Dear Religious Right: Clinton Is The Only Christian Candidate Left
In God we trust, so says our nation’s great green deity. While the founding fathers’ beliefs were about as far from Christian as possible without being total heathens, no doubt a great thread of the American fabric is the belief in a deity and specifically in the Judeo-Christian tradition of God and Jesus from the King James Bible. This is something that transcends class and race, that permeates many of our lives. While I am by no means a staunch Christian, I have accepted the holy trinity I was raised with as the great power (maybe a bit anthropromorphized but…) and understand the motivation of faith, the omnipotence of the higher being “God,” and respect the hell out of Jesus’ teachings. Our nation is full of many proudly devout Christians who go to church every week (often multiple times a week), who hold their devotion to God far above all other concerns and who believe our nation’s leadership should be informed by God and Jesus. Right now, there’s a belief among conservative Christians that they can only trust a Christian to lead this country right. Which I understand. And there is a Christian candidate for president. But that candidate is not Donald Trump.
Holy rollers, let’s be clear on one thing: Trump is no Christian.
That is one of the biggest excuses many religious conservatives give for voting for Trump, his promise to overturn gay marriage, as better fleshed out by his newest hired underling, Mike “Don’t Hire Homos” Pence. It’s why many consider him the only Christian candidate. Don’t believe me?
In a recent NPR piece, Mexican-American evangelical Judith Martinez said that despite the fact that Donald Trump said most people like her are rapist drug dealers and promised to deport as many of such people as he can get his larger-than-normal-sized hands on, she will vote for him.
“The Bible is very clear in telling us the way we should live, and we are not respecting that,” she said as a way to explain why she’s proud to be a traitor to her own heritage.
Arguably the top issue among these people is gay marriage. They see gay marriage as an abomination before God, a sign that our nation is falling to depths not seen since Sodom and Gomorrah and their fight against such plunge will ensure they get sucked up in the Rapture and won’t have to put up with that heathen-packed tribulation.
“Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error,” says Romans 1:27. And of course there’s “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable,” says Leviticus 18:22; it goes on to repeat this line but adds some good gore-porn to the end to really get the crowds riled. These are the lines most cited as proof that God hates homos. Christian conservatives believe Trump will be the Christian man to return marriage to its rightful place as dictated by God.
Never mind the fact that even the left is merely saying that gay people must be allowed to be married by man’s law, not God’s, and therefore Jesus’ “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s” (an advocacy for separation of church and state from the mouth of the bearded superhippie himself) applies. At the same time, when it comes to marriage, there’s another line that these anti-gay-marriage protesters all seem to have forgotten:
Therefore, what God has joined together let no one separate.” — Mark 10:9.
This has always confused me, how supposed Christians see gay marriage as the greatest affront to God but don’t see divorce as the same. Yet every Christian, when he or she is married in church (and if you’re not married in the church as a Christian that civil union doesn’t count and you’re living in sin), is essentially making a promise that they will commit to his or her spouse until death. In that way is divorce, according to the bible, much more egregious than gay marriage. Not only is it a violation of a biblical rule, IT’S A DIRECT BREAKING OF ONE’S PROMISE TO GOD.
And Trump — Trump has been divorced TWICE and is now on his third wife. His first wife, Ivana, he married before God in his hometown church and thus broke that most sacred promise to Our Father. He then had an affair with Marla Maples (“each man should have sexual relations with his own wife,” 1 Corinthians 7:2; then there’s the Commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery” — yeah, that’s a supposedly unforgivable one). He married Marla at the same church where he married Ivana, Marble Collegiate (which, incidentally, is where he met Marla). And then he divorced her too.
Not that I think divorce should be disallowed; everybody should be able to marry whomever they love and if it doesn’t work, should be allowed to divorce; adultery should not be an offense punishable by the state and if you start affairs in the building where you supposedly go to check in the the Dude Upstairs, that’s just like your prerogative.
But since the only reason for outlawing gay marriage is that it violates a few passages in a book only superseded by the Benghazi report in length, those advocating it should die by the sword and also push to outlaw divorce. And adultery, given its place among the top 10 most unforgivable laws of the people of God, should result in prison sentences considerably longer than the 5-10 for slinging a spider bag. The only thing worse than ignorance is hypocrisy.
