After a conversation about the recent Supreme Court hearings, a friend and Trump supporter who claims to be Christian, reiterated a recurring theme: Providence.
“This is God’s doing.” she said very matter-of-factly. “Trump has been chosen by God.”
Well, she was half right anyway. He has been chosen by someone — and it’s a national tragedy.
As I think about the people I know who have tethered themselves to this President, many professing a faith in Jesus, I can see that they have made a decisive, precise, and unmistakable choice; one that has terribly altered two histories; both the nation’s and their own.
They have chosen to trade the compassion and empathy of Jesus, for Trump’s callousness and contempt. They have chosen to jettison Christ’s love for the poor, the marginalized, and the outsiders — in order to fortify the gated community of their privilege. They have chosen to abandon any sense of truthfulness, in favor of the most convenient lie available that ratifies their desired narrative. They have chosen to discard all sense of empathy and kindness and ignore every imaginable bit of moral infection, in order to retain a partisan political foothold.
And yet as sickening as that all is, their other choices are closer and more insidious than that.
They’ve chosen Trump over children and parents and lifelong friends; preferring to align themselves with this President than to stay in relationship with those they’ve spent their lives in the closest of proximity with. They’ve chosen him over LGBTQ family members and friends, whose lives are in direct threat by the religious extremism of this President’s Administration.
They’ve chosen him over their daughters and sisters and wives, deciding instead to further nurture a climate that is hostile to and dismissive of women’s voices. They’ve chosen him over the diverse community they are immersed in; the disparate group of beautiful people they walk past and work with and live around and worship alongside — people who are under extreme duress because of his targeted and relentless cruelty.
They’ve chosen him over their co-workers and neighbors, who now feel uneasy in their presence, because of the hostility they’ve revealed — toward immigrants and refugees and people who weren’t born here. And ultimately the greatest tragedy of the many uncovered in these days, is that they have chosen him at all; that a man this devoid of nobility and decency and character — has become the hill that once decent, rational, faithful people suddenly deem worth dying on.
Of every person on the planet, they have chosen to stand with and rally around and boast about and declare solidarity with, a man who is almost mortally allergic to honesty and benevolence.
Someone who would have been an unthinkable role model just two short years ago, has seemingly become their infallible messiah. And in this way, I suppose my friend is right: Donald Trump is divinity of sorts.
He is the snarling, sneering, spitting deity for fearful, angry people who finally have a god in their own image in whom they trust; one they can worship and bow down to and give their lives for.
They have chosen him — and the rest of us have seen the light, too.
We now know how close and prevalent the bitterness is. We know how afflicted our nation still is with hatred for difference. We know how pervasive misogyny and racism are in American Evangelicalism. We know how many white people live with disdain of those outside their tribe.
And most of all, we know how hard it is going to be to craft an America where equality, diversity, and justice are the rule.
But we will do this work. This is the choice we are making.
The original version of this Op Ed was published on johnpavlovitz.com