“Christians are ‘called to resist’ Trump.” So read the headline accompanying a polemic authored by Rev. Dr. David Gushee, Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia.
It was published this past week by Religion News Service, which provides left-of-center religious news and commentary to more than 100 media outlets, including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post.
The “call” to which Gushee referred is a statement (which he helped draft) that was released last month by “a multiracial group of Christian ministers and scholars.”
The group condemns Donald Trump, they say, because the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee “promotes racial and religious bigotry, disrespects the dignity of women, harms civil public discourse, offends moral decency, and seeks to manipulate religion.”
The Trump “phenomenon,” as Gushee put it, “challenges Christians at a core moral level.” And nothing less than “faithfulness to Jesus is at stake in how American Christians respond.”
Indeed, wrote Gushee, there were “two particular moments in 20th-century history in which groups of Christians made major statements claiming that the very purity of the faith was at stake and that a failure to resist represented a failure to follow Jesus.”
Those two instances, according to the Mercer theologian, “were Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa.”
This is the narrative Gushee and his friends on the religious Left are promulgating about Candidate Trump – that if he is elected president, the United States will transmogrify into Germany under Adolf Hitler, or South Africa under Daniel François Malan (on whose watch apartheid was instituted).
So, suggests Gushee, those of us who count ourselves Christ followers must resist Trump – which, presumably, means we should cast votes for Hillary Clinton in November).
In fact, in previous of Gushee’s writings, the theologian-turned-political activist has exalted the presumed Democratic presidential nominee like she’s but one notch below the Virgin Mary.
As he sees it, “Hillary’s mainline Christian faith” is “about love and service, not judgment,” in contrast to “the conservative evangelicalism mainly being offered by the Republicans.”
And here’s what you won’t hear from Madam Clinton, Gushee wrote, approvingly: “Nothing about America as a Christian nation or America’s Christian heritage. Nothing about defending Christians or protecting Christianity or religious liberty. Nothing about rolling back gay rights or abortion. Nothing about America’s dangerous slide into secularism. Nothing that involves attacking people of other faiths or saying we need to keep them out.”
Well, who wants a president who refuses to acknowledge America’s Christian heritage? Who won’t stand up for religious liberty? Who dismisses the Apostle Paul’s warning that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Who is sanguine about the yearly slaughter of the unborn? Who prefers that America be a strictly secular state, rather than one nation under God? Who refuses to recognize that radical Islamists pose a clear and present danger to the American people?
That’s the kind of president the Rev. Dr. David Gushee and his friends on the religious Left desperately want.
But for those of us on the Christian right, who do not share the decidedly unBiblical worldview of Gushee and like-minded ministers and scholars, we find Donald Trump the more palatable choice.