Friday, July 22, 2016

Jesus and Voting for Donald Trump

Everyday my newsfeed seems full of Donald Trump. Now because he is officially the Republican nominee for president of the United States. This alone is unbelievable and horrifying, but far more harrowing is the resurgence of Facebook posts and blogs from people asserting that God told them to support Donald Trump.

Now I'm pretty sure if Jesus was here on earth he wouldn't be engaging too much in politics. I am quite confident if Jesus was here today he would be spending time with those in poverty, seeing the people often unseen by society, acknowledging and validating people's humanity, and engaging in the lives and stories of those marginalized for their skin color, sexuality, or religion.

I'm not sure if Jesus would vote or not, so I'm not going to be one to say who he would vote for. But I'm very sure that if Jesus were to vote, he would not vote for Donald Trump. 

You can tell me that I don't know that, because I'm not God. And this would be true. I cannot speak for God. But I can talk about the Jesus I know, and I can assure you the things that Donald Trump says and does are vastly out-of-line with the way of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus spent his time with those hated most by society. He spent time with the hungry and sick. He spoke to women, which was already radical because he actually stopped to acknowledge their equal humanity, but he went even farther and spoke to the women no one associated with. He touched people who were sick and dying, often making himself "unclean" according to the religious tradition of the day just to with with someone cast out by society. He entered the homes of the "sinner," and spent so much time with those on the margins that the people in power whispered about him behind closed doors. 

Jesus spoke with such radical love and inclusivity that it threatened hierarchical power structures and got him killed. Donald Trump sits at the top of a pyramid of power, using his power to further marginalize, using fear to control people, and spreading hatred and lies. 

Jesus went to those cast out and built relationships with them, the very ones Donald Trump promises to keep and kick out of this "great country." 

In fact, in line with Donald Trump's racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, lack of compassion for the poor, and so much more, Jesus probably wouldn't even be allowed to enter the United States. 

But if he made it in, I think Jesus would spend time with Donald Trump. Not out of support, because nothing about the way of Jesus in line with what Donald Trump stands for, but because Jesus acknowledged the humanity of everyone. Jesus ate dinner with the oppressed and the oppressor. He ate dinner with the tax collectors too, the ones taking advantage of the system and using it to further themselves while stealing from those already too poor to pay taxes to the government, much less the additional "fees" added on by the tax collectors that went into their own pockets. Jesus spent time with them too. And his love for them, willingness to engage with their humanity also, changed the hearts of the tax collectors (like Matthew) who followed him. I do not believe Jesus would ever vote for Donald Trump, but I think he'd at least try to have dinner with him. 

Whether Trump would ever accept the invitation to dinner with a Middle Eastern poor man is another question entirely. 

Monday, July 18, 2016


Up and down Broadway
Passing along Colfax
This broken, battered world
Is close enough to touch
In the shirtless man
Pushing a shopping cart
Still groggy from last night's
Watched a group of three
Cross busy street
Sleeping bags dangling
From bags overstuffed
With all their belongings
A man unfolds himself
From a pile in a doorway
A concrete corner can't
Be a restful place to lay one's head
People passing by, shouting, prodding
Sharing insults to remind that
In their eyes you're less
Than human

Battered souls
Living on hard concrete floors
Beneath benches, under trees
Holding cardboard signs on street corners
Begging to be seen

Just broken beings
Hurting humans same
As you or me
And once you've stopped
To truly see them
They will remain forever seen

Because we're all just
Broken beings
Divine in you
Divine in me
So take a moment
Stop and see
The man in the doorway
And pushing shopping carts down Colfax
The group of three