Why I Oppose Donald Trump

This far into Donald Trump’s Presidency, I’m aware that some of you take great issue with my pointed critiques of the man, his body of work, and his supporters—because you’re sure to tell me this at every turn.

You might troll me on Twitter or leave me scathing blog comments or send me impassioned emails or pull me aside to quietly share your concerns at church or family gatherings.

You may feel I’m being provocative or incendiary or unnecessarily stirring the pot; that I’m being irresponsible with my influence, betraying my calling as a pastor, or failing to be a good American.

I’ve spent thousands of words in recent months trying to reply to such suggestions and to reveal my heart—and at this point I’m not sure there are any combination of words that will be satisfactory for you.

If you haven’t yet privately felt or publicly expressed outrage at what Donald Trump is doing to our Government, the way he is targeting the poor and marginalized, or his unfitness for this job—you probably shouldn’t bother asking me why I’m opposing him. You won’t understand my reply, no matter how carefully I craft my words or how intent I am in helping you understand.

At this point there are fundamental differences between us. The things that outrage us are simply not compatible, and probably never will be. I know I can’t change that. I can’t force your eyes to see what mine see, or your heart to be burdened for the things that burden mine, or your stomach to turn at what currently turns mine. You own your eyes and your heart and your stomach—and your response to the world. That’s your responsibility and your right and truly none of my business—but I’m surely not going to stop calling out what I see or temper my disgust simply because it bothers you. 

That would miss the point entirely.
My opposition is not about you and it’s about more than Donald Trump—it’s about me.
It’s about my personal convictions as a father, husband, friend, Christian, pastor, American, and a participant in humanity.
It’s about the things that keep me up at night and boil my blood and cause me to grieve.

In the presence of injustice I believe silence is participation, and these days I am witnessing more of it than I can bear—and so I speak;
not to piss you off, but so I can sleep at night,
not to insult you, but so I’m able to look myself in the mirror,
not to make trouble, but because my kids deserve a father they can be proud of,
not to be divisive, but to keep the peace within my own head,
not to manufacture venom or dispense vitriol—but so on my last day on the planet I can say that I did the best I could with the time I had and the voice I was given, and the great privilege I had to be healthy and loved and able to speak.
That’s all any of us can do with their lives: try and make them matter.

I understand that from where you sit my current words may be unhelpful or be causing harm. I know this because from where I sit, your current lack of any words are doing the same thing—and rather than badgering you into caring (which is an impossibility) I’ll just care as much as I do and make that as clear and loud as I can.

I won’t do this to persuade or argue with you.
I’ll do it because others may hear me and may be encouraged that they’re not alone,
because hurting people may find comfort and healing in my words,
because those who feel invisible might know someone sees them,
because those hanging by the thinnest of threads may use my words to hold on a bit longer.

And honestly if you think this is just about this one man, I’m not sure I can’t convince you otherwise—but it isn’t.
Yes, it’s certainly about him, but it’s about much more than that.
It’s about banning Muslims and silencing the Press and neglecting refugees.
It’s about the hatred of strong women and the devaluing of young men of color and the victimizing of Transgender people.
It’s about those not protecting our environment and not caring for our most vulnerable and not believing all people are equal.
It’s about the NRA’s gun lust and the Religious Right’s sick hypocrisy and the GOP’s male whiteness and FoxNews’ recklessness.
It’s about the systems that create men like him, politicians that co-sign them, pastors who perpetuate them, and adults who seem fine with them.
It’s about American children and Syrian children and North Korean children; about black children and gay children and disabled children.
It’s about every ugly thing that he symbolizes, every hateful person he represents, every toxic act he emboldens, and every beautiful life he threatens.

I’m a Christian, and my faith compels me to fight for the things I fight for. I trust if you are a person of faith, the same is true for you and so I really don’t have to explain it. Yes, my tradition tells me to love my enemies and pray for those who curse me—but it also tells me to love the least. I’m not willing to kill the latter aspiration on the altar of the former. I can’t coddle people doing harm in the name of tolerance.

I’m not an angry person which you may sometimes suggest. I live much of this life with great joy and hope and humor—but I am angered when those made in the image of God are treated with less regard than they deserve. I’m probably not going to apologize for being passionate about people.

Chances are this won’t be the last time I speak about this man or the ways in which so many tangential evils are manifesting themselves right now, and it won’t be the last time you question the motives or ferocity or frequency of my critiques. I’ll likely refer you to these words, so long as they remain true.

