Why THIS Trump supporter is NOT a racist homophobic bigot.
(An open letter to John Pavlovitz.)
I’m willing to bet there may well be a lot more people who know of John Pavlovitz than know of me. And that’s alright. He has spent a lot of time cultivating an audience. I’ve not had the luxury of the time in the last year to do that. My wife was waiting patiently for some home improvements after a fairly recent purchase of a new home and so my blogging was a little neglected. Alas. The things we do for love.
But I recently became aware of an article this guy published on his web site and it irked me. It seriously irked me – enough that I took a break from playing home improvement to respond (or perhaps, react) a little here.
You might want to read the article to catch the wind that blows through this guy’s sails. But essentially, his rant is about all the Christians who are very un-Christlike and hypocritical for how they support Donald Trump vs. how they didn’t support Obama, for a litany of reasons.
He writes with the typical feel of the “liberal-left” Christian camp: if you are anti-immigrant, it’s because you’re racist. If you’re anti “gay-marriage” (talk about an oxymoron from a biblical perspective) it’s because you hate gays. That kind of liberal-left “Christianity.” (I just don’t get how some people read the same bible as I do and come to such different conclusions about what it means to be a Christian and what it looks like to live like one.)
But it just feels like it’s time to “rant back” a little. And I decided that the best way to express how I feel here as an open letter to John Pavlovitz. You can track along. I think you’ll catch the feel pretty quick.
(I love that line.) Anyway, dear John, you don’t know me. I’m a guy who supported Trump vigorously for president when he ran. And I still do, now that he is in office.
And I can imagine, based on what you penned in that article, that you would peg me as the typical racist, homophobic far-right bigot who cloaks my prejudices in “Christianese” to try to justify my hatred and venom for brown people under the guise of a blessing from God that my opinions are biblical.
It seems you think that I’ve found religion. Just now. With Trump. That I cloak my support for Trump in bible-speak. Like, “He is God’s appointed man for the time. We have to look past his character flaws and not judge. We can’t hold his past against him.” Stuff like that. And you think I never did the same for Obama.
“…through it all, White Evangelicals—you never once suggested that God placed [Obama] where he was, you never publicly offered prayers for him and his family, you never welcomed him to your Christian Universities, you never gave him the benefit of the doubt in any instance, you never spoke of offering him forgiveness or mercy, your evangelists never publicly thanked God for his leadership, your pastors never took to the pulpit to offer solidarity with him, you never made any effort to affirm his humanity or show the love of Jesus to him in any quantifiable measure.
You violently opposed him at every single turn—without offering a single ounce of the grace you claim as the heart of your faith tradition. You jettisoned Jesus as you dispensed damnation on him.”
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and… wrong.
Where do I begin, dear John?
If, as it seems, this is what you think, you don’t know me. Not at all.
What you might not know is that I also supported Ben Carson and Herman Cain. I would have supported Adam West if he were ever to run. And I even supported a guy named Alan Keyes years ago when he ran.
Do you know of these guys, John? Notice what all these guys have in common, John? Carson, Keyes, Cain, West? They’re all black men.
I would have voted for ANY of these guys in a dog’s heartbeat before the opposition they would have been running against if I had half a chance to do so. See how unfair it is to assume I opposed Obama because he was black?
Are you surprised? It seems from the tone of your article you might be.
According to your little hit piece, it seems you’ve likened me to a racist, homophobic bigot who hates brown people and will do whatever it takes to keep them out of the country, or at least, if I can’t keep them out, then keep them working picking tomatoes.
But you’re wrong John. You’re wrong about why I opposed Obama and why I support Trump. You seem to have a short attention span or a very liberal set of values (in spite of your Christian faith) that predisposes you to seeing me merely as a racist who will rearrange my prejudices at the drop of a hat to justify my support for a man you seem to loathe.
I never demonized “the black president” because he was black. I’m not saying no one did. But I never did. I demonized him (if that is what you insist on calling it) because of the policies he presented and forced on the country. I opposed him because he ran on the idea that marriage was an institution between a man and a woman and then promptly changed his mind when he saw the popular opinion had changed over time to where it was suddenly expedient to “change his mind.”
I supported him for his views on marriage until I saw that he merely put his finger to the wind; and when the critical mass of the population changed its opinion on “gay marriage,” suddenly he (and Hillary, and a host of others) did too. How about that? What a coincidence.
How about Obama on Immigration?
I’m not sure if you remember that Obama spoke of the same policies about illegal immigration as Trump does now. How about a reminder?
Did you catch that? Obama actually said….
“We all agree on the need to better secure the border and to punish employers who employ illegal immigrants. We are a generous and welcoming people here in the United States. But those who enter the United States illegally and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law, and they show disregard for those who are following the law. We simply can’t allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”
Perhaps you’re confusing style and substance.
I will give you your point that Trump is probably far too egotistical and narcissistic. But he is saying the same things about immigration that Obama said when he ran for office. Did you forget that part?
If Trump articulated those ideas the way Obama and Clinton did, would you even hear him? Or would you be so offended at the tone he uses to make his points that you miss the points? Because, well, because… they’re the same opinions.
