The Problem…

Dear President Trump. The question has been asked if “This” (assuming ‘this’ means our cruel and inhuman treatment of refugees) would be a problem if people simply obeyed our immigration laws. Government separating children from parents as a means of social control would still be a problem. Government putting children in cages and considering it moral, legal and “Christian” would still be a problem. Government using terror and intimidation would still be a problem. Leaders lying about how much they care about citizens while housing costs escalate, homelessness increases, and wages stagnate at unsurvivable levels would still continue. Denying U.S. Senators access to federal facilities still continues. Encouraging the use of firearms by citizens against citizens would still continue. The crass and immoral use of Christian scripture to control people for the profit and power of those in leadership positions would still continue. Our government’s brutal treatment of people desperate to enter this country is the problem. Our government’s propping up cruel and inhuman governments around the world, thus forcing their citizens to become refugees is the problem. Those who make it to our borders at great risk to themselves and their children are the victims of a system our country has developed and aided and abetted. Christ calls us to treat those victims with love, generosity, caring and at the very least human decency. Do you ever wonder if God is losing patience with us? I do. 061918.

Concentrated Evil

Dear president Trump  It’s called a concentration camp. You take the people you consider evil and/or illegal, separate families, put them in cages and ship some of them off to an unknown fate that “does not concern you.” It’s used as a terror tactic to stir up fear against the targeted “evil” group, making them the scapegoat for everyone’s problems. Meanwhile you continue lying to your supporters about how much you love them, while you steal their money, make it impossible to find adequate housing and give them jobs that pay so little they are essentially indentured servants to your fellow “Cows of Bashan.”   You bully and alienate our allies and threaten war and reprisals against any who would oppose your stated goal of national, racial and religious superiority. You deny duly elected officials access to your “concentration camps”. You deport parents of undesirable families  while keeping their children as incarcerated hostages. Next, if the scenario plays out historically, you will sanction armed thugs to root out undesirable citizens from our “superior” communities and either re-educate them or simply make them disappear. God, of course, has anointed your holy cause, and anointed you as God’s divinely appointed ruler on earth. The bible spins out several similar scenarios throughout history and my parents fought a war against a similar ugly set of ego-maniacal tyrants not long ago. I do not have faith that God will magically stop you.  I do have faith that within the discipline of loving my enemy, I will try. 061818. 

Sitting at Attention

Dear President Trump.  Your comments about the North Korean dictator reveal too much about yourself, “He speaks and his people sit up at attention.  I want my people to do the same.”  First of all, we are not “your” people.  We are citizens of the United States of America, most of whom did not vote for you.  Many of us serve a higher power who has earned our allegiance and devotion over anything or anyone else, including you.  I will sit up and pay attention when I hear Jesus speaking, not you.  You serve in your position at our leisure, not God’s anointing or your own hubris.  I know you backtracked the above broadcast statement as a joke…. But like many of your self described trial balloons, if your crowd likes it… you claim it. What many of us confess is that our humor often reveals more about ourselves than our pompous declarations. Your humor, despite your avowed allegiance to Jesus, is crude, racist, sexist, tyrannical, careless, and demeaning of anyone not like you.  Your humor is devoid of human compassion or understanding, except when it comes to the manipulation of voters with promises you never intend to keep.  In that, you are obviously a master.  My sense is that you would rather rule in Hell than humbly serve in Heaven.  To that end, I have observed you manipulate good Christians, Moslems and Jews (and many others) to buy into your tyranny.  You have taken many of the poorest and hardest working Americans and convinced them you have their best interests at heart.  History will tell, but I don’t believe it.  God loves you Donald Trump.  Make no mistake.  But God also demands you do your very best to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and those in prison. Lacking that… I fear no number of Christian leaders that prop you up with puffery will protect you or us from the consequences of your inherent prideful ego.  God help you.  God help us all.  061518

