Saturday, January 13, 2018

Presidential Language

Every time President Trump says something offensive or outrageous or so, so wrong, I wrestle with whether or not to say anything.  Thursday's comment about immigration and who we admit and who we don't--and the profanity about some of the nations--well, I just don't know what to say.  Actually, I have a lot to say, but I'm not sure it's wise.

So, let me say a few things.

Let me remember that Donald Trump is a child of God, just like the rest of us.  God loves him as much as God loves any of us.

Donald Trump comes from a different religious tradition than I do.  My religious tradition teaches about compassion for the people fleeing from oppression.  Donald Trump seems not to have had that training, not from his religion, not from his friends, not from any world experience.  When I think about how dangerous wealth can be, it's because it protects someone like Donald Trump from hearing the stories of refugees, first hand, just before those refugees have to flee because the INS authorities are closing in on your Lutheran Student Movement conference.

Let me remember that God has such a different vision of what our world can be.  I've caught a glimpse of it, and I'm pretty sure that God's vision doesn't match Donald Trump's vision.

Let me remember that God chooses to come to humanity in various backwater places (to use a kinder phrase than the one that Donald Trump uses).  People of Christ's time probably had similar opinions about Nazareth as some of us do about Haiti--what good can come from there?

God shows us again and again that great things can rise from the trash heaps and dung piles.  God shows us again and again that the rulers of the empire may have no clue.  History shows us that too.

Still, our language shapes our reality, and it is hard not to despair.  But let me remember that I can only control what I control.  Let me commit myself to precise language that heals, not that sows division.

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