Friday, October 11, 2019

Trump or Jesus? Christians can’t follow both

Rev. Jim Wallis

     Many Christians pluck a line from the Bible and pretend that it is the entirety of Scripture, using the command as a club against anyone who makes them uncomfortable. Their religion is a green light from God Almighty to harass gays, plague women, and of course support Donald Trump, the living embodiment of their faith.
     “I love him so much I can hardly explain it,” said right-wing pastor and Trump adviser James Robison.
     Many echo Robison; 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump.
     But there are also Christians like Rev. Jim Wallis.
     ”There is a conflict between the politics of Jesus and the politics of Trump,” Wallis said. “Racial bigotry is a deal breaker for the Gospel. White nationalism, which Donald Trump embraces and champions, isn’t just racist—it’s anti-Christ. Dehumanizing immigrants isn’t just racist—it’s anti-Christ. Demeaning women isn’t just sexist—it’s anti-Christ. At some point, Christians have to ask themselves: Are the teachings of Christ going to be followed or not?”
     Nor is Wallis alone: 90 Christian leaders joined him signing a call for this Sunday, Oct. 13, to be a National Day of Prayer “for the truth to be revealed through the impeachment inquiry.”
     ”For the sake of our nation’s integrity and the most vulnerable in our society, we call on fellow Christians to support the current impeachment inquiry,” read the statement. “Now is the time to shine the light of truth.”
     Wallis is coming to Chicago to promote his new book, “Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus” though it really is a homecoming.


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Blog header: Christ as the Man of Sorrows with the Symbols of the Passion, circa 14th century, from the San Pietro Martine conservatory in Florence.


  1. In the early days of Christianity, the situation was different: factions fought not over human rights, but killed each other over the issue of Christ's humanity versus his divinity. Incongruity is built into the very concept of God and Man and Scripture is replete with contradictions, often in the same paragraph, sometimes in the same sentence. It's clear to me that Trump stands for all that is wrong with this world and presumably to Evangelicals it is equally clear that he stands for all that is right or enough that is right to satisfy their consciences. What shocks me is the absence of a spiritual element on either side; we're concerned, wrapped up in, obsessed with mere material matters. If God is paying attention, he may be considering "the fire next time" literally and soon.


    1. It's the same with Islam. There are fundamentalists wearing blinders and there are compassionate, clear thinking individuals who understand that religion, whatever it's form, is all inclusive.
      Trump's Evangelicals and Trump's white supremacists are dangerous comrades in arms. They're only a step or two away from becoming Trump's Taliban.

  2. the good reverend is, in a word, delusional, if he thinks these characters are going to change.

  3. As a Christian, I am astonished by the hypocrisy of those who “preach” the love and goodness of the religion yet follow, condone, and even encourage, the immoral thoughts and behavior of our president.
    I wish there were more leaders like Rev. Wallis who would step up and deliver this most important sermon in every Christian institution in our country, but I can’t imagine it happening: Trump has already filled that position.

  4. That evangelicals deride "cafeteria Catholics" and ignore Trump's amorality says it all. At least to those not blinded by extreme religious beliefs. I don't know or care who actually said it, but the quotation from Matthew instructing us to love others as you would be loved is all that matters. Even the Beatles got that. All other tenets are superfluous, the more complicated a religion gets, its value diminishes accordingly. Pure and simple, two sides of the same coin.

  5. Thanks for the piece. Wallis is great.


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