Dear President Trump

Loving My Enemy

Dear Donald. I understand you want to use game theory to punish China for it’s tough capitalist trade practices. So you impose tariffs on the Chinese which they pass onto their suppliers who pass increased costs onto us, the tax paying Americans. You do this to strengthen American production. But farmers produce more than Americans can consume so their produce rots and they are forced into bankruptcy. Then you give $16 Billion in our tax money to farmers on top of Billions already doled out. So we the tax payers pay for your tariffs in higher prices and for your socialist bailouts of impoverished farmers in higher taxes and higher prices.
I am impressed. You can then blame democrats for being socialist while using government money, our money, as social welfare for your chosen few. They will then support you because they have joined those you accuse of feeding from the public trough.
In the meantime you try desperately to take away their health care to make them even more dependent on your social handouts. But that’s OK because the rich are getting richer and their wealth will trickle down to us unless they decide to put it in offshore accounts. There it can mix with the money of other offshore oligarchs to begin another round of international tariffs designed to help the world’s farmers and consumers. My My My. Jesus Wept. 052319

Dear Donald.  I think when Jesus said “let the little children come unto me” he didn’t mean you should lock them up in cages.  He didn’t mean throw them out of public housing if a parent isn’t a U.S. citizen, even if the children themselves are indeed legal citizens. He didn’t mean let drug companies charge such exorbitant prices for insulin and other drugs, that children die for lack of them.  He didn’t mean punish the children of adoptive parents and deny their citizenship because their mothers were surrogates.  By what Christian teaching do you punish American children for the sake of their parents’ birth.  Once the bible said the sins of the fathers would be visited on their children to the third and fourth generations.  (Numbers 14.18).  But, Ezekiel 18.20 says the children will not share the guilt of the parent.  We could proof-text our beliefs to the end of time. Many do.  It is a moral death spiral.  Please do not feed your own desires by twisting anyone’s holy scriptures. Instead, join me in confession of our sins and shortcomings.  Let the children come.  We have so much.  They have so little. 051619.

Dear Donald.  I grow weary of fear and anger.  I am dull to your ceaseless drumbeat of spite, greed, lies and hate… your constant pitting of one group against another to enrich the 1% Cows of Bashan…men against women, rich against poor, race against race, faith against faith.  Yes, I am aware that the best way to control any group of people is to create an enemy (real or imagined). Then you can demand loyalty, sacrifice to flag, faith and fatherland against The Foe.  Jesus was crucified by people convinced by their leaders that the “Prince of Peace” would lead them to death and disaster.  You imprison children because they threaten us with death, drugs and disaster.  The trap I fall into is responding with fear and anger. My declaring you an enemy gives you the power to lump me with the Alfred E. Newmans of your yesteryear… fools to be mocked and denigrated as enemies of your Great America.  No, Donald.  You are not my enemy.  You are not Satan.  That would give you too much credit. You are and always have been, like me, a child of a loving God.  You are my brother.  You have so many brothers and sisters, children of that same loving God, who suffer at the whims of your greed and lust for money, sex and power.  So, while others quote scripture to support hatred and bigotry, I will quote Jesus, my chosen leader of The Way.  Daily, I will pray for you and your growth in love and justice and mercy towards all people.  Much as my fear and anger would drive me to hate you… to beat you over your head with the ten commandments… I will do my best to remind you of the Sermon on the Mount.  I choose to live in the New Covenant promised by Jeremiah, that is yet to be realized. 051419.

Please forgive the length of this article.  Dear President Trump.  I’m going to let a neonatal nurse, Julia Pulver, say what I want to. I lack the words and experience… but not the pain.  This is her response to you, when you claimed that doctors, nurses, and mother’s commit infanticide for fun.

“This is perhaps one of the sickest accusations levied by this deranged dictator yet. Don’t believe a word he says about anything important. As a NICU nurse, I served on the “Bereavement Team.” We were a special team of Nurses tough enough to help new parents go through the worst day of their lives. Parents of babies who had fought so hard for their tiny little lives and weren’t going to make it. And parents of babies who, after they were born, and wouldn’t have their moms body keeping them alive, would die rather quickly.

