“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6 ESV
This post will piss off some people, but here it goes.
I believe Donald Trump is a very smart man. No. Really. Very, very smart.
I also believe that he understands very well how to provoke people. He sees invisible buttons on people that can be pressed and cause visceral reactions in them that will help his presidential aspirations.
- Wall built by Mexico to keep Mexicans out? Check
- Ban all Muslims from entering the country? Check
- Own the Twittersphere? Check
- Get endorsed by God? Working on it.
Yesterday, Donald Trump addressed a group of “high-profile evangelicals ahead of speaking before a larger group of religious leaders at a gathering hosted by the Christian group, United in Purpose” according to a CNN report (http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/21/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-religion/).
In that meeting, he questioned Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s religious affiliations. He said,
“We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion. Now, she’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no — there’s nothing out there. There’s like nothing out there. It’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse, because with Obama you had your guard up. With Hillary you don’t, and it’s going to be worse.”
I actually find that humorously hypocritical coming from Trump, a man who has disparaged women, Muslims, Mexicans, and those less fortunate than himself.
Furthermore, if Jesus came back to earth right now I envision him walking around in a pair of blue jeans and wearing a t-shirt with some sandals. And I do not think he would be at Trump rally. Far from it. At least that isn’t the Jesus I have come to understand. To me Jesus wasn’t even religious. He was spiritual.
At the end of his initial meeting in this venue, Trump said something that really struck me as arrogant. He said,
“What you really have to do is pray to get everybody out to vote, for one specific person. And we can’t be — again — politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tube, selling Evangelicals down the tubes.”
You may question who that one specific person might be, but to me there is no doubt that Trump told people to pray that God puts him in the White House.
Of course he did, he’s a salesman. And hypocritical to me.
He is simply trying to buy the evangelical vote. Literally buying it. That’s what he does, because Trump seems to worship money and power.
And nothing could be more unChrist-like in my mind.
But it is amazing how many American politicians seek to gain a political endorsement from the Son of God.
Trump is a smart man. He knows that seeking the endorsement of God is essential to garnering a very faithful voting segment of the population. Many in our state have done it.
Take a visit to the website for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation – http://cpcfoundation.com/. That’s .COM. It’s commercially driven.
Now take a look at the North Carolina Caucus members – http://cpcfoundation.com/north-carolina-prayer-caucus-members/. See some familiar names?
- Governor Dan Forest
- Senator David Curtis, Co-Chair
- Senator Chad Barefoot
- Senator Joyce Krawiec
- Senator Buck Newton
- Senator Jerry Tillman
- Representative Rob Bryan
- Representative Paul Stam
These eight lawmakers abide by the CPCF’s Vision and Mission which state,
- Protect religious freedom, preserve America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and promote prayer.
- The CPCF will restore and promote America’s founding spirit and core principles related to faith and morality by equipping and mobilizing a national network of citizens, legislators, pastors, business owners and opinion leaders.
All in the name of religious freedom. Talk about your separation of church and state.
Look at that list again. I have written all of them before on issues in which I feel they were taking exclusionary and biased approaches that ultimately hurt people.
- Governor Dan Forest – http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2016/01/12/open-letter-from-teacher-takes-dan-forest-to-task-on-charter-schools/
- Senator David Curtis, Co-Chair – https://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/20/a-teacher-in-north-carolina/
- Senator Chad Barefoot – https://caffeinatedrage.com/2016/05/15/going-barefoot-when-you-need-wading-boots-or-legivangelism-101-an-open-letter-to-sen-chad-barefoot/
- Senator Joyce Krawiec – https://caffeinatedrage.com/2016/05/30/shame-on-apodaca-and-kraweic-the-farce-of-the-access-to-affordable-college-education-act/
- Senator Buck Newton – https://caffeinatedrage.com/2016/04/26/open-letter-to-sen-buck-newton-damn-straight/
- Senator Jerry Tillman – https://dianeravitch.net/2015/08/01/teacher-to-leading-republican-in-north-carolina-legislature-why-are-you-destroying-our-public-schools/
- Representative Rob Bryan – http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2015/08/12/frustrated-nc-teacher-pens-open-letter-to-lawmaker/
- Representative Paul Stam – http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2016/02/03/a-public-school-teachers-open-letter-to-state-rep-paul-stam/
Not a single one of them has ever written me back or even commented on what I had to say. Maybe they prayed for me. Maybe not. Certainly not out loud. Perhaps in a closet?
To me Jesus never hid behind a religious agenda. In fact, I see his confrontations with the Pharisees and the Sadducees as evidence that those who always claim to know the will of God might be the very people who need “go into their rooms and shut the door and pray to the Father who is in secret.”
Maybe they should not brag about it. Or use it as a political crutch. Or use it as a way to raise money.
Trump cannot really be a part of the CPCF – he is not a politician, but if he could he would because I think he wants that pipeline of “support” to become president. And he would get donations from that affiliation.
And from what I have seen from the latest news reports, Trump needs a lot of donations.