by: Marceline Donaldson
The experience of having seen and heard Mitt Romney lay out in all its rawness, his reasons for voting to convict Donald Trump was amazing, confirming and an experience I shall never forgot and one for which I give thanks.
In doing so, Romney gave all of us a pattern for how our particular religious practice, our faith, our politics could go together.
We live in a country founded on the separation of religion and politics. In spite of that, we have the religious right demanding that their religious beliefs be the foundation which creates the policies on which this country continues to exist. How do we reconcile all of this? How can you live without your religion when it claims to be all consuming and the basis on which you live, breathe and from which comes all of your life decisions and function in a country which attempts to keep religion and politics separate!
Mitt Romney and Nancy Pelosi have given us one way to walk being able to live our religion with dignity, respect and honesty and function in these United States. In addition, Mitt Romney has opened the door for the acceptance in these United States of all religious beliefs. Who would have thought that would be done by a Mormon. A fairly “new” religion and one still being pushed aside; its believers and belief system ridiculed; and its adherents not often accepted by the rest of the country.
My study of theology over the years gave me an image of Donald Trump and his religious belief system which is clear, unequivocal and straight out of scripture. You have, no doubt, read what other writers in this publication have written as they outlined this belief system and tracked Trump’s walk through it with some clarity and quotes from Scripture.
There is a story in the Christian bible which is incredibly parallel to the walk Donald Trump is taking through his life. It apparently started when he was a young man and has become stronger over the years as he has walked this path with all of its trappings to get to his current post. That is the story of Satan tempting Jesus on the mountain top and offering Jesus all the beauty and power of this world if he will bow down and worship Satan. Jesus refuses and we move on from there.
Looking at Trump’s life you get a clear picture of what would have happened if Jesus had accepted Satan’s offer. Trump is only one of many men who have come along and said – “Let me replace Jesus, I will bow down and worship you Satan and I will do your bidding throughout eternity. Give me the power Jesus rejected.” We have seen and read about the life these men led and their “achievements” along with the power they sought after, grabbed for and finally had to relinquish at the end.
Yesterday, when I was at a very low point, sitting aimlessly in front of the television, there was Mitt Romney saying- my God and my faith are the center of my life and from that comes the decisions by which I live. Those are not his exact words, but that is the meaning of his preface as to why he was voting to convict Donald Trump.
After that short speech by Romney came another one on television by Donald Trump, who said “I do not believe in anything this Jesus – the Christ – person has said, nor do I nor will I live my life making decision that go along with His Gospel – how ridiculous. I will make decisions that go along with my belief and my dedication to the worship of Satan which I have cultivated throughout my life. Given that, I will retaliate in the worst way possible against all of those who did not, do not, will not do my bidding. I will attempt to destroy their quality of life and where possible the very lives of those who do not do my bidding. I will get others to “take them out”. They are horrible people. They are people who have blocked my ability to do Satan’s will and live the life Satan has required of me so I will have absolute power on this earth.
Those are not Trump’s exact words, but they are the meaning of what he said. He clearly abrogated the very core of what it means to be a Christian, to follow, to live into and to attempt to walk the path Jesus – the Christ – laid out for all Christians. He very clearly, loudly and in some detail said to everyone at that National Prayer Breakfast that he was not a follower of Jesus – the Christ; he did not believe in Holy Scripture; he would not live his life following the dictates of what – up to that point – he had called his religion. This weak and out-of-date belief system entraps those tending towards the same power grab that is sending many politicians into the arms of Trump and so into the arms of Satan. Christianity is not going to ‘entrap’ Satan – a few thousand years of experience shows that. It is also not going to entrap Trump he is now far beyond its grasp.
Trump has been able to move many others off the path of Christianity and helped them find the path Satan carved out for him and for those who would follow him. At the same time, in another setting, I watched Trump, still on television, bringing before the cameras, commending and raising up for all of watching, many of those he has been able to corrupt. Or rather, he gave us another lesson on how to recognize and bring into your ‘group’ those already corrupt to combine together to do Trump’s bidding. One such person received a sustained standing ovation when his name was called. The whole scene made you want to vomit.
