SEVENTY-SEVEN

POLITICAL POST AHEAD.   I've got quite a few friends on my facebook feed who will read that one short sentence and bail out.  They are tired of all the politics on facebook.  I can respect the fact that they know what they can and cannot endure.  I support people being self-aware and recognizing when they've reached their limit.  However, I think that checking out of the political process can be dangerous.  Some of my younger FB friends have the response to all the political craziness saying, "This is all ridiculous and I don't care."  It worries me.  We need to care.  We need to pay attention and be involved.  

Many of my believing friends post things like, "I'm not gonna worry.  God is in control!"  or  "At the end of the day, it is all in Jesus' hands!"  And I understand the spiritual concept behind these statements - that there is Someone beyond all of us who is never suprised by whatever happens next.  Yet, it is a kind of copout.  The idea that a fair chunk of society simply looks into the horrible cesspol of American politics, not just on the Presidential level, but even at the local level and says, "Well, this isn't my real home.  My real home is heaven.  I'm just passing through!  I don't need to worry about what happens here."  That's sort of an elitist view when you really think about it -- "Peace out, losers!  I'm gonna be living in paradise forever!  Good luck on earth folks!"  

I remember being really interested in politics at a young age. I talked about joining the Model UN, and my youth leaders shook their heads - "That's kind of a LIBERAL organization, isn't it?"  I got the message pretty quick - Christians don't get involved in politics.  We don't participate.  We don't campaign, and sometimes we don't even vote. But no worries - God is in control!

And then this morning in church, I had the craziest thought.  What if Donald Trump became a believer.  What if tonight or last night, he became "born again" -- I mean for real -- not just for politics.  So many of my FB friends talk about how great it would be to have a real person of faith in office.  Wouldn't it be great?  So what if that person were Donald Trump?  What would it change?  

Would it suddently grant him wisdom and maturity to handle complex world problems?  Would he suddenly gain decades of experience in negotitations and foreign relations?  Would his attitude toward woman and sex instantaly shift?  Would he suddenly develop new patterns of behavior as a leader and a manager?  Would his attitude toward minorities and immigrants change?  Would his history of being unwilling to learn or behave with humility be transformed into a quiet, calm and observant spirit?

If Trump got saved, what would change?  There is no guarentee that any outword changes would take place.  The Bible teaches that God works from the inside out and that although our outward behavior is a manifestation of an inward change -- it is not a requirement.  Our love for Christ should cause us to begin to live in ways that make us like Him, but this does not save us -- only our belief in Him does.  So it is entirely possible that a born again Trump would be exactlly like the Trump before us now.  

It is a mind-altering thought.  

I've no idea if Trump is a believer or not -- that isn't something that I can use to measure him.  That is something that lives inside his heart.  I can only measure him in the political realm -- as that is the job is applying for -- in fact i'm the one running this job interview because he wants to work for me.  He waltzed into the interview declaring proudly that he "was totally new to this, and hadn't even thought about politics until a few months ago" (a lie, he tried to run four years ago, but never mind).  He made outlandish statements - praising dictators and insulting veterans.  He spoke to women disrespectfully, and of them disrespectfully - and I'm not talking about ten or fifteen years ago (although he did that too), but now.  He made fun of the disabled and refuses to give any detailed information about how he is going to accomplish the goals he boldly says he will meet.  Can you imagine going into an interview and saying, "Listen, I'm gonna fix that problem you have with those orders not getting filled properly.  I've looked into it.  And trust me, it will be fixed and you will be very happy."  

"That is fantastic, Mr. Trump.  I am so pleased.  How do you plan to do that?"
 
"It doesn't matter.  I'm going to do it.  And you know what, I will get those other companies to pay for it too.  You see.  I will do it.  You will be very happy.  You are gonna be so happy."

You would immediately toss that application into the trash.  There is no way he'd be a finalist ready for a second interview.  Yet, we brush his behavior aside again and again and again.  It was fifteen years ago.  The media is out to get him.  We are playing into the hands of the corrupt media.  

When a presidential candidate is "drunk" tweeting at 2 a.m., the problem isn't the media.  The problem is someone who has some pretty serious issues regarding self-control and pride.  I don't care if he has a plan to tripple teacher's salaries -- he isn't the man for the job.  He isn't.  And if your arguement is that he more closely aligns with Christian values than Hilary - you are wrong.

You could take a recording of my husband from ten years ago, ten minutes ago or ten seconds ago and he would NEVER be speaking of woman in that way.  Never.  The same is absolutely true of my father.  That isn't aceptable or normal behavior.  It isn't lockeroom talk.  And for those who write it off as a "long time ago", I would agree with you if he were a twenty year old kid making a stupid mistake a decade ago, but he was FIFTY-NINE years old when he had that conversation FIFTY-NINE -- that's not an abberition -- that's a lifestyle.  

Which of course, leads me to the elelphant in the room: But Hillary Clinton is the Devil.  Which, by the way, was acutal text I got from an actual human.  But I am not talking about Hillary Clinton here, I am talking about Donald J. Trump, Presidential candidate.  Of course an election is an either/or on election day, but right now it is my job to look into the character of those who are running and ask myself a simple question -- is this person fit to run my country?  No.  1,000,000  times no.  He has no evidence of being a successful businessman, and a history of inappropriate behavior which is followed by lawsuits, and payouts.  He has a history of angry, mocking and disrespectful tweets .  I know because I follow him on Twitter.  These aren't rumors put out by the "biased media".  These are observable fact - from court records to social media feeds.

Donald J. Trump becoming a believer wouldn't change his fitness for the office of the President because this isn't a spiritual leadership position.  He isn't running for deacon or to become head usher for the late service.  He is running for a political position, and when you remove the overlay of faith that GOP became obssessed with in the 80s, recognizing that a giant chunk of the population would vote for whoever they saw going to church each sunday, and just examine him under the bare light of experience, readiess, and leadership qualities, there is nothing there.  American is not a Chrisitan nation.  It is a repulic that is in desperate need of its citizens to consider things thoughtfully and logicaly.  We need to vote with our minds, and leave our hearts to loving our neighbors and our God.

--Jen