I had no intention of writing this post. This is not a political blog; my usual hope is that the deepest thought it provokes is "Yeah, I've worn shoes from two different pairs to work, too."
But Donald Trump's comments a few days ago about keeping all Muslims out of America are so appalling, so contrary to everything I believe as an American and a Christian and a human being, that I need to stand up and be counted.
Donald Trump does not speak for me as an American.
I think about the episodes in our nation's history that have been the most shameful. Every one that I can name is related to treating a class of persons differently because they could be easily grouped by race or religion: the Japanese interned in World War II; the black Americans treated with easy cruelty before the 1960s; the Native Americans herded onto reservations. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that we are never proud of these actions in retrospect. Excluding Muslims from America because they are Muslims would be another chapter in this book of shame.
Donald Trump does not speak for me as a Christian.
I have never been able to find any evidence that Jesus distanced himself from persons of any religion, or that he encouraged hate of any person because of beliefs. Instead, His instructions--His most important commandment--was that persons who follow Him should love God, love one another (other Christians), and love their neighbors (everyone else). Can you imagine how small the Christian kingdom would have been if Christ's great commandment had been "Yeah, probably better not have contact with anyone who's different from you, because who knows? It might be dangerous."
Donald Trump does not speak for me as a human being.
I am pained he is the leading presidential candidate for the political party in which I have been registered all of my voting years. This self-aggrandizing blowhard, whose horrible hair only distracts us from the dangerous ideas he spouts? From the pure hate he throws around so casually?
As a human being and as an American and as a Christian I will continue to believe that love is always better than hate, that inclusion is always better than isolation, and that Christ would be appalled that the 83% of Americans who claim His name are letting the world think Donald Trump speaks for them.
He does not speak for me.