Those are the people I was struggling trying to understand before this extravaganza happened. It was as though God said – turn on your television I am going to show you the answer to your prayers and relieve your consternation over what is happening in your world. And on came Trump and Company celebrating their “victory”.
God didn’t actually sit next to me and say that. This is my interpretation of what I heard and learned from the unveilings of the past few days.
Donald Trump has, in the past, walked up to the line of destroying Christ for many, but in his talk at the Prayer Breakfast he crossed it and was very clear that he is not Christian, never has been and finds Jesus and his teachings the extreme opposite of who he is and what he is about. That makes me wonder about the White Evangelical Christians who almost rabidly support Trump and all he is about. Donald Trump has been very clear about his belief system, how he lives his life, what he is going to do moving into the future and what he expects from his supporters.
It does not take much to realize what he is planning for those who don’t get in line, join the “team” and follow him.
It was amazing to me that all of this was revealed so quickly and in the context of a National Prayer Breakfast. I heard in my head a little ditty which many repeat – “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times – wow, am I that morally corrupt?:”
So many people have told me over the years – when someone tells you who they are; what they believe; where they are going; and how they are going to treat you if you don’t behave in a certain way- believe them and make your decisions in life including that knowing instead of a hope and a wish that they were otherwise, were going to magically learn lessons which would allow them to be otherwise and better than they seem.
Thank you Senator Romney! I too try live my life by my faith in God and my belief in God’s promises. Lots of people I know live the same way. I just happen to be Episcopalian. My friends, who live the same way, are a gathering of people from Catholic, Baptist, Hindu, Muslim, and many more denominations/religious belief systems. I saw when you were Governor of Massachusetts that out of your belief system came the health care system that we now enjoy in Massachusetts and beyond. Out of the lives of many of my friends have come some amazing achievements – not grand and glorious which the world celebrates, but quiet and necessary and with large contributions to the lives of those around them.
Thank you Nancy Pelosi! As an African American/New Orleans Creole woman my life has been a continuum of one oppression received from this society after another. Not one day passes that I do not have to deal with racism or sexism or a combination of the two. And when those hits come I also have to deal with the denial of that experience by the rest of the world, even at times from my own family. And I know and have seen I am not alone in those experiences – many are forced by others to go through those horrors for reasons they don’t even seem to know or want to know, but which they put out there and demand that many go through so they can keep their identity as ‘better than’ whether that identity has served them for good or for ill.
In the process, I have learned to keep on keeping on and maybe help someone else to do the same. Trying to help someone climb over a particularly large stone they were having a difficult time getting over or getting around. Watching you on a national scale has been one a truly wonderful gift. May you continue and move from great to true greatness as you do your job on a daily basis.
My experience has been – there is nothing in this world stronger than prayer. The miracles I have seen coming from people joining their prayers together have been earth changing. May you continue to find strength in your faith to do what you needs to be done, standing in your own light, without need for the approval of those around you.
Satan is still looking for those to do his bidding who will fall down and worship him. Donald Trump needs to look at the example of those who did just that and how the end of their lives came exposing their evil and sin to the world as they went out in a blaze of horror, filth, agony and huge regrets never able to see the beauty which comes from the love of God and from those around seeing who they really are and caring for them in spite of their failings.
Trump is clear, that is not his way. He showed that for all to see when he walked away from a mentor who spent much of himself and his resources and fortune helping to educate and move Trump to the place he now holds – even moving him and his business from Queens to New York without which help none of what Trump has done would have been possible. When Roy Cohn became ill and in need at the end of his life, the person to whom he had given much and who very greedily accepted everything given to him assuming he could always go back for more and did while giving nothing back in return walked away from him, turned his back on this ‘friend’ and attended his funeral only briefly standing in the back for just a minute before beating a quick retreat out of there.
Throughout life you have to make life affirming, life changing or life destroying choices at many points. I hope the choices which those reading this make will be for good, for love, for kindness, for caring, to help relieve the suffering of others, realizing the humanity -the fragility – the tendency to fall and fail we all share and experience at different times of life is what joins us together.
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