You know who has been married to one person her whole life? Who stuck to that marriage despite betrayals and hard times, as a conservative Christian believes is the only way to be married before God? That’s Hillary Clinton. The only real Christian candidate left.
Donald Trump rose to prominence on his hardline rejection of immigrants. First with some prattling about a big wall and the expulsion of the people who came up from South America seeking greater opportunity. Then with his refusal to allow Syrian refugees, and for that matter seemingly any refugees, into America, pledging no-tolerance angle toward Muslims harder than Sigma Chi’s stance against fat chicks.
Now to be fair I think he only about half-means what he says; Trump couldn’t have built and staffed his great American hospitality empire without Mexicans and he knows that. And he’s opened enough hotels in the Middle-East that he’s undoubtedly entertained plenty of men in white thawbs and gold ghutras. But he no doubt espoused the anti-immigrant rhetoric so fervently because it’s the strongest way he’s aligned with the Republican establishment. The party’s anti-immigrant posture is its most visceral defense against the encroachment of unknown outside forces, a perfect scheme to deflect from the unknown internal forces that nobody will ever be able to completely eliminate. Yes, create an illusion of absolute security by fighting the people who look different from the American white anglo protestant. But how in keeping with true Christian beliefs is this?
Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.” — Exodus 23:9
That’s old testament, you [I’m imagining a Christian conservative is reading this] may say, and as such we left that all behind when we moved on to the higher level, the teachings of Christ. In which case, I counter with:
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” — Matthew 25:35
Yeah, there’s the rub. The teachings of the bible have always been about inclusion, especially of the underprivileged, the oppressed, the outcast foreigner. So to preach the exact opposite — the very denial of refuge, of security, of protection for the refugee and the dispossessed and the immigrant — is a grand rejection of the teachings of Christ. Hillary, for the record, believes in a path to citizenship and has dismissed the ban of refugees and Muslim immigrants as dangerous, counterproductive and morally reprehensible.
Last week Donald Jr., the scion whose affluenza is so severe I wouldn’t be surprised if he was voted the high school senior most likely to roofie his date, snapchat the ensuing act and dismiss it as a joke when he was called into a school official’s office, turned people into sugary confections with a tweeted meme: “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?”
Jesus would have responded to this brilliant parable with a simple “If that meant that every other Skittle in the bowl was allowed to live without fear of seeing their children’s heads blown apart, then it is our Christian duty to eat those Skittles.” But such sacrifice of self in exchange for the well-being of the many, while being central to Christian teaching, is anathema to the party that claims so strongly to defend those teachings. A true Christian candidate understands this responsibility.
Though Trump’s disregard of the less fortunate outside our nation goes hand in hand with
On The Poor
If one of you tells him, ‘Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,’ but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that?” — James 2:16
Jesus said that. He spent much of his time preaching the divinity of the poor, talking about how the least of us is the best of us and a rich man won’t get into heaven and so on. The above also says that all the talk about “the best way to help the poor is to deny them help so they have to make it on their own” is as anti-Christian of a sentiment as “Praise Allah.”
So what has Trump said about the poor, at least before he was being coached to talk a bit more nicely about the people stuggling who might be needed to vote for him?
”My entire life, I’ve watched politicians bragging about how poor they are, how they came from nothing, how poor their parents and grandparents were. And I said to myself, if they can stay so poor for so many generations, maybe this isn’t the kind of person we want to be electing to higher office. How smart can they be? They’re morons.” — Donald Trump in a 1999 interview with Maureen Dowd recently unearthed by mainstream media.
I am a Catholic. I went to a Catholic grade school. Then a Catholic college. My confirmation name is Anthony and I was proud to baptize my son as one of Christ’s warriors last year.
I’ve gone through periods where I went to church every Sunday, even in college when that often meant skipping studying (or going with a wicked hangover). I’ve read the bible cover to cover (at least the Old Testament — the New Testament I’ve read in its entirety but not front to back). The most religious man I’ve ever known well is my grandfather, a staunch Catholic who was eventually knighted a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and whose name still calls up respect among the Franciscans. As such, I am a believer in the sanctity of the Pope’s words.