Red Letter Christian

Dear president Trump. Had a flash today. You are afraid. Almost everything and everyone scares you. Most bullies are afraid. So you cover it up with boasting and bravado, lies and exaggerations. You need the constant feedback of how wonderful you are. If subordinates don’t praise you they’re fired. If the press doesn’t fawn over you they are fake news. You seem to be living life as if it were some game theory exercise. Push, push, push. Pressure, pressure, pressure. Always seek the advantage. Make sure to stomp on people when they’re down… to keep them down. Always manipulate people to keep them off balance and gain the advantage. Actually, you play the game well. Better than most. Problem is, it is a game… a manufactured theory and practice of keeping people off balance and vulnerable so you can manipulate them. Good game theory…. Horrible Christian practice. My sincere advice to you as a fellow struggling Christian. When you read your bible, concentrate on the teachings of Jesus. The Hebrew scriptures were his jumping off point… “ but I say unto you”… The apostle Paul never quotes Jesus… his words while full of love and grace for the most part, are his commentary on the faith and don’t always match the words of Jesus. I’m gettin too technical here. If you do truly want to change and grow in your faith and practice get a red letter edition of the bible. Concentrate on Jesus teachings and practice. It’s a good place to begin. As usual, God loves you and I’m trying. That love will ease your fears better than all the money and power in the world. 061418

The Nature of Love

Dear President Trump. Bill Clinton just appeared on Colbert and urged people to support your negotiations with North Korea.  He outlined the benefits for everyone of reduced threat of nuclear war, better relations with other countries and a safer and more prosperous North Korea.  The hard part about declaring someone your enemy, or being declared an enemy, is that in the real world there are many times you pray for your enemy to succeed.   Loving you does not mean liking you or simply controlling my desire to punish you.  Loving you means wanting the very best of God’s blessing and guidance upon you.  Loving you requires a spiritual toughness and grace that eludes me most of the time.  Too often, I want you to fail miserably.  I want you to suffer for all the evils your actions bring to the most vulnerable of our citizens.  I want you punished.  Thank God, that in grace and forgiveness, God wants you to succeed and grow and mature and give leadership that is just, and generous and humble and loving.  If God wants it.  I do too.  And so I pray.   060618.

Lard on a Pig

Dear President Trump. I know you admire the Russians. The Russian I admire most is Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  You should read him some time.  Read “The Gulag Archipelago.”  It was either volume 1 or 2 in which he stated, “the line between good and evil runs down the middle of every human heart… and we are loathe to tear out a part of our own hearts.”  In 68 years I have discovered for myself the truth of his wisdom.  We are both good and evil in our hearts… our innermost beings. Perhaps that is why God loves us in spite of all the horrible things we do…  God sees the good we are and wants to encourage it, make it grow, mature. Solzhenitsyn also says “Pride grows on the human heart like lard on a pig.”  I know this too well from personal experience.  I fear you do too.  We are both afraid to face it… to let it be forgiven… to move on and do better.  As you face the challenges of being President. As we both fall victim to the temptations to lash out, blame others, fear those who are different, denigrate and make fun of those ‘animals’… I pray we can find the strength to accept forgiveness… that we can tear out the evil from our hearts… rend the lard of pride… and do better.  Please. 060118

Fake Prophets

Dear President Trump.  You’re not the first to decry fake news.  God’s true prophets contended with false prophets spreading fake news about God’s will for Israel.  These ‘in house’ prophets were kinda the ‘Fox News’ of the day.  They predicted smooth sailing and success for the king.  Jeremiah proclaimed the word from God was judgement.  He preached a kind of ‘Turn or Burn’ prophecy to the king.  I know you have ‘Christian’ advisers telling you all is well… you are the great answer to their prayers… you are the righteous arm of God so long as you do their will.  They whisper in your ear that other Christians are really ‘fake’ Christians. In Jeremiah’s case… the results were catastrophic.  The armies of King Nebachadnezzar leveled Jerusalem.  He took the King of Israel and much of the population into exile in Babylon.  Jeremiah, it was rumored, was taken by friends, kicking and screaming into the relative safety of Egypt. May I introduce a new word into your vocabulary… discernment.  It’s the ability to see through fake news, regardless of it’s source, and act with love and compassion, justice and rightness.  May God grant you superior discernment.  May God teach you what is really ‘fake news’ in the Realm of God.  May you ‘discern’ the truth rather than hide behind accusations of ‘fakenews’ whenever you hear something you do not like.  God loves you.  God is watching you.  And God is lamenting the ‘fake news’ prophets you have surrounded yourself with.  They will eventually reap what they sow.  And so will we.  052518.