Dear President Trump

Loving My Enemy

Dear Donald. The politics and religion of fear work wonderfully until people wake up one day and realize there’s nothing to be afraid of…or worse, they’ve been afraid of the wrong things. Christian elders have prattled on about million dollar jets, xenophobic communities based on wealth, race and sex, and fear of “not us” for too long. Younger generations begin to see the church, not as a beacon on the hill, lighting our way to a better life of liberty and justice for all. No, the church and therefore Jesus stand for hatred, bigotry, greed, intolerance and banishment of anything “not us”. The church of Jesus who said, “let the little children come unto me” becomes the church of “lock ’em up.” So, we rip the stranger’s children from their families and lose them in ‘the system.’ We denigrate, abuse and rape women because they ‘do not know their place.’ Do you really think the American youth of today do not see the hypocrisy of so-called disciples of a semitic middle eastern savior, Jesus, claiming that same Jesus exclusively for their white, ‘doesn’t look or act exactly like us’ ‘get the hell out or MY country’ selves??? Yes, your fear mongering will work for a while on many of us. But there’s an expiration date on fear. Like any beast it must be constantly fed. Increasingly, the people of our great country will wise up, and realize the menu of intolerance, racism, homophobia and sexual repression is poisonous to our union. I only hope it happens in time for God to save our union. 020919

Dear Donald.   As a self-professed Christian, I am sure you are at least passingly familiar with the Sermon on the Mount.  Many experts say it was a compilation of several sermons. Others say it was actually longer and this was a distillation of a two or three day discourse.  You should read it sometime again.  This time however, read it to the end.  At the very end is the kicker.  “Anyone who hears the words of mine, and does them, is wise…. Anyone that hears and does not act, is a fool….”  That’s our problem.  We hear the words.  We know the words.  But we fail to act on them.  Jesus had a special place in his heart for children.  Many of us do.  Your failure to protect the children in your custody… to separate them from their parents… and then to lose them in the system…. is an act of barbaric cruelty. We have seen your caring and protective love for your own children.  Why, so many of us ask, can you not love and care for the children of the poor, the minorities, the refugees.  Why instead, do you use them as pawns in your political games.  Even more abhorrent, you convince your followers to share your cruelty and failure to act with love and compassion.  You pit them against one another.  You act with malice and cruelty for political gain.  Yes, you’re a politician.  But that is not an excuse… it is actually the best reason to care… to love… to act according to the teachings of the one you claim to be a disciple of. 020819

Dear Donald.  Mixed reviews on your speech tonight… didn’t expect much besides politics at its best and worst.  Your friends praised it.  Your enemies panned it.  Most of us wait to see how your words and actions affect us.  In the end, the game of politics is fascinating on both a national and local level.  But, of course, what counts is what you are doing to me and mine and those I care about. Like you, I care about a lot of people. I care about vulnerable humans, minorities, those you oppress, denigrate, disparage and marginalize.  Try reading Matthew chapter 5.  It’s called the beatitudes. It keeps saying “Blessed are…” and you know what…  no blessings for politicians, priests, or lawyers as a group.  No blessings for the rich and influential, the liars and cheaters, the swindlers and racists, the vain and the haughty.  No blessings for those too proud to ask forgiveness, unwilling to change their actions.  My prayer is that you grow out of the need to constantly feed your ego.  I pray you grow into the office of President with grace and compassion.  May we both know and do God’s will.  020619.

Dear Donald.  I must admire your dedication to the tenets of “Game Theory.”  However, I am losing faith in your ability to master the technique.  A line from the movie “Jesus Christ Superstar” is a poignant critique.  “You’d have managed better if you’d had it planned.” Jesus had it all planned.  But the plan as it unfolded, included his tortuous death by crucifixion.  How much are you really willing to personally sacrifice for your love of the American people. Big Macs in the White House hardly qualify as sacrifice.  Your people, especially our government workers, sacrificed for your game plan. Wilbur Ross has no conception of the cost in suffering of your “game plan.”  The gold-plated bathroom fixtures in your private jet scream your indifference to real suffering brought about by your games.  It really is just a game for you and your other one-percenters.  You may indeed be a master game player, strategist and manipulator.  My fear is that your ego and your prideful manipulations are not just against fake news, Democrats, and minorities.  You aren’t just fooling your ardent followers.  My fear is you are trying to ‘Game’ God.  Be careful, my President and my enemy.  Unlike your gods of hate, intolerance and bigotry, the God of Love and Grace and Mercy plays a very long game…. and she hasn’t lost yet. 012519

Dear Donald. As you know, Jesus was tested in the wilderness… food, safety, power. Each time he met temptation with faith and trust in God. As I listen to your speeches and read your tweets, I don’t hear much about God’s word, God’s love, or God’s grace. I hear anger, fear and the worship of power and yourself. If you were like most of the one-percent, the Cows of Bashan, and didn’t need to control the nation, I might never have cared about you, your wealth, your carnal appetites. I have better things to do than worry about than the fate of selfish, self-centered rich people. But in your need to rule lies pain, prejudice and misery for so many. I truly believe your attitudes and your actions do not reflect a love of God, our country or humanity. May God forgive both of us our sins. 012619

