I sat down at my computer this morning to write my column but immediately shelved my chosen topic when I read a tweet that made me see red – again. My anger was very quickly overtaken by a deep sorrow.
Early Wednesday, August 21st, in a tweet inspired by the praise of conservative talk show host Wayne Allyn Root, Donald Trump said the following:
"President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world ... and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he's the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God. But American Jews don't know him or like him. They don't even know what they're doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that's OK, if he keeps doing what he's doing, he's good for all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he's good for everyone in America who wants a job."
This is not the first time Trump has been favorably – and blasphemously – likened to Jesus Christ. I am totally baffled and disgusted by Trump’s tweet, saddened and disappointed that all Christians don’t recognize the sacrilege in the messiah complex before us.
First of all, the obvious: no human being on this earth or in the Kingdom of Heaven is like Jesus Christ. Christ’s very nature as God and man precludes such a claim. Someone who likens Donald Trump or anyone else to Jesus Christ is woefully misguided and straying into idolatry forbidden by the first commandment: “I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.” Equating oneself with Christ is expressly forbidden, which brings me to my second point. A healthy person does not claim to be like the “second coming of God.”
I am concerned for our nation. I am concerned for President Trump. The oddity unfolding before us is not normal. It is not normal to think of oneself as a powerful deity or as “good for everyone in America.” Offering to buy Greenland and then vengefully cancelling a visit to Denmark when Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen denied the sale is not normal, nor is tweeting nonsense, referring to oneself in the third person, insulting public figures on the world stage, courting dictators, or believing oneself to be above all others. It is unacceptable and alarming for an American President to single out “American Jews” who “don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore.” Health professionals and others in the public forum have voiced concern for the President’s well-being, yet nobody in the Republican inner circle has the guts to step forward and take action to help him.
To apply Donald Trump’s own phrase (used in reference to gun control), the Trump presidency is a “slippery slope.” Christians who worship our 45th president and accept his claim to be akin to the King of Israel are navigating that “slippery slope” while those who question this administration are flailing around desperately trying to avoid it.
I am baffled and disgusted by all of this, but most of all, I am saddened. I want my President to acknowledge the frailty inherent in the human condition and to revere the Lord and work to manifest His goodness in our world. I want Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to join together and be led by an individual who believes we are equal, one nation under God. Admittedly, this is a tall order. I am deeply troubled and saddened that Donald Trump does not seem fit for the challenge.