It’s weird to me. Listening to many of my Christian brothers and sisters talk about Islam. How it’s violent. How it’s backward on civil rights, including how it treats women.
How it hates us.
Just pondering and having these thoughts:
The Christians from Europe came to this country, took the land from the natives, and slaughtered them in the process.
Christian crusaders, for hundreds of years, in the name of Jesus, went to slaughter Muslims in the Holy Land.
Christians advocated for slavery in this country.
The Apostle Paul talked about how women shouldn’t be allowed to speak in church. Men only.
There are always radical extremists in any religion.
The issue is each individual’s human heart, not which religion one is part of.
There are many other sad facts about the very tarnished history of Christianity with respect to violence and civil rights. Having said that, great Christians have risen, informed by the teachings of Jesus, to ameliorate hatred and violence.
I could see why my Christian friends don’t like to talk about Christianity’s history. It’s hard. It’s humbling.
It’s always easier to blame someone else.
There is no doubt that there are extreme/radical Muslims today. Most of them are murdering other Muslims, as Christians did for hundreds of years in Europe.
Christianity is around 600 years older than Islam so my guess is that, in time, those radical Muslims will mellow out the way the Christian radicals did.
“Trump supporters, talk your Christianese, thump your Bibles, say your prayers, but not sure at all you’re a brother or sister of mine.”
I posted that message on Facebook. Twice. And many commented and sent me direct messages and texts.
How could I be so judgmental?
How could I be so mean?
How could I be so divisive?
I’ve spent my life studying the teachings of Jesus, formally and informally. And undergraduate and graduate degrees in ethics and the philosophy or religion.
Jesus, the founder of Christianity, spent his life building bridges, not walls. He built bridges with women and foreigners and traitors. And he made a career of spending his time with “losers” of his day. His message was considered beyond radical. So counter cultural was his bridge building message that the big wall builders of the day despised him.
They called him a liberal.
And he got killed for it.
If I would have been more thorough in my Facebook posts, I would have asked people how they could support Trump over the otherChristian Republicans. I would have said, “If you claim to be so Christian, how can you support Trump, given his (in word only) faith, over the proven faith of Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or John Kasich or Ben Carson or Chris Christy?”
Because to be Christan means to follow the teachings of Christianity. It means to do everything you can to spread Jesus’ values: caring for outcasts, looking out for the “losers” of the day, and, yes, building bridges.
Trump’s never done that.
Women? “You have to treat ’em like shit.” (New York magazine, November 1992)
Jesus empowered women.
Muslims? “They’re not coming to this country if I’m president.” (Republican debate, December 2015)
Jesus even welcomed pagan Romans who were occupying the land of God’s holy people.
I could go on and on.
The point of my posts about how Trump supporters are not brothers or sisters of mine is this.
GIVEN THE THE OTHER REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES WHO ARE DEVOUTLY CHRISTIAN, PEACEFUL (MORAL, ETHICAL, BRIDGE BUILDERS, TRADITIONAL VALUES) WHAT KIND OF CHRISTIANITY DO YOU HAVE THAT WOULD CHOSE SOMEONE LIKE DONALD TRUMP, OVER THEM?
A few weeks go by. Then, to my astonishment, no other than Pope Francis, essentially, echos my message.
He called into question Trump’s faith.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian…This man is not a Christian if he says things like that.”
I’m proud to say that my thinking was in line with one of my spiritual heroes.
And if you’re going to blast me for being judgmental, I hope you’re prepared to blast Pope Francis also.