Dear President Trump

Loving My Enemy

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.



Dear President Trump.  Ask your Christian “Cows of Bashan” advisors who Rehoboam was. When his father, Solomon, died he became King of Israel.  Before his coronation the people asked him to “drain the swamp” so to speak.  Make himself beloved and respected by those who slaved to make Solomon rich.  Treat the people with love, respect and compassion.  Rehoboam’s older advisors counseled compassion and justice.  His contemporary ‘friends’, kind of like Steve Bannon and John Bolton, counseled harshness and doubling down on work loads, taxes and sacrifice for the good of their One Percent.  Scrap their version of NAFTA and TPP. they said, and cozy up to the oligarchs of the day. Make Israel Great Again, they said.  Rehoboam made the lives of the common people a living hell.  Rehoboam sold out Israel for personal gain.  Ten tribes revolted and left.  The Egyptians invaded and gutted the treasury in Jerusalem.  Rehoboam’s one tribe left, Judah, became a vassal of Egypt.  Almost 3,000 years later, will history repeat itself? Will those claiming God’s blessing and infallible leadership run our nation into the ground?  Who has put himself at the center of our national biblical soap opera?  You Are The Man.  God forgive us.  071918.

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

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