March 29, 2017

GLANZEL | A Christian in Trump’s America

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I find it genuinely odd that large swaths of America’s Christian community support President Trump. As a Christian myself, I find the Christian community’s support for Donald Trump to be both contradictory and extremely bizarre. Trump, in many ways, represents the antithesis of everything Christ preached.

Jesus was, in every respect, a humble man. A virtual nomad, he traveled from community to community with nothing but the clothes on his back and the shoes on his feet. As a carpenter in First Century Israel, Jesus had almost no money to spare on luxuries. In almost every conceivable way, Jesus was the direct contrapositive to the man sitting in the Oval Office today.

Nearly everything Trump touches is coated in gold, he brags about his wealth constantly (refer to his 2011 quote in which he stated “part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich”) and claims that he has every answer to the world’s problems (refer to his convention speech in which he stated “I alone can fix it”). Trump is the epitome of the narcissistic self-love that Jesus abhorred and condemned. Jesus’ life of simplicity and humility would seem quite foreign to Mr. Trump, who has spent a lifetime polishing and perfecting his own self-image.

More importantly, however, Jesus’ message was radically different from that of Trump’s. In Matthew 22:39, Jesus stated: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” –– a far cry from many of Donald Trump’s statements. Trump has called women he dislikes “fat pigs,” made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face, claimed he could grope women whenever he likes and mocked a disabled reporter –– just to name a few. How, in any way, do these actions measure up to the example that Jesus set?

The purpose of Christianity is not to make bad people good. Completely living up to Jesus’ example is an impossible endeavor — no human can ever hope to match the kindness, warmth and grace of Christ. However, there is a difference between not totally exemplifying the love of Christ and completely disregarding the commands of Christ. Donald Trump has consistently shown that he detests the very foundations of Christianity: love, temperance and selflessness. While Jesus commands that we not judge, Trump states that women who receive abortions should be punished. While Jesus asserts that one must be truthful and honest, Trump lies and distorts the truth on a daily basis. And while Jesus says that we must care for the needy, Trump argues that we must end our overseas humanitarian efforts and deport millions of families.

With a man in the White House who so actively opposes everything for which Christ stood, it often seems like the tenants of Christianity are fading from our society. Though much of Christian America has embraced our bombastic president, I argue that the Christians in this nation must serve as the foil to Trump.

Because Christianity is so rooted in the values that this nation holds dear (selflessness, piety, friendship, courage), Christians must be willing to lead the charge against Trump. It is the Christian community that must act to defend those who are persecuted by the Trump Administration. From immigrants to Muslims, Trump’s presidency has been defined by his hatred for certain groups of people. But the Bible declares that Christians must love all people –– regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity. It is for this reason that the Christian community must actively oppose Trump’s prejudice and protect those who are in the president’s crosshairs.

For those who claim that Trump will protect “Christian America,” I must say that I strongly disagree with you. A Christian America is an America in which its people strive to live the commandments of Christ. We have already seen that Trump does not come close to living by Christ’s commands –– so how can one say that Trump is protecting “Christian America” when he actively opposes everything Christianity stands for?
I firmly believe that if this nation is to thrive over the next four years, the Christian community –– which comprises a majority of this nation –– must be willing to stand up and fight for Christian values. Trump does not come close to representing the love that Christ preached –– and it is for that very reason that Christians must be willing to fight against the hatred that spews out of Trump’s mouth daily. Today, Christian America is silent on (and in some cases is accepting of) Trump’s demagoguery and insults. This cannot continue if we are to have a nation whose citizens follow Christ’s teachings to care for one another.


Michael Glanzel is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]Cornell Shrugged appears alternating Thursdays this semester.