BY MARK Y.A. DAVIES
I have watched the majority of white people who identify themselves as Christian in the United States continue to support the current president through his infidelity and hush money payoffs, through his praise of murderous dictators as “strong leaders,” through his attacks on the Department of Justice, through his relentless lying about almost everything, though his inciting of violence towards people of color at his political rallies, through his brazenly bragging about his sexual assault of women, through his dehumanizing of immigrants and vilification of Muslims, through his campaign’s dozens of contacts with Russians, through his corrupt use of his office for personal and family financial gain, through his attempts to use governmental organizations including even the U.S. Postal Service to punish his political enemies, through his denigration of the press, and through his multiple expressions of racism.
Trump is worse than Nixon, and that is saying something as Nixon was truly horrible, but the majority of white Christians continue to solidly support a president who is a clear and present danger to our republic and the world.
Now I hear many people who identify themselves as Christians in the United States expressing support for the president implementing his plans to separate children from their parents when families are apprehended while attempting to enter the United States at our southern border. Whether one is Christian or not, the support of such a plan is not simply misguided, it is evil, and it is antithetical to the way of Jesus that so many Trump supporters claim to follow.
What Bible are these so-called Christians reading or not reading as the case may be? What warped vision of Jesus do they have that justifies their support for separating children from their parents at the border? What do they not understand about the teachings of their tradition that call for caring for and treating the stranger as the native among us? What leads them to support or simply ignore the comments of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who says the practice of separating children from their parents is not cruel and the children will be put in “foster care or whatever”?
The so-called Christian supporters of Trump who agree with his policy of separating children from their parents at the border are the same people who say things like “there is a war against Christmas” and “Christianity is under attack.”
Let me take this opportunity to remind them that the child Jesus whom they celebrate at Christmas was said to have escaped the murderous violence of a “strong leader” called Herod when his parents took him and fled to Egypt. If Egypt had been following Trump’s dictate to separate children from their parents at the border, perhaps Jesus would have been separated from Joseph and Mary and “put in foster care or whatever,” but I guess if one adheres to the logic of Trump, Sessions, and Kelly, then that is what Joseph and Mary would deserve for trying to smuggle a child illegally over the border.
With views like this, perhaps these Christian supporters of Trump are right that Christianity is under attack – by them.
– Mark Y.A. Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. Click herefor more of his essays.