Donald Trump: God’s Chosen President?

trumpchosenbygodI can’t decide whether it’s more funny or sad to watch a certain segment of Christian try to hold up Donald Trump as a fine example of the faith. Some of them really believe God intervened in the election to prevent lifelong Christian Hillary Clinton from becoming president – in favor of a man who brags about grabbing women “by the pussy” and says he’s never asked God for forgiveness because he doesn’t “bring God into that picture”.

Last night, I was reading some comments on Facebook and came across one guy who quotes lots of scripture and is totally convinced that Trump is indeed going to make America great again. He was asked repeatedly which century he’d like to go back to in order to recover America’s greatness. When he finally responded, he said, “The century that Jesus was born is my personal favorite.” Really? Let’s overlook for now that the USA didn’t exist in the century that Jesus was born. It was a time of incredible hardship for the people of Israel – they were living under a foreign dictatorship, unable to practice their faith as they wanted (those moneychangers in the Temple were there to rip them off, not help them out), and faced with torture and a horribly cruel form of execution if they rocked the boat. Women and children were property (thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife or his house or his servants or his ox or ass…you get the point). There was no Facebook where people like him could spout off.

trumpassaultchristianityI’m pretty sure what this guy really wants is a return to the days when rich white (nominally) Christian men ruled the world and everyone else “knew their place”. That’s what Trump and his billionaire’s club cabinet picks seem to aspire to. Trump has said and done nothing to make me believe he has any real relationship with the Middle Eastern Jewish rabbi who said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Good news to the poor. Freedom for the prisoners. Healing for the sick. Empowerment of the oppressed. These are nowhere to be found in the Trump Doctrine. How can Christians claim him as one of their own? How can they reconcile his policy proposals with the words of Jesus?

Part of the quote below has been widely attributed to President Jimmy Carter, but according to Snopes it was actually John Fugelsang in 2013.

Congressman Stephen Fincher, a Republican from Tennessee, just took the Bible so far out of context he had to apply for a visa.

Fincher is a fierce opponent of food aid for poor Americans. You know, like Jesus. He recently fought to cut $4.1 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. If you only watch Fox, that means ‘food stamps.’ And thanks to the fine work of Fincher and his colleagues, 2 million working American families, children and seniors have already been cut off from food assistance.

So during a recent House agricultural committee debate, he decided to show how Christian it is to turn your back on unemployed suffering Americans by quoting one of the favorite Bible passages of revoltingly fake right-wing Christians — 2 Thessalonians 3:10 — “anyone unwilling to work should not eat.”

Fincher and the GOP … cut services for the poor and taxes for the rich. And it’s a free country. They’re allowed. But if you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t. And that’s why representative Fincher is our ‘revoltingly fake Christian of the week’!

And all I can say to that is AMEN.

Seasonal Blues

So..happy post-Thanksgiving. I’ll be honest – I hate this time of year. It’s been stressful since the kids were small, but now it has some terrible associations: my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in November of 2005 and died in January 2007, and my brother died ten months later on Veteran’s Day. Not much to be cheery about.

This season has been full of ups and downs. Our middle daughter organized get out the vote efforts for Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidates in New Hampshire. Oldest daughter and I went up before the election and spent five days canvassing and doing paperwork. It was a real pleasure – having lived exclusively in red states, I’ve never been on the giving or receiving end of canvassing. MD’s area outperformed expectations, and despite the horrific Presidential election result, New Hampshire went blue, with a win for Clinton, a flipped Senate seat, and an all-Democratic and all-female Congressional delegation. We’re really proud of her and the work she did.

I keep looking for the overall silver lining, but it’s really hard to find. I miss the hell out of Danielle Juzan, who wrote here in the past as Del. I still can’t believe she’s gone. Her commentary on this election would have been priceless.

This place is called Birmingham Blues, and I definitely have them. But hiding under the covers isn’t an option in Trumpworld. I’ll shake it off. Resistance is NOT futile.

Reaching Out to the Working Class

Since the election, there have been many pundits spending many words explaining why the Democrats lost, and what we should do going forward. I won’t link, but they’re not hard to find. Many of them claim Democrats failed to reach out to the “working class”, as if said class is a Republican monolith that can only be persuaded, with great difficulty, to vote for Democratic candidates. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much in the way of recommendations as to what “we” should say when reaching out to “them”, which led me to rant in a friend’s Facebook comments yesterday. As it is the day before Thanksgiving and family is here, I’ll recycle and reuse. Hey, it’s good for the environment!

I’m about worn out with these pundits telling Democrats that we’re big ol’ losers and out of touch and should be reaching out to the “working class”, however they define it. It’s usually limited to white people who vote Republican, which is ridiculous.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2 million and counting. While that doesn’t matter with regard to who will be president (unless an investigation proves vote tampering), it certainly shows that Donald Trump doesn’t have a mandate. And while these guys are telling us to reach out to the working class, how about they tell us what they think we should say? Should we lie, like Trump, and tell them we’ll bring back manufacturing and mining jobs? That might work in the short term, but it’s not a viable long term strategy, and it’s not one I would support.

Should we tell them the truth that those jobs aren’t coming back and we should be looking to develop, for instance, more renewable energy? That would be great for the economy and the environment, but Congressional Republicans (and some Democrats) aren’t going to go against the traditional industry lobbies. They won’t even admit that climate change is a looming disaster. So, once again, promises will be broken.

Conservatives have, for decades, pitted working class white people against people of color, defining them as a threat to all that’s good in order to get votes. Surely Democrats aren’t going to adopt that strategy. So what exactly is it we’re supposed to do?

Clearly real conversation is in order, but I have no idea how to facilitate it. Suggestions?