Dear President Trump

Loving My Enemy

Dear President Trump. An armed security guard saved patrons of a club from a gunman by shooting at him, chasing him, and tackling the shooter.  Police arrived on the scene.  The shooter was white. The guard subduing the shooter was black.  The police shot and killed the black security guard.  Patrons tried to explain the guard was the hero. The shooter was taken into custody without injury.  And you want to arm untrained teachers, preachers and other civilians to meet out justice against gunmen bent on mass murder.  How dumb do you think we are?  You and the NRA are just painting a target on our backs, saying “Shoot me first.”  Jesus had an amazing comment on situations like this, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”  That may not work for you because I assume you expect others to lie, cheat and steal from you as you do from them.  But most Americans expect to be treated with fairness, justice, kindness and yes, at times forgiveness and mercy.  We therefore teach our children to act accordingly.  God forgive you for turning neighbors into enemies because of the color of their skin, their poverty or their gender.  God forgive you for encouraging racism, misogyny, and solving problems with guns and anger and hatred.  In my anger I would have you treated with the same vileness and disdain and ugliness you perpetrate on others.  I would have God do unto you what you have done to others.  But God will continue to love you and forgive you and set you on a better path.  I pray it happens soon.  11.14.18

Dear President Trump. King David abandoned a faithful soldier, Uriah the Hittite, to be killed by the Ammonites in battle.  Uriah was a good soldier.  His fatal mistake was having a beautiful wife, Bathsheba. After getting Bathsheba pregnant, David tried to cover it up by inviting Uriah home from the war to report and, of course to sleep with his wife and thus protect David.  Uriah refused the comfort of hearth and home while other soldiers suffered in battle.  Frustrated, David sent him back to the front lines with a note which was his own death warrant.  David showed contempt for a good soldier and callously abused loyal troops.  I suspect they lost faith in David as a King.  You, haven’t yet ordered a soldiers death to cover up your misdeeds, that we know of.  But to send American men and women into harm’s way and then deny them the right to have their votes counted in an election is callous, cruel and very Un-American.  Yet that is exactly what you are doing in the State of Florida’s elections.  They can bleed and die for you and our country but they cannot have their votes counted. You have abandoned them. They can swear allegiance to America but if they threaten your grasping for power, you spit in their faces, deny them the vote, with barely a shrug.  Is it fear that drives you to dishonor them and yourself? A reminder… Jesus says, ‘Fear Not’… You and I have much to repent my enemy.  111218

Dear President Trump. I am not much for quoting scripture as a weapon against others.  But every once in a while I come across a passage that slaps me in the face.  “But for the cowardly and unbelieving, and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Fortunately for both of us, I trust God’s love and forgiving Grace more than I trust an author’s desire for blood and revenge.  But then I heard you were cowardly enough to let rain stop you from honoring dead American soldiers from WWI. You sent the marines, General John Kelly, in your place. Yes, you may visit another cemetery later.  God knows I’ve been a coward at times, too.  But dear God, man, borrow an umbrella!!!  Your reputation as a tough guy is cracking. Sending troops to the border to repel the poor, the sick, the terrorized and their children.  Sending a marine to do your duty at a memorial.  Some of us may wonder if you really had bone spurs. What we know you do have, is the need to repent and act like the follower of Christ you claim to be. I do so pray.  111018.

Dear President Trump. Thank you. As a white middle class pastor I was raised on a theology of the coming “Kingdom of God”. My more conservative friends saw this as a supernatural experience, including variations such as: rapture, lakes of fire, angels battling demons and Christ returning earth to on a mighty steed to punish the evil, reward the faithful and rule forever on earth and in heaven. More sedate protestants simply expected they would rationally convince everyone to bring about the “Reign of God” on earth. Both sides kind of expected to wrap things up by the year 2000. One student gathering in the 1950’s had a huge banner proclaiming, “Hang On Jesus, Here We Come!!!” Took me far too long to get over everyone’s triumphalist gibberish. Oh, I childishly continued to hope we could draw things to a successful religious conclusion in my lifetime. But, alas, you have cured me of that fantasy. Your too successful championing of racism, sexism, misogyny, lust, greed, the desire for power, fear of “The Other” (the list goes on and on) has convinced me that Pollyanna had nothing on me. Instead, as I approach the completion of my seventh decade on this planet that God declared “GOOD” at creation… I find myself driven to the most fearful words of your and my Lord, “Take up your cross, and follow me.” So be it. 110818.

Dear President Trump. You were quoted today about the latest synagogue shooting, “”There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice,” I whole heartedly agree. Sometimes, especially close to elections, you come out with almost liberal statements. Would it surprise you that most of the potential immigrants on our southern border are Christians? They worship the same Jesus that Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham and you worship. Why do you persecute, demonize and ridicule these Christians? Why do you make Christian Americans fear and loathe them? Jesus, of course said, ‘let the children come unto me…’ I doubt he meant tear them from their parents and put them in concentration camps. And yes, you and I represent Jesus on earth. Please remember your own words…”no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice,”. Good words. May God hold you and I to them. 102718.

