Statement from Princeton Seminary Faculty

Statement from Princeton Seminary Faculty February 28, 2017

The faculty of Princeton Theological Seminar have issued a statement about president Donald Trump’s approach to refugees, immigration, and a number of other matters more generally. Here is the opening paragraph:

We, the undersigned, believe that because God is sovereign over all creation and because all human beings are embraced by God’s all encompassing grace, the god of Donald Trump’s “America first” nationalism is not the God revealed in our scriptures. Regardless of our specific political persuasions we agree that the attitudes fostered by this nationalism are inconsistent with Christian values of welcoming the stranger as if we were welcoming Christ, of seeking to distinguish truth from deception and conceit, and of believing that no institution or government can demand the kind of loyalty that belongs only to God.

In addition to the website linked above, there is also a pdf of the statement.

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  • John MacDonald

    It is a chastisement of Donald Trump (who, through wishful thinking, thinks he can read the mind of God) by some scholars (who, through wishful thinking, think they can read the mind of God) – as though belief in God ALSO implied knowledge of a specific Type of God. I personally think God died laughing after seeing how stupid humans are. lol

    • jh

      It doesn’t matter. Trump and his ilk live in a reality free bubble. Evidence = lies. Objective facts = bias. Trump = God’s chosen Messiah. Experts = liars.

      Christianity (and other religions) are too dangerous for precisely this reason. They make it easy not to think. As an atheist – I’m worried about the unwarranted respect that religion (especially one variant of religion) has in the US.

      • Bert

        Surely this isn’t the place to argue against religion as being anti-intellectual. This statement from theologians obviously comes from a critique, albeit from a tradition you obviously contest, of the consistency of political statements many take to be within the Christian tradition and the Christian tradition itself. While I respect the critique of the Christian tradition as anti-intellectual, I don’t feel this is the appropriate place to make that criticism – I’d rather cheer their critique as an example of how Christians can understand and respond to that inconsistency.

      • Guthrum

        No. I did not vote for Trump. His supporters are not racists or some sort or hate mongers. I know a lot of people who voted for Trump and support him, including friends and family members. They are not racists, homophobes, transphobes, xenaphobes, or any phobia. They don’t hate anyone.

    • Gary

      “We also believe that the policies and approach embraced by the Trump administration run counter to democratic values, as executive orders and members of the new administration’s cabinet often seek to demonize Islam, foster white supremacy, compromise the rule of law and intimidate judges, undermine the empowerment of women, ignore the destruction of the environment, promote homophobia, unleash unfounded fears of crime that worsen the “law and order” abuses of police and security forces. We reject the pervasive aim of placing the monetary gain of wealthy classes over the welfare of its citizenry by undermining education, quality employment, and health care.”

      Princeton Theological Seminary

      School-Related Expenses

      Annual Tuition:
      $14,500.00

      Approximate Total Fees:
      $1,360.00
       
      Residence Hall Housing:
      $7,050.00

      Student Health Insurance:
      $2,900.00

      Books:
      $1,000.00

      Total School-Related Expenses Per Year:
      $26,810.00

      “placing the monetary gain of wealthy classes over the welfare of its citizenry by undermining education”… seems to be a lot of monetary gain in education.

  • Otto T. Goat

    “The Church of Jesus Christ is the repository of His wisdom; she is certainly too wise to discourage or belittle those peculiarities and differences which mark out one nation from another. It is quite legitimate for nations to treat those differences as a sacred inheritance and guard them at all costs.” – Pope Pius XII.

  • jekylldoc

    Such statements are all very prophetic and all. But it would make much more difference to put together policies and institutions which allowed ordinary workers to feel that they weren’t being ground down personally by those who make the rules, in private equity, in bureaucracy, in setting standards for tenure and policies for tuition.

  • Guthrum

    Is it wrong to deport those who are violent criminals, drug dealers, and gang members ? Is it wrong to use caution and follow the set procedures concerning immigrants and refugees from countries with terrorist groups ?
    F.B.I. investigating over a thousand ISIS groups, present in every state.
    Obama deported 50,000 in one year – where were all these protests then ?

  • Gary

    I am glad they included,
    “As we look at the role of the US in promoting war and repression abroad and division among its own peoples at home, however, we confess our own complicity in the sinful entanglements that have created this political and social crisis.”

    But priorities are mixed up.

    This might be an example of a student assignment from the Princeton Seminary’s “How to be Preachy and Self-Righteous for Future Ministers” 101 Class. They indirectly admit to it – that maybe the outrage over immigration rights that inconvenience a small percentage of people primarily at airports, should have been a lower priority. They should have a higher priority and outraged at our unlimited “hunting license”, without a declaration of war, to kill anyone we deem necessary, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Somalia, by bombing civilian cities, or by drones. There would be a lot less civilians killed, and a lot less refugees, if we were as morally upset with that, than over immigration laws being enforced.
    Especially concerning countries that don’t allow Israeli’s to enter, and express the desire for the total destruction of Israel.
    I actually, use to be pro-Palestinian, thinking Israel was too oppressive to them. And I fully supported and voted for Obama, with the hope of disengagement from wars. However, being disillusioned by Obama’s total failure, and seeing rising terrorist’s actions from ISIS, I have lost all sympathy for the Palestinian cause, and want to lose any connection with the liberal left.
    Just like in Vietnam, I think the only solution is to disengage from the entire Middle East. Get out. Let them stew in their own juices. Maybe we could actually spend money on education again, instead of bombs.