Thu | Jan 21, 2021

Michael Abrahams | Hypocrisy of Christian Trump supporters

Published:Monday | November 23, 2020 | 12:07 AM
In this Friday, November 20, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump listens during an event in the briefing room of the White House in Washington.
In this Friday, November 20, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump listens during an event in the briefing room of the White House in Washington.

Christians in my inner circle of friends are some of the most loving and beautiful people I know. We do not share the same religious beliefs, but I respect and admire them greatly. I was a Christian in my youth, so I understand their belief that being a Christian means accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour and doing their best to follow his lead. It is therefore not surprising to me that my Christian friends do not support Donald Trump.

What I find interesting, and disturbing, are Christians who support Trump. If a Christian is a Republican, I can understand that. If a Christian is conservative, I get that, too. But for someone who identifies as a Christian to stand firmly and solidly behind an individual as warped as Trump and favour him as a leader is, in my opinion, the height of hypocrisy.

This goes beyond political ideology. It is about basic human decency and integrity. You can be a Republican and support the party and its policies but reject its leader. For example, political strategist Ana Navarro, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former President George W. Bush, and Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, are all Republicans, but reject Donald Trump.

But white evangelical support for Trump remains very high. The AP VoteCast survey showed that 81 per cent of white evangelical Protestant voters went for Trump this year, while the Edison exit polls estimated that 76 per cent of white evangelicals voted for him. And it is not just white folks. Several black Christians in America, and Jamaica as well, have publicly stated their support for him. Pastor Al Miller wrote that he prayed for Trump to get a second term, and former news anchor-turned-pastor and ‘apostle’ Racquel Jones described the last election as a battle of “good versus evil,” with Trump representing the “good”.

REASONS FOR SUPPORT

Christian Trump supporters will tell you that the reasons for supporting him include issues such as LGBT rights, abortion and support for the state of Israel. Interestingly, Jesus never spoke about same-sex relationships or women interfering with their pregnancies, even though homosexuality was very much around during his lifetime, and abortions were documented more than 1,000 years before he appeared on the planet.

On the other hand, there are many things Jesus spoke of, and Trump is the antithesis of everything the central figure of Christianity stood for. Jesus said you should love others as yourself and even love your enemies, but Trump is vitriolic to not only his foes, but to anyone who dares to oppose, disagree with, or contradict him. Jesus gave instructions to “turn the other cheek,” but Trump is constantly on the attack. Jesus was big on forgiveness, but Trump is vengeful and vindictive. Jesus warned against judging others, but Trump is extremely judgemental. Jesus frowned on lust and adultery, while Trump’s numerous adulterous liaisons are well known, as is his comment about grabbing women’s genitalia. Jesus recommended selling your possessions and giving the money to the poor, but Trump was ordered by a court to pay $2 million to eight charities after he admitted to using his charity to bolster his campaign and settle business debts. Jesus said you should “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”, but Trump refuses to release his tax returns, and it was recently revealed that he paid a mere $750 in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018.

Christians who support Trump will tell you that God sometimes used flawed men to do his work, often citing David as an example. David impregnated a married woman and set up her husband to be killed in battle, and later became a great leader. But here’s the thing: David was repentant for what he had done and changed course. Trump, on the other hand, is arrogantly unrepentant. Many Christians will tell you that the Bible refers to homosexuality as an “abomination”. But the Bible also refers to lying and “lying lips” as an abomination, and Trump’s lies are off the chart. According to The Fact Checker’s database, Trump is averaging more than 50 false or misleading claims a day. Many anti-abortion Christians who refer to themselves as “pro-lifers” support Trump.

But how can you be truly pro-life when you support a leader who was advised extensively on how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic but ignored the advice, lied to the populace about the potential severity of the disease, publicly stated that he would not wear a mask, and openly mocked people who wear masks and practice social distancing? How can someone be pro-life and support a man who put his own people in harm’s way?

America has four per cent of the world’s population, but 22 per cent of COVID-19 cases and 19 per cent of all deaths. How can you be pro-life and stand behind someone whose callousness and ineptitude allows this to happen under his watch?

If you call yourself a Christian and you support Donald Trump, you likely do not understand what Christianity really is. If you do understand, and still support him, you are a hypocrite.

Michael Abrahams is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, social commentator, and human-rights advocate. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and michabe_1999@hotmail.com, or tweet @mikeyabrahams.