Love Trump Encountering his Politics

For those of us who have not been following the US buildup to the Presidential election, we may be wondering, “Who is Donald Trump?”  We might wonder why he matters. He is a self-made billionaire who is self-funding his campaign.  A businessman who was to have built a golf course in Scotland, which has now been rejected because of some of the inflammatory things he has been saying – about Muslims, amongst other things.

Increasingly it does look as if the Republican Party might nominate Mr. Trump to be their Presidential candidate.  If this happens he will be running against the Democrat candidate, Hilary Clinton, seeking to become the next president of America!  This is particularly worrying as the Republicans currently have majorities in both the US Senate and House of Representatives, meaning that the Democrat party has a lot of work to do!

Donald Trump is a big deal because of his politics of dividing people and putting up walls rather than pulling people together.  I kid you not! It is literally his intention to build a wall between Mexico and North America, to stop the flow of drugs across the border!  I guess no-one has mentioned that drug the dealers tend to dig tunnels to get the drugs across, not climb over fences!

presidentional-parties

It will also be a big deal if Trump becomes President because he’ll be in charge of the main superpower left on the planet, with all of its economic, political and military influence.  Who becomes President of America matters not just to the UK but to the World.

You only need to ‘Google’ to discover what he has been saying.  Whether what he says is just to win votes or if he really means what he says is still yet to be determined. Scarily, we will only know if he wins!

Mr. Trump is appealing to those who are disenfranchised or disenchanted with the system and who are delighted by his no-nonsense, politically incorrect comments.  He simply is not like the other candidates.  On one level this is both entertaining and refreshing and perhaps this is partly why he has gained such popularity.

As he has traversed the political system, much fun has been poked at him, and he has dished it back by the bucketful.  Recently, supporters of Trump were tricked into thinking comments made by Adolf Hitler had been made by Trump and they were ok with that on the whole, one guy saying:

‘I don’t support Hitler, but if Trump said them that would be ok.’  … check out the Youtube interview here

There are various other online examples showing his rhetoric to be in line with Hitler’s not just on Google!   However, I do not think that this is helpful as it instils more fear in people who are already concerned and worried.

Pope Francis recently commented on Trump’s, attitude and comments.  While the Pope can’t tell anyone who to vote for, he said what he could, which was:

Pope Francis talks with reporters during his flight from Sri Lanka to Manila, Philippines Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)

Pope Francis talks with reporters

“This man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”   The Pope went onto explain that we will have to see if Trump really meant to say things the way he did…”

The Pope reminds the church to be cautious and respectful and yet robust in our responses to the politics of Trump.  In the whole Presidential race we are reminded that across America at least there are people, both Christian and non-Christian, who find a voice in Trump’s politics, whether we like it or not.  Not so long ago we heard similar rhetoric from UKIP in the UK general election.  Such political stances, I would argue, makes the need to build bridges not walls even more urgent!

The pope also challenges us to think about what it means to be a Christian, in that we should always extend the hand of love to the other, even Donald Trump!  Summed up nicely by @revfredsmall.

Pastor and theologian Brian McLaren retweeted @revfredsmall spiritually our job is to love Donald Trump. Politically, our job is to stop him. #LoveYourEnemies…

Let’s not give up on love and building bridges with others, of robustly standing in that corner.  Moreover, where and whenever the stance of loving God and your neighbour comes under attack in the rhetoric of exclusivism and the demonising of others, let’s remind the critics that those considered different from us also bear the image of God within them, and are loved with equal measure.

the Great Wall Of Trump

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

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