I don’t deny Obama’s “personal faith convictions” because I didn’t like the man; but because his actions consistently spoke louder than his words.
Obama was the most pro-abortion man to sit in the office of the president. The record is clear on that one.
Obama was probably the most racially divisive president in at least the last 40 years.
For his eight years in office, it seemed every case of white-on-black crime was a reason to involve the justice department. But I do not recall any cases of black-on-white crime that ever got the same attention from the white house. Do you? Correct me if I am wrong. Please.
You want to talk about all the oddball stuff like his place of birth and the charges from the right about whether he was born in Hawaii or Kenya? Go ahead. But I questioned his birthplace because he seemed to do so much to not clear the air about the issue for as long as he possibly could.
Did you ever ask yourself why he took so many years to produce a birth certificate? Why he had all his Occidental college records sealed? Did you ever consider that maybe the right has some good questions that have never been answered? Or do you just assume we are all a bunch of rednecks that would use any reason we could discredit the black man who was president?
Many like me were trying to get that black man named Carson INTO the race. (And Keyes. And Cain. And Adam West if he would ever run.) I sure hope you can hear that.
You call me on a “double-standard” saying now that God appoints leaders; but when Obama was in office, I somehow missed that point.
No, John. I didn’t.
Some leaders get placed because people benefit from God placing leaders over them to bless them. I acknowledge that God, in his sovereignty, allowed Obama to be the man for the job. I just think the job at this point in history was that America needed a good spanking because they weren’t listening to Him.
And if you’re going to call us on that as a hypocrital double-standard, then are you suggesting Stalin and Mousilini were God’s divine appointments too? Something to think about.
I just deal with the situation as it comes. And I judge how they do as president primarily by the types of policies they are trying to put in place when they get there.
Do I wish Trump were more refined? Of course I do. But if I have to choose between a rough-around-the edges kind of guy who is doing all the right things to protect the unborn from the abortion mills and is doing what he can to protect the religious freedoms of all people in this country (and not just the special-interest groups’ freedoms) vs a smooth-talking politician who seems to want to enshrine the opposite into law, I’ll settle for substance over smooth talk, thank you.
I pray for Trump frequently. But I prayed for Obama frequently, too. Sometimes I did it to stay mindful that God was in control and I didn’t have to be, when I saw what a mess he was making of things. Like I do for Trump now.
You don’t know that I didn’t pray for Obama, or that I didn’t give him a break, or ever come to his defense.
And as far as giving benefit of the doubt? You insist that I never gave Obama the benefit of the doubt?
Do you remember Obama’s “God of Jacob” reference at his 10th anniversary speech about 9/11?
Do you remember how many evangelical Christians jumped on that like a dog on a bone to embrace the possibility he really WAS a Christian like he professed to be? I sure do. I remember many an evangelical thinking maybe he really was a Christian. (Read, for example, the comments in this post. They’re NOT all as negative as you want to make us all out to be.)
We didn’t ever give benefit of the doubt. Seriously?
Many were looking for every opportunity to see him support the right things. We prayed that he would. Hear how this evangelical spoke about God not having given up on Barack Obama. (And if you want to listen to the whole episode of this show, you can hear the enthusiastic response of the crowd to this report.) They WANTED to see Obama come around. They were wild with excitement at the possibility of him coming to a different stance on all the issues we hold dear. We were bitterly disappointed when he seemed to constantly stiffen his neck. And yet, we recognized that, at the end of the day, he was still president and we still needed to pray for him.
HOW DARE YOU ASSUME ALL THAT ABOUT ME and so many of the people I know who feel exactly the same way as I do. Do you even know of any of this feeling in the evangelical church for Obama? What part of the church do you never interact with?
I supported Trump because of his campaign promises. Would I have preferred that he not have a past? Of course. Wouldn’t it be nice if no one had a past?
Do YOU have a past, John?
I don’t hold Trump’s past against him anymore than I hold yours against you.
Your words are pithy. Catchy. But SO unfair. Pigmentation and party are my sole deities? Really?
Jesus is my savior. The bible is my roadmap.
And Trump is the president. Obama was that too. And I pray for Trump for an entirely different set of reasons than I prayed for Obama. But I’ve prayed for both.
And I pray for you, too. You seem quite judgmental in your thin veneer of spiritual superiority. You paint all Trump supporters with a wide brush. You don’t know our hearts – at least not all of us.
Are there racists who voted for Trump? No doubt. But there are many who voted for Obama simply because he was black. It didn’t seem to matter that he was not pro-life, or that he was for so many things that seem to be the types of things that Jesus would oppose. Somehow, that all gets a pass. It felt good, I suppose. But where did it get us?
I supported Trump in the election because he was the far better choice compared to Hillary Clinton. I support Trump now because he is president. The fact that I appreciate his pro-life stance, or his anti-extremist Muslim stance, or his stance against illegal immigration does not mean that I hate brown people. It doesn’t mean I don’t condemn sin when I see it. Even in the president.
There a a lot of things it does NOT mean. I hope you’ll give your liberal head a shake and see it.
You really don’t know me. NOT AT ALL.
To quote your article: “I know it’s likely you’ll dismiss these words… But I had to at least try to reach you. It’s what Jesus would do.”