As these small bodies were failing, it was our job to be there with the parents at every step, give them support, and do our best to make some memories of their precious babies that could help ease their impending and overwhelming grief. When heroic measures failed or a baby without a brain or working lungs or heart was born, we knew the end was near, and we encouraged the parents to be present in these finals moments. We placed the babies skin to skin with mom and placed a blanket over them both. We lowered the lights and quieted the room. We had as much or as little family and the parents wanted in the room. We sang songs, we prayed, we hugged, we swayed… and we all cried.

I cried until my throat burned for this family who has just had to endure the unthinkable. We were in the moment with those families. We took pictures, even for the ones who were too traumatized to think they’d ever want to see them, just in case they did. We made footprints. We put a lock of hair into a ribbon. We measured the babies length and marked it on a tape measure. We made special tiny white gowns and hats for our angels. We created a memory box for these families who were losing their child that day.

So yes, there are those in hospitals who are around infants who pass: they are the Bereavement Teams & they provide the equivalent of neonatal hospice to families who are living through absolute Hell. Babies and children die, it’s a sad part of life. But no one, absolutely NO ONE ever, in any hospital, nor any mother who has just given birth, is conspiring with a doctor on whether or not to commit infanticide.”

Personally Mr. President, I happen to agree with others who have posted this article… ‘This is perhaps one of the sickest accusations levied by you yet.’  Others want to call you a deranged dictator.  I know you to be a human being in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. Please accept them before it is too late for all of us.  042919.

Dear President Trump.  I was hoping you wouldn’t do anything more appalling than imprisoning children in metal cages to threaten their parents. But, of course, as you keep harping to us, they aren’t white Americans.  They don’t deserve love, compassion or justice.  But now we find that Gold Star families are being taxed at a grossly higher rate on the benefits they receive under your new wonderful tax plan.  These families lost a husband/wife, father/mother serving our nation.  They made the ultimate sacrifice and you increase the taxes on their benefits? You make them a joke.  Your tax plan made the rich, richer. But it increased taxes on many middle class families, and punishes Gold Star families.  What more sacrifice will you ask of the widows and orphans of fallen soldiers.  Jesus had much to say about widows and orphans.  We Make America Great Again by increasing their taxes and insulting the sacrifice of their loved ones.  God forgive you.  God grant me the strength to forgive you.  Perhaps forgiveness will come after you and your Cows of Bashan correct this ugly scar on our nation.  You sir, are not Making America Great Again.  You are making our nation stink to high heaven.  God smells our rot.  God forgive us.  042819.

Dear President Trump. It is my assumption that the key to understanding God’s love is not atonement… but example. Grace and forgiveness are needed because the example of Jesus showed that if we speak love and truth to both power and weakness you might live to be thirty years old. But someone is probably going to kill you or lock you up. So, we live lives of compromise and grace. To live long enough to do some good we compromise with evil and sin.  What keeps us whole and alive is God’s forgiveness… (Father, forgive them…).  Mr. President, many people do not want to forgive you. You show no evidence of wanting to forgive anyone for any real or imagined offense.  That may keep you in the Whitehouse. But an attitude of “I’m perfect and have no need of forgiveness” puts you at odds with Jesus. That’s a game we cannot win.  We humans live a daily compromise between good and evil. Grace, God’s loving forgiveness, renews us each day to draw breath and do good and live a little longer.  I know I’m preaching… it is my nature.  I am not perfect. You are not perfect. To think otherwise cuts you off from the grace you need but cannot accept because of your blindness.  We’ll talk another day about guilt and innocence in the American legal and political systems. Because Robert Mueller is an honorable man and you are not… you will remain our President. But in God’s eyes, that may be the least of your problems.  God forgive you and me.  I hope you can learn to accept and reflect that forgiveness before it’s too late for all of us. 032719.

Outrage is a somewhat satisfying response to evil. It gets the juices flowing. It targets an enemy and focuses us on what we value and love. But outrage accomplishes so little. It could spur us to action. It may not. Usually, it’s an easy way to feel I’ve accomplished something without actually doing much. You and I get outraged at so many things. I see your face redden. I see you sputter and lie and spew hatred at so many people. Then I get outraged and rant and rave and spew epithets at you. I don’t know about you but after a while, outrage gets boring and repetitive and childish for me. You use it to run a country. I use it to call you to be a better Christian. I fear we are both failing, badly. I’m tired of outrage. It’s unproductive. It’s boring. It’s unloving. I wish my love could or God’s love would make you a better person and leader. I fear it won’t. But, beyond outrage, I choose to love you. Outrage and anger won’t change you. But trying to love you might change me. If, by some chance, my love, other people’s love, God’s love changes you…. that’s a bonus worth working for. God bless you, Mr. President. God forgive you. God make us both better people. 031919.

