“If fighting anti-Semitism was really a priority, you’d address how rampant it is in the rank-and-file of your following, the white supremacy embedded in the MAGA movement, the anti-Jewish conspiracies and slurs of your supporters, the hate crimes so prevalent during your tenure — but protecting people has never really been your calling card: profiting off of them has been. That’s all this is.

Mr. President,

We shouldn’t be here. It is both laughable and sickening that we find ourselves at this place, having this conversation, about something like this — but then again, such has been the nauseating status quo of your time helming this nation: a violent and dangerous farce led by a historically bad actor forever seeking bottom.

Maybe we’re finally here. You declaring via Executive Order that Judaism is a nationality isn’t novel. There is precedent. This isn’t a new performance we’re witnessing, it’s a terrible rerun. People with decency and a memory and an accurate understanding of history, recognize what you’re doing here.

Those of us not fully afflicted with white nationalism and infected with supremacist Evangelicalism and polluted by FoxNews toxicity see right through you. We’ve watched this movie before.

We know what it looks like when religion is bastardized to control and to harm, when the Church and the State procreate and give birth to something vile and disfigured. We recognize anti-Semitism when it parades itself as moral virtue and claims high ground while it takes away human rights.

Few people would attempt such malignant overtures on such holy ground, but few people live in the stark vacuum of humanity you do.

Only a man who has never had a religious impulse in his life would step into the deeply-held moral convictions of millions of people stretched over thousands of years, and have the stratospheric hubris to redefine such things for their own political gain and financial profit.

Only someone fully bereft of spiritual aspirations of any kind, would jump into the moral sewage of legislating an entire faith tradition in order to perpetuate discrimination — though your party’s been working on that here in America for a few decades now, so I suppose I should’t be surprised.

Only a person who deifies himself, would dare speak with such reckless disregard for the things of God.

This is really quite simple: Judaism is not a nationality. American is not a religion. Christianity is not a weapon. Islam is not a terrorist organization. God cannot be contained in a border or owned by a nation or controlled by a Government.

Religion is the choice an individual human being makes to profess faith to a God they have come to find faith in, and to live embody that faith wherever they live and wherever they’re from.

If you were a Christian (as you claim to be), you would know such things. If you were a Christian, you would understand the ways Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all spring from similar Abrahamic bedrock—and how they beautifully diverge from one another; the unique richness of these traditions and the distinct ways they each transcend geography and nation of origin and citizenship.

But you’re not a Christian, nor are you a person of faith, or someone whose life yields anything religion at its best is supposed to yield. You are you a human being who sees God nowhere other than in the mirror, which explains the arrogance of your declaration and the narcissism of your position.

You may be able to pervert the laws of this land right now — but you cannot reshape reality, you cannot redistrict morality, and you cannot put the Maker of all things to work for you. God will not sell a soul as easily as a Republican Senator or an Evangelical preacher, and so you cannot engineer this transaction.

You can attempt to legislate hatred and bigotry any way you like, but it will prove to be fruitless — because there is a law that is beyond your jurisdiction and out of reach of your twisted, sweaty hands, and because people of genuine faith and non-religious human beings committed to the common good will be here to remind you.

The higher laws will refute and convict you, as will decent people of every kind.

John Pavlovitz

The original version of this Op Ed was published on johnpavlovitz.com

John Pavlovitz launched an online ministry to help connect people who want community, encouragement, and to grow spiritually. Individuals who want to support his work can sponsor his mission on Patreon, and help the very real pastoral missionary expand its impact in the world.