Dear Donald.  Matthew records Jesus’ first sermon being, “Repent for the Kingdom Heaven has come near.”  My problem has never been, having things to repent.  Nor has it been the actual repenting….  I trust God’s grace and forgiveness and love enough to keep coming back for more.  No matter how hard I try, I always fall short.  We all do. But over the years I grow and learn and hopefully do better day by day.  One key to that is having people around me who care enough to call me to account… people who aren’t afraid to tell me I’ve screwed up and need to change and do better. I am afraid you do not have people like that or that you don’t listen to them.  I wonder, what is it like to have advisors who want to profit from you, gain power and wealth from you?  Do you always have to question their motives?  Are you afraid your supporters only love and support you for what they can get from you?  Is your game theory of life that of a cold and calculating bully?  Behind all the bravado, is there simply fear?  I vacillate between anger at you and feeling sorry for you. Too often, I fear my anger and disgust of so many of your actions.    I try to remember Jesus’ words… “Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is near.”  A reminder to both of us my President that despite all appearances, we live in the Kingdom of Heaven… and our time on earth will end.  My prayer is that God bless us and keep us and make us better day by day.  012019.

Dear Donald.  I know you listen to your religious counselors who love to quote the judgmental proclamations of select portions of the bible. I prefer to stick with the source.  Jesus’ first recorded sermon in his home town was short and sweet.  He claimed to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind… a new year of the Lord’s favor.  You make promises too.  Jesus’ actions reflected his words as he healed the sick, fed the hungry, cared for the stranger.  Your actions appear on the surface to take health care from the sick, food from the poorest humans and build walls to keep the stranger out.  You have proclaimed the year of favor for the rich and powerful. Like Charlie Brown preparing to kick that football Lucy is holding, we are expected to trust that you really do care for us.  That’s the difference between following a generous, loving and forgiving God and a God of vengeance, hatred and alienation.  The more innocent among us ask why you hate foreigners and people of color.  Why do you listen to religious voices of intolerance, misogyny, hell fire and damnation?  It really does appear that you love Fear the way many of us love God. Instead of caring for one another and the stranger at our border, we must fear them, demonize them and lock them out of our paradise.  May God forgive you and me for succumbing to those fears rather than trusting God’s love. 011219

Dear Donald.  Happy New Year.  My prayer is that God will love you and protect you and keep you and teach you.  The most cogent lesson I learn from the bible is Jesus’ response to a lawyer trying to trap him.  The lawyer, a Pharisee, asks Jesus what commandment in the law is greatest.  Jesus responds, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  As a Christian, I know you probably know this passage.  But with all your worries and responsibilities I bet you are susceptible to bad advice.  So many of your advisors love to quote the old testament, especially out of context, and especially the violent, misogynist, and retributive passages.  I’m not surprised their bloodlust and anger blind them to the love that Jesus says, is above all.  My fear is that you are too preoccupied with your responsibilities, your wealth, your worries, that you have forgotten how to genuinely love even yourself.   Grossly feeding your ego, your greed, your appetites and your need for power and adulation is not love…. I should know… I’ve tried those myself, though without the evident success you have had.  In this New Year may God forgive us both… and teach us both a whole lot more about the best that is love.  010319.

Dear Donald.  I know it’ a bit presumptuous, but after 2 years of trying to love you, I figure it’s time to get personal.  Unlike many, I don’t think you will ever be impeached.  Too many powerful people are getting rich because of you. But it’s never too late.  God’s forgiveness is already a fact for you and me.  All you need do is accept it by acting on it.  Personally, it is a time for me to both cry and laugh. You make America great by letting a 7 year old Guatemalan girl, in U.S. custody die of dehydration and starvation.  It belies a macabre idea of our greatness.  There is blood on our hands.  We have not “ceased to do evil”. We fail to “learn to do good, pursue justice, rescue the oppressed, uphold the rights of the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause.”  (Isaiah 1:15-18)  My laughter comes when you tweet complaints about a comedy show defaming you and making fun of you.  You even imply lawsuits.  You, the king of insults, the sultan of slander, the queen of misogyny…. complaining of others making fun of you.  I have concluded that your vision of America, liberty, and justice for all originated somewhere in the Twilight Zone.  Donald, God awaits your change of behavior, your change of heart, literally… your renewed spirit. God bless you and keep you closer and closer to her vision of heaven on earth.  121618.

Dear President Trump. Tear Gas????  I am undone. The most powerful person in the world is afraid of poor, terrorized, non-white parents and children.  Rather than deal with them fairly, justly, legally…. you gas them.  Does your fear know no end?  With all your millions and your 1% friends with their billions… you fear people legally seeking asylum.  Your America is not great.  It’s a gated community of frightened, spoiled, rich people hiding behind their walls. The Cows of Bashan have nothing on you. King Herod also knew fear around this season two millennia ago.  A child, from the backwater of Galilee, born in a barn in Bethlehem, scared him to death. Herod slaughtered an entire community of children because he feared a baby.  You, of course, are civilized.  You just gas them.  Like you, Herod got rid of people because he feared them.  Like you, Herod relied on sycophant priests and soothsayers of his day to bolster his ego and plot the future.  Like you, Herod divorced his wife to marry another and another and another. Like you, Herod built a high walled edifice, Masada, to hide behind and keep the riff raff out.  Like you, Herod abandoned God in favor of personal power and greed.  Question… Like you, Herod had many chances to repent of his evil actions and care for all people.  Herod refused to be just and loving and compassionate in his dealings with his own citizens and foreigners.  Herod made his choice.  What will you choose?  112918.