My biggest problem with Donald Trump…
One of the few gifts I feel that I have is that I read people well. Donald Trump frightened me from very early on. I sensed a narcissist, a man who likes his own voice, a man who yearned for power. I didn’t sense a man with much empathy or compassion.
Of course as well as those haunches I was concerned to see a man becoming a leader of a world power who was racist and misogynist. He had a love for putting others down. His belittling of others swaggered. He was also careless with the truth and almost poetic in his hyperbole. I was fearful of that as a role model. What would a society look like after a few years of that kind of behaviour in vogue and, even more frighteningly, respected.
Please notice that none of the above has anything to do with politics or policies or whether Trump is Republican or Democrat. It is about a human being who looked in all intents and purposes to be a dictator with little concern for anyone but himself. Just one week into his Presidency I had seen enough to be concerned that it would be hard to get him out of office, that he might encourage violence to keep himself in office.
I find most of what Donald Trump says and does and the patronising way that he says and does it to be reprehensible.
Tonight, though, that is not my problem with Donald Trump.
As a follower of Jesus my biggest problem with Donald Trump is that I am called to love him. The theology that drives my life is that Donald Trump is made in the image of God which makes him precious and fascinating. I also believe that Jesus was prepared to lay down his life for Donald Trump - “For God so loved the world…”
As my fried Ken often says, “Darn it Steve, being a follower of Jesus can be a real pain in the proverbial” (my paraphrase). It is not likely that I will ever have to love Donald Trump in a personal way. Donald is not likely to move to Belfast and join Fitzroy. More likely a colleague from the Church of Scotland maybe.
Yet, tonight as I am aware that it is his last night in the White House I find myself praying for him. A post White House Trump will be fascinating, and perhaps equally exasperating, for all of us. It might even most fascinating for the man himself. I believe that he has many needs in his head, heart and soul and I am praying that God meets his needs. I am praying that he finds wholeness, peace and redemption. I think that if it comes it will arrive with a great deal of repentance and change but I pray that he is blessed, not in selfish outward ways but in his soul.
I do not find that an easy prayer. Yet I am aware that I am flawed human with many needs. I am aware of the wonder that God’s grace is in my life. I am aware that God calls me to love everybody… even Donald Trump.