Can you claim to be a Christian and also plan to vote for Donald Trump? Sure. It’s a free country; if you want to call yourself a dog and bark to communicate, you can do that if you wish. It all depends on how accurate you perceive yourself as being. In other words, the real question is, can you rightly claim to be a Christian and also plan to vote for Donald Trump. To that question, the answer is a resounding “no.” And this isn’t me saying this. As you’ll see, it’s Jesus saying it.
This is one of the worst aspects of today’s GOP. They insist they’re better Christians than everyone else, despite the fact that proclaiming one’s self a “better Christian” is, in and of itself, a violation of Christ’s teaching. Given that one of his main lessons had to do with humility, well, you can see the irony in calling yourself a “better Christian” than anyone. Although, these are Republicans; they can’t see much.
It is just a fact that the Republicans’ current ideology seems ignorant of what Jesus actually tried to teach them. That’s not hyperbole. I base that on what their own Bible actually teaches. The best example comes with how Trump and his Republican Party treat the poor. Here are some examples of what Jesus Christ said about the poor, including how he thought the poor should be treated.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Luke 4:16-19 )
That’s pretty cut-and-dried. Christ came here to encourage his followers to help the poor, the oppressed and those who are sick or disabled. He even made doing such things a requisite for getting into the Heaven that so many Christians claim they believe in. Why would Republicans think Jesus would be cool with cutting welfare and SNAP/Food Stamps and repeatedly voting to kill Medicare and the ACA? How do you think he would feel to know that the GOP in a number of states have thus far refused to grant the poor access to the Medicaid they’ve paid for with their own tax money?
If you read the above, which is directly from that Bible they all demand that everyone worship, what makes Donald Trump and his Republican Party think that Jesus would be happy that they cut off the unemployment insurance for millions and that they refuse to even discuss raising the minimum wage, claiming that it’s too much of a burden on business owners? It would seem that doing all that would go against Jesus’ stated purpose for coming down here, to begin with. And who are we supposed to believe when it comes to telling you what Jesus wanted from his followers? Jesus himself, according to the Bible, or Trump and a bunch of rich supporters who seem perfectly happy screwing the poor every chance they get? Why would any Republican think Jesus would give them the benefit of the doubt?
Trump and many other Republicans apparently believe that Jesus wanted the rich to become even richer. There is even a Republican “gospel” that has popped up in recent years, called the “gospel of prosperity.” Evangelicals are voting for Donald Trump en masse, despite the fact that Trump’s actions go against everything Jesus taught. Read these:
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. (Mark 10:21-22)
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)
There is no way the Trump agenda, which clearly favors the extremely rich, and puts down the poor as lazy bums, comports with Jesus’ requirement that his followers give up everything and dedicate themselves to helping the poor. And let’s be clear; Trump’s campaign is Republican orthodoxy. Oh, sure, they can claim that he’s more crude and rude, but really, what has he said that Republicans haven’t been saying repeatedly for a couple of decades, at least? Can you imagine a modern-day Republican giving up everything? Can you imagine the Party giving up the money that the Kochs, Adelson and other rich Republicans throw at them, to gain a better chance to get into Heaven?
Yeah, I can’t imagine it, either. And it’s because the GOP is not interested in the afterlife, or Heaven. They only care about gaining and maintaining power and preventing Democrats from doing anything for the American people. Look at how modern-day Republicans deal with money and taxes. The rich usually get all the tax breaks. Not only that, but the GOP treats taxes paid by working people as far less important as those paid by the rich. Why do you think Republicans only cut rates on income taxes, corporate taxes and estate taxes? They never recommend reductions in payroll taxes, which are the only taxes the rich don’t pay. Yje last time they approved a permanent extension to the Research and Development tax credit, which only large corporations benefit from, they also killed an extension of unemployment benefits, which workers pay but rich people don’t.
In the above, Jesus clearly said that a poor person giving a small amount to support the poor has done more than the billionaire who gives millions of dollars. Yet, we now have a “Christian” Republican Party that has not only nominated someone who lives as if he’s thumbing his nose at Christ, but they also advocates for a “flat tax,” which is based on the proposition that a 20% tax paid by a CEO who makes $20 million per year is pretty much the same as a 20% tax paid by a family trying to get by on $50,000 per year, even though the former has $16 million to learn to live on, while the latter has $40,000. Of course, we all know that the $20 million family will shelter most of their income and will never pay that much, anyway.
And what about this one?
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. (Luke 16:19-25)
First of all, if you have seen Trump’s home, he IS the “rich man” in the story. However, in the Bible that so many Trump voters claim to have read and believe in so absolutely, Jesus said people like Trump are in for a world of hurt when they meet their demise. It’s not hard to assume that voters who hold Trump up as a stellar example of what they hold dear are probably facing the same fate. Again, this is Jesus saying this, not me. And it’s not just Trump; the entire Republican, when they hold office, favor the very rich. Worse, they actually help the rich make the poor even poorer.
And what part of the following reminds you of Trump and the modern-day Republican Party?
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:34-36)
And when I say it reminds you, I am being ironic. This is what a good Christian is supposed to do to get to Heaven, and Trump and the Republican trickle all over that model. Besides cutting wages and services to the poor, they also gut environmental regulations, and they give the poor people of Flint poisoned water to drink. And, given the fervor with which Republicans pass mandatory sentencing and three strikes laws, it’s hard to imagine a modern-day Republican visiting a prisoner, except perhaps one of their own.
When you look at the requirements Jesus Christ set up for his followers according to the Bible Republicans claim to have read, it’s difficult to imagine that Jesus would consider the modern-day GOP “the party of Jesus.” In fact, given their tendency to do almost the opposite of what Jesus supposedly instructed of his followers, they may want to be careful when they condemn others for doing things they don’t like.