“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
This was one of my favorite verses when I began studying the Bible. It wasn’t one of my favorites because it was one of the few I could commit to memory; rather, it was because it allowed me to think at length about its meaning.
Jesus wept when he found that his friend Lazarus was dead. There are many possible explanations for the meaning of the verse: Jesus was demonstrating his humanity by mourning the loss of a friend; Jesus was weeping about the stupidity of the people around him, who didn’t recognize him as the Messiah (my personal favorite); Jesus was sympathetically crying about the death that humanity must suffer …
I don’t claim to know what the actual meaning was supposed to be when the verse about weeping was originally written. But I think it’s safe to say that Jesus has probably been doing a lot of crying this past year. That extra rain and snowfall we’ve been getting in America lately is probably because God’s been crying so much—and you’re responsible for it, Evangelicals who support Donald Trump.
I’ve been keeping a list of Christians Who Suck ever since I attended a Baptist college in the 1980s. I’m a very forgiving person and frequently give people a pass for bad behavior, so it takes a lot to land on my list. Evangelicals must demonstrate extreme hypocrisy that results in harming other people, like claiming to be an advocate for “life” but then clinging to policies that destroy other lives. Over the years, I’ve added the names of classmates, roommates, former friends, neighbors, pastors, TV Evangelists, and politicians. My list grew exponentially during the presidential campaign. I have become aware of so many people deserving of a spot on my list, that it’s become a form of entertainment for me to hear Evangelicals express support for the words and actions of Donald Trump while they chisel away at the commandments they hold so dear. I like awarding the “Anti-Christ of the Day” label to the Christian Evangelical who does the best job of making Jesus cry as they defend Donald Trump’s compulsive lying; his compulsive adultery; his coveting Putin’s KGB style of governing; and his ability to steal the peace from America’s collective soul.
This week I added Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, to my list of Christians Who Suck. In an interview with Politico about the seeming indifference of Evangelicals toward Donald Trump’s alleged affair with porn star, Stormy Daniels, he said, “We kind of gave him: ‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here.’” He went on to defend Donald Trump’s unconventional behavior as president, because Evangelicals “were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists. And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully.” When the reporter asked about the Christian concept of turning the other cheek, Perkins responded, “You know, you only have two cheeks. Look, Christianity is not all about being a welcome mat which people can just stomp their feet on.”
Has Tony Perkins ever read the New Testament? He clearly is clueless about the meaning of turning the other cheek and being Christ-like. Does he realize that his words probably make Jesus cry—because he doesn’t want Tony Perkins on Team Jesus and doesn’t quite know how to break it to him? Despite the fact that Jesus was clearly a social progressive in his day, Perkins seems to relish the idea of using the name of Jesus to destroy today’s social progressives who embrace the Golden Rule. Perkins has promised to continue being a cheerleader for Donald Trump as long as he continues promoting policies he likes. He will apparently support him, regardless of what Trump says or does, or who he hurts—as long as they’re liberals.
Any Evangelical who is still defending Donald Trump’s questionable words and actions because he knows how to bully people they don’t like and is willing to sign off on conservative policies (like the Religious Liberty executive order—which they translate to mean religious liberties for Christians only, because they don’t acknowledge any other religions) are definitely on my list of Christians Who Suck.
Because I strive to not be a hypocrite, I will admit that I am probably contributing to the significant snowfall Minnesota has been getting lately because I’ve been giving God additional reasons to cry. I’ve developed an intense hatred for Evangelicals who defend Donald Trump in the name of Jesus. The hatred sits in my heart like a stone that I justify carrying around because I don’t know how to let go of it. In the spirit of trying to be Christ-like, I am trying to let go by forgiving their ignorance and, hopefully, stop hating Trump-supporting Evangelicals. And I hope that you Trump-supporting Evangelicals reading this will also consider trying to look at the words and actions of Donald Trump through the eyes of God, instead of through the lens of your own agenda.
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© 2018 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
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