Dear President Trump. Good people can make any system run well.  Bad people can destroy the best of systems. That’s why politics is so personal.   Some think you’re good and love you. Some think you are evil and hate you…. because it’s not the system, but the people that count.  I have been in democratic countries, socialist countries, communist countries, dictatorships, monarchies and anarchies. Some of each have worked wonderfully for the people. Some of each have been cruel and perverse abominations. All of history tells similar stories. It is the character of the people and the leaders that produce justice, prosperity and well being for all people instead of just the rich and powerful classes. As a former prosecutor I have seen justice carved out of horrible legal dilemmas and I have witnessed people destroyed by miscarriages of the legal system we live under. I have witnessed my government act with nobility, grace and bountiful generosity…. and I have seen pettiness, greed and needless pain inflicted on innocents by that same government.  I do not believe God cares one whit about our lofty ideas or grandiose promises or the minutia of our government. God cares about our actions. Are we using our government our laws and our patriotism to care for all people or just the select few. Inquiring people want to know. God wants to know.  You talk a grand game my enemy. But people are beginning to laugh at you to your face. God help you, and all of us, if your talk is just hot air. 093018.

Dear President Trump. You poor poor man. You deny the deaths of brown skinned Americans in Puerto Rico. You take aid money to pay to incarcerate over 12,000 brown skinned foreign children as you forget who and where their parents are. You sympathize with self-avowed Nazis.  You cut off life saving aide to Palestinians. Do you have a thing against brown skinned people? Or like King Herod are you so afraid of losing power and wealth that sacrificing children is simply the price of making America Great Again?  Gotta flash for you my enemy.  God doesn’t care whether America is great again.  God loves human beings of all ages, races, creeds and social standings. God didn’t like it when the rulers of Israel stomped on the poor, the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, the stranger or the prisoner. God doesn’t like it when you do either. You may be great in the eyes of those you make rich. Your lies and false promises give hollow hope to those who trust you to make their lives better while you sneer and snigger at them and line the pockets of the 1%. I don’t wish you dead.  I wish you changed by the Holy Spirit.  But eventually dead both of us will be.  My fear is that when you meet God face to face your evil greed and desire for money, sex and power in this life will blind you to God’s grace in the next.  You poor poor man. 091518. 

Dear President Trump. The Cows of Bashan get richer and greedier every day. But the reality is that more and more Americans are falling deeper and deeper into despair. You offer them hope by making America great again. But your promises are only a chimera… a shimmering promise of an illusory future. Slowly and painfully, we begin to realize that we are not to prosper in your great America. We are only to pay for your luxury and power. Amid news of our booming economy more and more Americans fail to make ends meet. You gave so many of us hope. But we continue to be beggars hoping for scraps from under your table. News today of the severe uptick in suicides at all age levels. Experts blame a lack of mental health care. Biblically, it’s called a loss of hope. More and more people are seeing “No Way Out…” my hunch is you will never see the devastation your presidency has wrought on our America. You will blithely live out your years congratulating yourself for saving America and being its greatest president. Strangely I have hope for even you. I have hope that when you meet God face to face she will be merciful to the rich man who refused scraps to the poor at his table. 091118

Dear President Trump.  I think your tactics are working.  Give us so much immoral behavior in the name of making America “Great” again and we get can’t see the trees for the forest.  It becomes a blur that overwhelms our senses.  You pander to so many ugly, immoral, racist and compassionless sentiments that those who would maintain their moral balance are overwhelmed.  I have a Christian friend who believes we should give you a pass on your sexual immorality and hush money payoffs because Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy and Bill Clinton had their own affairs.  You are making them richer and that ‘trumps’ morality in Politics.  You practice the art of distraction when cornered, saying “look over there”, “fake news here”.  You echo another famous President who, when confronted with perfidy, proclaiming loudly, “I am not a crook.”  And you shade the truth with sentiments from another President, lamenting, “It depends upon your definition of sex.” To be politically fair, even my friend clearly supports you because like others, they hope or are happy to become rich from your shenanigans.  Like the ancient “Cows of Bashan” they are willing to accept economic horrors inflicted on the poor and dispossessed because in the end their increased wealth will benefit their economy and may trickle down.  Your trickle-down Jesus is a sham.  God forgive you.  God change you.  God forgive me.  08248.

Dear President Trump. Where do we begin. Children being force fed psychotropic drugs?  Al Capone compared with Paul Manafort?  We pay for the Mexico wall?  The NRA makes gun policy for the U.S.A? Your collusion is no longer criminal or treasonous? New rockets in North Korea?  The 1% get richer on a fabulous GDP while working folks everywhere have to work two jobs just to feed their families?  No wonder the unemployment rate is so low….  Many see you as a modern Moses making the Israelites great again. But your lies and fabrications resonate more with the pop leaders who conned the people out of their gold to pay for the golden wall (calf) that will protect us in God’s absence.  Just a reminder.  God is not absent.  She loves all people of all faiths, colors and origins.  He loves people at the border, across the border and inside the border.  And as a Christian it is your duty work out how to love them in fear and trembling.  One final question.  Do you really love the people of this country?  Or are you using them for your own profit and the profit of all your “Cows of Bashan?”  The proof my enemy, is in your actions.  No, I do not trust you.  But God loves you.  And thus, I must try to love you.  Truth is… I don’t know how.  God help me. 080118.