The Diabolical Madness of President Trump

The Diabolical Madness of President Trump August 22, 2019
DonkeyHotey: Drum Major Clown / flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The warnings of the prophet Micah to wayward Israel should concern the United States today. He indicated the coming judgment of God, that is, Israel would face the repercussions of its actions if it did not reform (as all prophetic warnings are given with the hope of establishing reform so that the dire consequences of such warnings would not have to take effect):

Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts (Mal. 3:5 RSV).

It almost is as if Micah was talking to the United States, warning it about its policies and its leadership under President Donald Trump. How many of the wrongdoings stated by Micah can be seen to have been done by Trump? How many of them can be seen to be promoted, or enforced by Trump? Certainly he cruelly thrusts aside the sojourner or migrant; he has a history of stiffing the pay of his workers; his history of lies, even when he swears he is telling the truth, knows no equal; and who can forget his playboy lifestyle?

Not only does he follow the path of injustice, a path constantly spoken against by the Law and the Prophets, Trump likes to promote himself with the greatest of accolades.[1] He wants people to think he is the best. Not only does he seem to believe his own hype, he lets it increase when he reads the ways others glorify him.  Christians should know that arrogance and pride are great sins, but they are worse when such pride allows someone to promote themselves as some sort of divinity. How can any Christian, any Jew, defend Trump’s demands for loyalty, when he uses the crazy tweets of Wayne Allyn Root to promote himself, tweets which suggest Trump is like the “King of Israel” and “the Second Coming of God.” What Christian can support Trump who openly promotes such blasphemy in his name, following the typology of the two beast in the Apocalypse (cf. Rev. 13:1-18)?[2]

It should not be surprising that at the same time that Trump blasphemes God, he acts contrary to the law of Moses (as well as what the Christian faith expects out of good leadership). His hatred towards those who challenge him and his authority, as well as for those people who he sees as “other” than those he prefers, can be seen not only in the policies which he enacts, but those which he wants to put into place. Thus, while he continues to make conditions worse for refugees and migrants seeking a better life for themselves and their families in the United States, he has also shown interest in subverting basic Constitutional rights as he wants to end “birthright citizenship.” [3] He thinks he can do it on his own, without Congress, by executive order, despite what the Supreme Court has ruled about birthright citizenship in the past.  While we might think he cannot do it, he certainly can try, and there is a danger, with the way Trump has been manipulating the judiciary and putting in candidates which back his ideology instead of the Constitution, that he might even be successful. This is why care must be had to make sure candidates for the Supreme Court (and other courts) stand with the Constitution and not see themselves as merely rubber stamps for an authoritarian president.

How can Christians continue to support the madness of President Trump, and the evils of his administration, when God demands justice out of the leaders of the nations, justice which respects the poor and needy? Only by denying the dictates of their faith and no longer being salt of the earth.  And we have been warned what happens when Christians no longer allow themselves to be the salt which preserves the good on the earth: “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13 RSV).

Donald Trump, many say, is a symptom of a greater problem. While what they say is correct, in that he represents the dark underbelly of many American Christians and their total disengagement of the message of the gospel, this does not mean the madness of Trump cannot make things worse. He is a symptom but also a cause for something worse to come. Christians must take a stand, either for the Gospel, or for Donald Trump and what Trump represents.  The Christian who defends Trump in every act of cruelty must heed the warning of Scripture: they risk losing everything, and what will they gain from it?


 

[1]“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong” (Lev. 19:33 RSV)

“Behold, the princes of Israel in you, every one according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood.  Father and mother are treated with contempt in you; the sojourner suffers extortion in your midst; the fatherless and the widow are wronged in you “(Ezek. 22:6-7 RSV).

[2] This is not to say that Donald Trump “is” one of the two beasts, but rather, the beasts are archetypal, and many throughout history can be seen represented in them.

[3] This should not be surprising, as birthright citizenship was something that birthers like Trump, contended against during the Obama administration.

 

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