Dear President Trump.  The last meme I posted troubles me greatly.  As a human being and struggling Christian I am confronted with a painful contradiction.  I feel and hate and yet am commanded to love.  I do not want to love you.  I do not want to hate you.  I would rather just ignore you.  But Jesus does not say “ignore your enemies.”  He does not even say ignore anyone.  So, I am stuck with an honest emotion.  I hate you… who you are… what you have done… all the lies, your racism and misogyny.  But as a child of a loving God I am called to love you.  As you and I both know… hate is easy.  Loving those you like or admire is easy.  Loving someone you hate… seems almost un-American.  It reeks of ignorance and duplicity to modern ears. It makes us vulnerable to so many evil people in the world. Like you, I want to protect those I love already, my family, my friends, my neighbors and others ‘like me.’  I fear so many things and people.  Let me ask you… what kind of God commands you to love those you hate and fear? Obviously, there is more to life than self-protection, racial purity, ethnic cleansing and sexual dominance.  There is more to being faithful to God than power and control over others.  May God help us both as we struggle to love – even those we hate.  It is so difficult. 031219.

Dear President Trump…  You know Frank Bruni… he writes for one of your favorite newspapers, The New York Times.  Recently he mentioned my church, The United Methodist Church.  Just this week my church reaffirmed its hatred of LGBTQ people by declaring them incompatible with Christian teaching.  The vote was close but love and grace lost to hatred, bigotry and self-righteousness.  Inside the church, we are still reeling or celebrating depending on our love of Christ and one another.  Outside the church Mr. Bruni observes, “And religion arguably remains a hostile frontier: not all faiths and denominations, but too many of them. They say they have no choice. They quote scripture. But they do so selectively, picking and choosing what to take literally and what not to, and their interpretations are open to dispute.And what of love? What of empathy? Why so much forgiveness for so many other people who run afoul of traditional religious teachings, so long as those people are heterosexual? Donald Trump commands the loyalty of many conservative Christians, who stay mum about his transgressions even as they scold L.G.B.T. people. That’s more than a double standard. That’s a travesty.”  So, we are a travesty… You for promoting, and me for not doing enough to prevent the legalized hatred and ostracization of human beings from society and the Christian community.  May God bless your efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to threats in southeast Asia.  Hurry home. While you pander for a Nobel Prize, we are tearing each other apart… and celebrating our meanness.  As usual… God forgive us.  022719

Dear President Trump.  Kudos to the Border Patrol agents, reported on by your ‘fake news’ outlets.  They showed great compassion towards children at the border.  But then, that’s the problem.  I am the son of a journalist who prized truthfulness and integrity above all else… He despised liars and self-serving politicians.  Like you, he despised “Fake News.’  So, when I read the article about generous and compassionate Border Patrol Agents in the ‘Fake News’ forums, is that “Fake News” too? Or, does news you agree with, even written by the press you call “Enemy of the People” become ‘unfake’ whenever you declare it.  Jesus declared, if we continue in his word, we shall know the truth and the truth will make us free.’  What I know for sure is, You will not make me free.  Congress will not make me free.  Nor will money, sex or power.  These things enslave.  I’m getting preachy, I know.  Sorry, it’s in my blood.  One thing I have learned is, ‘we believe what we want to believe.’  Facts be damned.  Truth is debatable.  In the end, the heart rules.  Where is your heart, my enemy?  I admit, you are a master of making people want to believe you. It doesn’t make you right, or truthful, or great… just convincing.  Kudos.  But also, warning… We followers of ‘The Way’ play a long game.  While we honor truth wherever we find it, we too are wary of ‘Fake News’.  Please know that we evaluate your words and actions by the words of Jesus.  Sadly, your words and actions too often fall into God’s definition of “Fake News”.  God forgive us.  022319