Immigration is a hot topic today. It was a major issue in the recent presidential election, and it remains front and center in the public psyche. The surprise election of Donald Trump is the inertia that keeps the discussion alive.
The public discourse reveals a country emotionally and philosophically divided over the issue of immigration. The public discourse suggests two polarized sides: one side wanting to wall out the world, and the other side wanting to open the flood gates indiscriminately to immigration.
Think about it, though: are those really the two sides to this issue? Does one side really want to wall out the world, shutting off the borders to everyone? Does the other side really want to open the borders wide to anyone and everyone without limits?
Those are rhetorical questions of course. Both sides are somewhere to the center of those two positions. As Christians, though, we don’t march to the beat of popular politics. We seek to follow Jesus and aim to usher in the kingdom of God – at least that should be our aim.
Immigration has been front and center in the presidential election. Much of the objection to Donald Trump has focused on his statements about immigration, like the famous wall that he claimed he will make Mexico pay for. Rhetoric makes for a good news buzz and can stir up strong emotions, but now the rhetoric is fading.
A little bit anyway.
Still, the fear of the immigrants and their families and friends in places like Aurora, Illinois, and other places where large immigrant populations exist is palpable. Those fears are fueled by the Trump campaign rhetoric, which the media played up.
Now that the rhetoric of the election is fading (hopefully), the real business of planning the future is begun. Trump’s actual plans are beginning to be learned (or beginning to be determined, if you are of the cynical kind), and it appears to be deviating from the rhetoric. As the dust settles, it makes sense to take a step back to consider the way forward. Continue reading “Immigration: Stepping Back and Looking Forward”→
We won the election, but, it’s no time to celebrate. We won, but we also lost our credibility in the process. We helped to vote into office a man that people almost universally dislike for his brash, harsh, insensitive comments. It is the first time in history that xenophobe, racist and misogynist are words used to describe the President of the United States.
I understand why it happened. Trump sought us out. He promised protection for our decaying religious freedoms. He listened to us and courted us. Hillary Clinton vowed to continue the course of this country down a road that we have dreaded, and Trump promised us he would stop that momentum.
Hillary vowed to work to change religious beliefs to conform to official government postures. She gave no inch to the unborn. She portrays a private and public persona, two faces that could not be trusted. She represented the entrenched political machine that has shown us no favors for decades.
I have so many mixed emotions and mixed thoughts following the election that appears to have established Donald Trump as the President elect of the United States of America. As an evangelical, I feel that we won; our voice was heard. But did we?
We elected a man that none of us can trust and most of us can’t stand. We hope that he has changed and is changing, but we don’t know that. There was a rumor that he made a profession of faith back in the spring, and that he is a new Christian, born again and now one of us.
Is that really true? We simply don’t know.
To be fair, we can all relate to the fact that new Christians often continue to struggle with open sin and sinful ways of thinking, acting and talking. When God gets a hold of someone, though, He begins to transform the mind and the heart and the fruit begins to show in the outward life.
I hope that is what has happened and is happening with Donald Trump.
When Trump first announced his presidential intentions, it seemed to me like a reality show stunt. It was like a distraction from “the real the thing”, the serious business of presidential primaries that will determine the only choices that we have next November.
Now that Trump, the reality show candidate, is increasingly likely to become Trump, the presidential candidate, I have been unsure how to put it in perspective. Trump, the caricature, seems to be Trump, the real deal. Even as he polarizes people who are already quite polarized, he gains in popularity and delegates to the convention where he will likely be the “popular” choice.
I do not need to recount the number of ways that Trump has failed to exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The stories are now legion. The examples of mocking a disabled man, or cheering while people are forcibly removed from his audience or statements about punching people in the face are played over and over on social media like a parade of “fail” videos.
Meanwhile, Trump is not just polarizing the haves and have-nots and the Democrats and Republicans; he is polarizing Republicans and Republicans. More importantly, and more significantly, to me, Trump is polarizing Christians, even those who call themselves Evangelical Christians.