While America is a protestant nation, you would be hard-pressed to find a Christian more strictly devoted to the teachings and ascetic example of Jesus and his vision of a holy kingdom on earth than Pope Francis.
I believe there is nothing inherently wrong with wealth. I would like to have wealth myself someday, or at least be able to pay all my bills on time, pay off my debts and have a little cashish for a rainy day. That attachment to material things is my greatest separation from the austere, service-based vision presented by Jesus but we can’t all be like Tolstoy and forsake our wealth to walk around in sackcloth and die in a train station. So what does Pope Francis, essentially the most humble and non worldly (i.e. Christlike) world leader I’ve seen in my lifetime, say about things?
Welcoming Others Means Welcoming God” – Pope Francis
We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.” — Pope Francis
Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid.” — Pope Francis
I’m not going to make this a diatribe against how the GOP, party of choice for many of America’s Christian conservatives, seems to have neglected this utmost Christian responsibility to the poor. But Donald Trump personally has done very little to help the poor directly and he wears his disdain for the losers like that bad rug, right atop his shiny orange mug.
The private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them, so that they can better serve the common good; for this reason, solidarity must be lived as the decision to restore to the poor what belongs to them.” — Pope Francis
So, okay, both Trump and Hillary are rich, and being rich is nothing to fault a person for. For this topic, all that matters is how they’ve spent their ample wealth and stature and connections helping the indigent.
They both have nonprofit foundations, Trump and Clinton. The Clinton Foundation has drawn rancor and scathing hue and cry from the Right and, while admittedly a bit more Bill Clinton’s than Hillary’s, we all wonder what exactly does it do, especially given all the conservative vitriol?
Well the Clinton foundation is a collection of nonprofits focused on “global health and wellness, climate change, economic development and improving opportunities for girls and women.”
It’s what’s called an operating foundation meaning that instead of just giving money to other organizations, it actually does the work itself. So all the GOP claims about how little it “gives to charity” are like saying that, well, Jesus didn’t care about the poor because he didn’t donate as much as all those rich folks he derides in Luke 21:1-4; no, he just walked around healing people and cleaning their feet and begging for food, the anti-thropic bastard.
The Clinton Foundation has helped “more than 430 million people in 180 countries, with government, private and civil-society entities working together in 90 percent of the programs.” It should also be added that the Clintons receive no salaries from the organization and according to Charity Watch, it only spends 12% on overhead, which earned them an A from the Institute.
Meanwhile, Trump took about quarter of a million from his charity to settle non-charity-related lawsuits. In fact, The Trump Foundation’s abuses are widespread . Basically the Trump foundation has raised much less money, done exponentially less work to help the world’s poor and struggling, and of that puny amount the eponymous man who’s contributed a disturbingly small amount to that foundation has also used it as a piggy bank cover himself, then when called out issued nothing but more trademark non-fact-based misdirection ; yes, tell the rubes it’s a lie and they won’t look any further into these so-called “numbers”.
And this of course leads to one final Pope Francis quote:
A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” — Pope Francis when asked about Donald Trump.
A Trinity That Has Revealed The Only Christian candidate
To respect the perfect symmetry proposed by every civilization since the discovery of the strength of the triangular shape, I will end the big proclamations at 3, like the blessed Trinity.
And sure, there are plenty of other ways in which Trump is proven to not be a Christian (for example, “I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages,” — Malachi 3:5, likely foreshadowing the well-documented examples of Trump stiffing small contractors).
But what it comes down to is this — one presidential candidate is a thrice-married (twice-divorced) man who had sex outside of wedlock with a glaring disdain for the poor and oppressed who has stolen from the less fortunate after staging a fake philanthropy to keep from giving to Caesar that which is Caesar’s; the other is a woman who’s still married to her college sweetheart despite the trials and tribulations of that marriage, a woman who wants to share the opportunities we’re fortunate enough to be born into here in America with the less-fortunate while simultaneously aiding the poor and disenfranchised and struggling to live over the world.
So next time you ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” I have a simple answer: He would vote for Hillary. The only real Christian candidate for the presidency of our great nation.
God Bless America.