Evangelical Trump Letter + Herod or Pilate?

Trump-Taco-BowlI won’t have any grandchildren of my own, of course.

But when your grandchildren ask, “What did Father White say when they nominated Trump for president?” I want there to be an answer…

Pro-life, pro-immigrant, not Trump, August 19, 2015

Dark-skinned babies north of the Rio Grande, September 5, 2016

E-mails, September 10, 2015

Church first, America second, February 23, 2016

Voters’ Guide, February 27, 2016

Pro-life? March 30,2016

Some of our brother and sister Christians, from both sides of the political aisle, have published a letter. I would have signed it, if anyone had asked me–though I can’t call it the most well-written document I have read this morning. The letter concludes with a helpful, concise resume of Mr. Trump’s “offenses.”

Some passages of the letter:

The ascendancy of a demagogic candidate and his message, with the angry constituency he is fueling, is a threat to both the values of our faith and the health of our democracy. Donald Trump directly promotes racial and religious bigotry, disrespects the dignity of women, harms civil public discourse, offends moral decency, and seeks to manipulate religion. This is no longer politics as usual, but rather a moral and theological crisis, and thus we are compelled to speak out as faith leaders….

This is not merely an electoral debate in which Christians hold legitimately differing policy views from one another. Rather, it is a public test of Christian truth and discipleship. History records other moments that beckoned churches to publicly confess the truths of faith in order to confront political movements that represented a deceitful and dangerous attack on the gospel—-to try to clarify faithful Christian witness in a time of crisis.

Crisis, indeed. Like I said, I would have signed the letter. Tell your grandchildren.

But I am hardly endorsing the other candidate. Washington Post quoted one pro-life evangelical lady: “Who would Jesus have voted for, Herod or Pilate?” Such a situation confronts the pro-life voter.

Washington Times Jan 17 1991Now, while we find ourselves on the subject of humble boasts I could make to your grandchildren:

On January 14, 1991, I participated–with at least one of the signatories of the above letter–in a march protesting the war in Iraq.

Yes, I protested not only the second Iraq war, but the first one, too (known as the Gulf War). I can remember the welcome taste of the hot black coffee some left-wing organization offered us marchers at the corner of 22nd St. and Massachusetts Ave. on that damp, chilly night.

Anyway, I bring this up because, if you ask me, the real problem we have is: “the cult of the presidency.” Mr. Gene Healy wrote a book with that title, and a sequel.

Here’s a concatenation of quotes:

Americans have looked to the presidency for far too much. The hopes and dreams we’ve invested in the office have transformed it into a constitutional monstrosity, too powerful to be trusted and too weak to deliver the miracles we crave…

Most of the complaints dominating the airwaves and the op-ed pages [insisting that the federal government stop the BP Deepwater Horizon oil leak in spring 2010] smacked of a quasi-religious conception of the presidency…[emphasis added]

Our government has become a runaway train–and presidential elections increasingly look like a struggle to determine who gets to sit in the front cab and pretend he’s driving.