Again this isn’t about you—or even this man. I don’t speak to offend you or alienate you. I speak to pushback against the things that make me sick to my stomach. I speak because of the things that offend me. I speak because we all are responsible to try and leave the planet better than when we arrived—and this is how I’m trying to do that.

May you find causes and people that are worth your passion, your time, and your voice, and may you use them well.

Get John’s book, ‘Hope and Other Superpowers’ HERE!

 

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221 thoughts on “Why I Oppose Donald Trump

  1. I wondered where everyone else was that feel as I do. I cried the day he won the election. He is a narcissist. In some ways I feel this is the dark being brought to light. I watch as Republicans which I’ve always been, men we elected to stand up for what we believe disown him when he was losing and nose up his butt becaus he won. It’s clear they are more concerned about there own position then whay it stands for. Paul Ryan comes to mind. It’s so obvious that Trump is a self indulging Narcissistic with an ego that couldn’t allow God guide him.. If you can’t see it you don’t want to.
    Here is my question?? How do we get him out of the people’s house that he has called a dump and send him back to his golden castle.
    Where is that agenda and how do I sign up. America made a mistake and we need to correct it. How do we the people call for his impeachment or resignation. It’s never happened before. Maybe Mueller will find how Russia invaded and got him elected. I’m so done talking about it. How, Who knows how to put action behind words. I like Rex Tillerson but he’s trying to find his way out. Nicki Hailey has done an awesome job. Next he’s going to get us in a war of nonsense. Let him send his boys first. We know the problem, What is the Solution???

    • Run a good candidate against him in 2020. Hint: It would be nice if he or she had some compassion for the unborn. That would be a tremendous advantage in garnering the Christian vote. Many Christians cannot support the injustice done to them.

      Meanwhile, calm down and stop wringing your hands and get on with your life. We made a huge mistake in 2008 as well and we somehow survived it.

    • YES! And in this country of free speech those who oppose him are bullied into saying nothing! Thank you for putting so eloquently into words what those of us who are oppressed are thinking! <3

  2. Well, at least one thing you said is abundantly clear when one reads through all the comments – that there are no magic words – there is nothing anyone can say – that will change anyone’s stance. (My summary interpretation of one point you made). Which also would seem to confirm a foundational Christian truth – that only God can change (birth) a new heart/spirit.

  3. Thank you for your posts. I just found you this week on FB and have been reading everything that you have written. I was raised in a conservative Christian home and raised our children in the church. I no longer go to church or believe a lot of what it teaches. This election and presidency has put a huge gap between me and friends and family. I am so sad to see how immigrants, minorities, women and everyone who stands against this man are treated. So thank you for writing so succinctly and heart fully on issues that most of us can’t always put into words.

  4. I am an outsider, not from the USA, and daily grieve how Christians attck each other with what they think is their right. The rest of the World looks at you men and woman of God and wonder where is the love? ” love, faith, hope, the greatest being love”
    The American brand of Christianity where you are so divided is sad to witness on a daily basis.
    No matter if you are John spewing hate for Trump and Christians who voted or support him or you are from the Trump camp and spew hate for John and his perceived views.
    God have mercy on you all.
    While you fight amongst yourselves, the world is dying.
    God’s Word says pray for the unbeliever , love the people we think are unlovable.
    No where in the Bible do I find a scripture that says fight amongst yourselves, abuse each other , call each other names , all because I don’t like your choice of President.
    America like the rest of countries that appoint themselves as World leaders have feet of clay, and yours are crumbling.
    As the song goes ” Where is the love?”

  5. Are born again, Bible believing, lovers of Jesus Christ who voted for Trump going to hell?
    No, no, no.
    Your choice of President does not change God’s love for you.
    I wish the ” Church” would focus more on the great commandment than politics.
    Politics never got anyone into heaven.

    • As a practicing Christian and activist, I see no boundary between the two. Perhaps if you read the 10 commandments you would see that the very first one is the one that our present administration fails. Money and self come before God.

  6. I was very moved on your article on why you oppose Donald Trump. You spoke words for many of us. There are plenty of us out here that feel the same way. Sometimes I try to speak out and wonder if anything I do is making a difference. Just like Trump attacking our own government again. What President does this? I can only capitulate one that is a TRAITOR to our Country. Please keep up your writings against Trump or should I say to protect our precious country. She needs protection too.

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