ever lied? Have you lied repeatedly in your life? Have you been caught for doing so? Now…here is the real tough question…have you ever been perpetually in the national spotlight under the hot lamps of scrutiny like Hillary Clinton has been for more than 25 years and lied and been caught? The answer is no. You haven’t. In fact few have in our nations history.

It’s easy to see that Jesus was telling us to not be hypocrites. But he was also telling us not to judge others. Love one another. But again you say, “I can’t love Trump. He is so vulgar. I think he’s a racist”. Well, Jesus hits back at us with Matthew 7:1 “Judge not. Or you will be judged”. Its seems he’s pretty consistent.

And when friends and even family members harangue you for your political affiliations remember what Jesus told Peter about the brother who repeatedly did wrong. Peter asked Jesus how many times should I forgive him? Seven times? Christ again demonstrates his endless capacity for love and responds, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:22. (That’s 490 times for the math challenged. Though I doubt Jesus was being literal)

Forgetting what our faith teaches us over and over and over and over again in this life…happens. It happens when Democrats advocate for a woman’s right to choose an abortion at any time in a pregnancy. Their forgetting that another’s life is what’s being chosen. And what does the Bible say about that? Well there’s Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17.  But Jesus himself said it as well,“You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony” Matthew 19:18. In fairness a lot of Republicans advocate for abortion as well. If Christian, they too have forgotten, or chosen to ignore what else Jesus said, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” Matthew 5:21. And again, Republicans and Democrats are constantly forgetting the LOVE commandment with angry retorts to whatever the other says. The very next verse applies to all of us, Matthew 5:22.

Never in the history of Presidential elections have two more agitating and controversial candidates vied for the most power job in the world. And instead of the best they each seem to bring out the worst in our fellow Americans; which is good enough reason for me to seriously consider Gary Johnson. But it’s my prayer that we can all quickly realize, if you’re Christian, remember your faith’s teaching! The Bible, and Jesus doesn’t call them teachings. He calls them commandments! Or if you’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, or Atheist we’re all Americans and above that we’re all humans. Life for you and your neighbors will be so much better if we disagree, agreeably, and remember to LOVE one another. “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:31

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Republicans have a Gift they’re Blowing

debate-immigration-marco-rubio-donald-trumpDemocrats gave our nation’s Republicans a huge gift this election season. They gave the GOP lots and lots of love. And Republicans seem destined to stumble over the gift and kick it into the fireplace.

The gift Democrats gave the GOP was Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Neither were going to beat a legitimate GOP Presidential candidate and move into the White House, or back into the White House as would be the case with Clinton. And yet, with this gift exquisitely gift wrapped for Republicans to take control of the White House after 8 years of Barrack Obama and his Democratic administration Republicans are saying, “Thanks, no thanks”.

Republicans started this whole election process with 16 candidates. Many of whom were very well-respected and accomplished. There were some good, and some very good candidates. And out of those 16 Republicans now seem destined to nominate the one, and possibly the only one, of those 16 who won’t beat the Democratic nominee.

Donald Trump has won primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. No Republican since before 1980 has won both states and NOT won the nomination of the grand old party. And at this writing it seems Trump is poised to win the Nevada caucuses. This, and all but 4 other candidates have withdrawn from the race; the natural winnowing process taking place. And as fervent as Trump’s supporters seem to be his nomination is increasingly likely. Can you imagine? President Trump? I can’t! That’s why the grand ol’ party’s constituents are giving back the generous gift Democrats handed them.

At this point we only acknowledge Bernie Sanders to be polite. He will not win the Dems’ nomination. The only thing that would change Hillary’s inevitable top of the ticket result would be if the Obama Justice Department does its actual job and indicts her; something she seems infinitely deserving of. Even without the indictment Clinton is a seriously flawed candidate. Seriously, does anything about her feel likable? I’ll be the first to admit that likability is not a prerequisite for being President of the United States (Richard Nixon for example). But it’s usually a requirement for election to the highest office in the land. Hillary is so completely unlovable, its hard to imagine anyone worse.

Except, it seems Republicans have found him. To be clear I don’t dislike Trump as much as others. I just recognize how dislikable he is and subsequently how unelectable he is. Much of Trump’s bombast is just that, bombast. He’s playing his cards. He knew it would work, he knew he held aces, and since it is working, he’s keeping it up. I believe so much of Trump’s most outrageous statements are strategy straight from his book Trump: The Art of the Deal in which he advocates taking an extreme position in negotiations in order to later settle for something more moderate. This is why I don’t hate or fear Trump as President as much as all Democrats do, many Republicans do, and more importantly most independents do. Recent nationwide polls show Trump’s unfavorable rating between 55% and 60+%. It’s hard to get elected President when nearly 3 in 5 Americans HATE you.

To those who LOVE The Donald, I would say this. You may love him, but its time to recognize that at no time has he garnered more than about 33% of Republican voters support. To win the White House He’ll need nearly 100% of Republicans to hold their noses and vote for him, plus a lot of independents, and YES, some Democrats.

And he’ll need some minority votes too. So, Mr. and Mrs. Trump supporters which demographic group is going to give Trump significant support? Blacks? Ya…good luck with that. Even before Obama blacks voted for Democrats 94% of the time. Hispanics (the largest minority group in the country)? He called immigrant Mexicans rapists and criminals! (Of course, that’s not actually what he said…but try and convince your average Latino of that after what will be more than a year of the national media saying that he did). How about Muslims? He wants to bar people of such faith from entering the country but he will somehow garner their vote? What are you drinking? Asians? Well, though Asians tend to vote Republican more than other minorities, keep in mind how Trump has bashed China at every opportunity.

I’m writing this now to urge undecideds Republicans and Independents to save our country. Vote for Marco Rubio when it comes your time to vote. And send him your money and your Social Media vote NOW. I truly want a Conservative in the White House to help bring back some much of what Barrack Obama has frittered away. But if GOP voters don’t happily accept their Democratic gift, then we’ll have to see what 12 straight years of Democratic rule looks like. That hasn’t happened since Harry Truman. Let’s hope the next time is many years from now.