Jesus Is On the Ballot

by on August 27, 2020 · 4 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach

By Joni Halpern

You might have thought Donald J. Trump was on the ballot as the Republican candidate for President in the upcoming presidential election.  You would be wrong.

Mr. Trump does inhabit the physical presence of candidacy, and it is his name on the ballot.  But he is not running for President.  Jesus is.

Donald Trump plans to eke out an election victory by duct-taping his base to the notion that he is Jesus’ choice for President.  Apparently, there are some among the White Christian Right who believe Jesus wants the whole of America, regardless of the dictates of personal conscience, to fall into lockstep with Mr. Trump, to whom completely loyalty must be given, just as Jesus asked of his followers.

Of course, there are some big differences between the conduct of Mr. Trump and the conduct of Jesus:

Jesus believed in free will.  Coercion was not the instrument he promoted in building his relationship with mankind.  Each person’s dialogue with conscience was the cornerstone of that relationship.  Political and religious leaders might institute rules of intolerance, injustice, and exclusion, but a personal dialogue with God would inform individual decisions about what God expects of each of us.

The freedom to pursue the dictates of individual conscience are supposed to be protected in the U.S. Constitution, but little by little over the years, some adherents of Christianity have sought a union with government power that would allow them to commandeer personal conscience and force it to be expressed in ways that validate their particular religious beliefs.  It is not enough that they are free to choose or not choose their own path at moral intersections.  They want all of us to choose as they would.  In other words, personal conscience born of free will is out.  Under the regime promised by Mr. Trump, we will all be obligated to express conscience in ways approved by his base.

Mr. Trump cloaks his candidacy as a stand-in for Jesus.  Never mind that Jesus never bragged about being so famous he could touch women’s private parts whenever he wanted to.  Never mind that Jesus’ call to “suffer the little children to come unto me,” was not a prelude to incarcerating them in private prisons run by his corporate supporters.  Never mind that Jesus urged his listeners to care for one another, even if it meant expending resources and going out of one’s way to tend mercifully to the stranger who lay by the side of the road.

These are not Mr. Trump’s moral imperatives.  He wants us to leave the suffering strangers, close our doors, shutter our windows, poke our guns out of the cracks and warn everyone not to dare come one step closer.

Jesus was said to oppose “selling in the temple.”  But in the temple of our President, everything is for sale.  In fact, our White House has become quite the center of personal commerce and wealth creation for our President and his family.  He has enriched himself, his family, and his already-wealthy friends overtly and in many ways yet to be discovered.

Despite every evidence that he answers not to the Force of Goodness, whatever you conceive this to be, his White Christian Right base believes God anointed him as leader.

If Mr. Trump wins in November, he promises to feed more and more public school taxpayer dollars to religiously operated schools.  He promises to subjugate unions, especially teachers’ unions, but not law-enforcement unions.  He promises to be the scourge of anyone exercising freedom of expression or personal conscience by protesting peacefully in the public plazas and streets of our nation.  A Sermon on the Mount would be out of the question, unless it sings his praises as a Great Leader, the likes of whom has never been seen on the planet.  He promises to shut the nation’s door to every person who seeks refuge from violence, starvation and tyranny, except for the 2-A visa holders whom ICE quietly allows to pick our produce in the fields. Those who pray for an end to the pandemic will have to be satisfied with a cessation of testing, for that is the only way Mr. Trump can obtain a report saying there is no evidence of new cases.

How Mr. Trump became the stand-in for Jesus is a mystery.  Three wives, avaricious children, a business career making deals through treachery and lies, a viciously hostile campaign strategy that invokes the life of the most renowned peacemaker in history, and a presidency that has cost the lives of at least 175,000 people and probably more.  If that is an example of moral rectitude, we are all bound for heaven.

The White Christian Right thinks Mr. Trump occupies the seat of power with the hand of Jesus upon him.  In exchange for their support, he has promised to force us to set aside our personal conscience and free will.  We will all be made over in Mr. Trump’s image.  We will believe lies are good if they are useful,  greed is good if you are the one enriched, that the rest of the suffering world can go to hell if it means you keep an extra tax dollar in your pocket, that the military budget will never be big enough, and that the rich will always protect us if we keep on making them richer.

Once Mr. Trump is elected, we won’t need Jesus.  He wouldn’t be welcome where we’re going anyway.

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Katie August 27, 2020 at 1:25 pm

There will be deprogramming centers going 24/7 for a very long time for The Cult.

Real Christians are appalled at this perverse notion that Trump is a messiah.

The Cult are not true Christians. They are ChristoFascists.

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Avatar retired botanist August 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Boy, do I second that! I find it very surprising that more journalists in the large media outlets haven’t addressed this with more emphasis. We drill down on violations of the Hatch Act with great fervor (rightly so) but skim over the ASTOUNDING violations regarding the separation of church and state!
The most nauseating element (and that is saying something given all the other offensive elements within its company) of the 4-day RNC telethon/infomercial rant was the number of times God was woven into the spiel; even our right to bear arms is apparently God-given and not Constitution-derived!
I thought if I heard one more person telling me that God has spoken to Trump and Trump’s directives and actions come directly from ‘above’ I was going to find a bible and rip its pages out–not an easy quest in my library, which has copies of Lao Tzu, collected excerpts from the Koran, various Native American writings, and at least two publications of Richard Dawkins, among other philosophies.
One of my parents was Catholic, the other non-denominational sort of Christian. I spent my high school years in a Muslim country, and graduated from a small Jewish girl’s school in New York….so I am pretty grounded in comparative religion…:-)
I say: Dr. Dawkins! Where are you, we need you to come balance this out for us! Somewhere along the way we got badly lost in our pledge to recognize all religions, and keep church and state firmly in their separate corners!

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks August 29, 2020 at 12:08 pm

In every election nearly every candidate always brings up some comment about the Western Asia Arab religion at one point or another. They all do it no matter what party. The ‘wrapped in a flag carrying a bible’ is always shoved down the voters throats no matter how badly the candidate directly disobeys the teachings they are pontificating on in actual practice. The hypocrisy is deep, wide, and thick.

What is that bit about rich men and shoving camels through the eye of a needle? Or about the contradiction of ‘eye for an eye’ vs ‘turn the other cheek?’ Or that parts dealing with idolatry, or Mammon, or false prophets? Or feed the poor? Or ‘DO UNTO OTHERS’ and boy would I like to do unto some of those others to be honest about it. Trump speaking from his bully pulpit IN PUBLIC that he’d like to punch out people…really? I’d give him the chance and go a few rounds with him no problem if he’s such a tough guy. But then he’s a coward and we all know this about Trump (or those of us who can separate reality from fantasy).

Like retired botanist, I too have an interesting library on the dojo shelves but that is directly due to having had a Buddhist Priest as a grandfather and a birth mother who was raised by him (which you will read about in my book RB that you should be receiving in the mail shortly if Trump’s post office doesn’t lose it!), and a Japanese US-born stepmom also with alternative views on life and death and living in the here and now.

Reading this stuff from last week on the ‘convention’ made me want to puke to put it lightly. I couldn’t imagine having a tv and actually watching the robots move around and hearing their spoken words…the still photos were bad enough.

Eeeeuuuuuwwwww!

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar john September 12, 2020 at 12:30 pm

I have had bad experiences with churches ( skyline for example) who demand allegiance to Trump.

I would like to have some suggestions of where i can find a christian church that isn’t promoting Trump.
thanks in advance for suggestions

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