This has certainly been the most interesting election cycle of my lifetime – more so even than the debacle that was the “hanging chads” of the 2000 general election. And perhaps the most interesting aspect of this primary process is what it says about the character of our nation.
And this is where I want to say “Thank you” to Mr. Donald J. Trump.
You see, before this election cycle heated up, I fully understood that our nation was in some trouble, but I misunderstood the kind of trouble that we’re really in. Today, I feel that I understand what is going on with America much better than I once did.
There are many historical parallels to what is going on in our nation today, but there is one source in particular that I would like to draw from, for reasons that I believe will become clear.
While Europe is playing out the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, with Islamic immigrants and refugees playing the part of the Barbarian hordes as the politically-correct leadership of Western Europe allows their nations to be overrun by a culture diametrically opposed to Western freedom, the United States has taken a different course.
In my opinion, the United States has chosen a path to destruction. We are not headed down the path of Rome, but rather of Israel – Israel of Biblical times, that is.
For generations after God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they went out of their way to defy Him. These were the direct descendants of the generation that had seen the amazing miracles of the Exodus, the conquest of Jericho, and the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham. Yet over and over again, they chose other gods, usually Baal or Asherah, over the God that had led them out of slavery. Even when they were being semi-obedient, the Israelites chose to reject the notion that they were a nation ruled by God alone, choosing instead to have a human king like all of the surrounding nations.
Each and every time the people turned away from God, they came to regret it, and would turn back to Him again…only to turn away again as soon as times were good again, and they didn’t see the need to follow the God of their fathers. In the end, it led to the destruction of their entire nation, for generations.
America was founded on the belief that a faithfully religious people could govern themselves. Our Founding Fathers spoke and wrote of this over and over throughout our nation’s early history. Public schools were established to teach children to be good and moral citizens. Heck, back then, they used the Bible as a primer to teach children to read – that would get teachers thrown into federal prison these days.
And therein lies the issue. Over the course of the past 200 years, America has turned its back on God, choosing instead to worship wealth and power…and today, certain segments of our society do everything they can to ban all outward expressions of Christian faith. Our political system reflects this, as the same scumbag politicians keep getting elected over and over. And now it looks like our choices for President this time around will be between a criminal whose scandals should have landed her in prison (or exile) long ago, and an arrogant narcissist who worships money and himself over all else.
It’s very clear – and becoming clearer every day – that America is a nation sick in its soul. Race riots have broken out across the nation. Universities, which are supposed to be places where ideas are challenged and minds are expanded, are the bastions of political correctness and censorship of opposing views.
The political success of Donald Trump – in spite of the fact that he has said and done so many things that should have disqualified him as a candidate – is a symptom of how deep the sickness goes. When respected leaders of America’s Christian movement endorse a narcissistic serial philanderer who poorly masquerades as a committed Christian, it shows that the we have become rotten almost to our very core.
And so, I would like to thank Mr. Trump, for helping to show me what is truly going wrong in our nation. As I have watched so-called “Evangelical” Christians flocking to the polls to vote for a man who demonstrates only the most rudimentary knowledge of the Christian faith, it inspires me to read my Bible more. When I see Christian leaders standing up for a sinner who says he needs no forgiveness, it pushes me to ask God to forgive me for my wrongs, and to work to be a better person. As I see so much vitriol heaped upon those who dare to disagree, I want to try harder to love my enemies, and pray for those who oppose my values.
Seeing the nation that I love sell out its soul for the wrong people, the wrong values, and then seeing us turning to people and values that are even more wrong out of frustration makes me want to work to become a better person myself. This, after all, is what Christ calls us to do. Nothing in Christianity is collective; God’s commands are for each of us, individually. It has been very easy to look at Donald Trump and his supporters and worry about the speck in their eyes, yet ignore the log in my own.
As a Christian nation, this is what we should be concerned about. Instead of worrying about which politician we can elect to save us from ourselves, we need to look inside ourselves, at who we are as individuals, and do what we must to be better. We must start reading our Bibles again, and examine our beliefs and behavior through the lens of the Scriptures.
And this is the crux of the issue: among our nation’s problems are none that can be solved collectively, but instead must be addressed individually by each and every person of faith. We must look inside ourselves and ask: what is it that brought us to a point where we believe that our faith should not inform every aspect of our lives, including our politics? How is it that we have become so accepting of sin that we – through our actions and our inaction – have allowed our nation to become a cesspool run by liars, thieves, and despots?
These are not questions that we can answer as a nation, but each must answer within our own hearts and minds. Our nation is in a dark place, and getting darker. It is only by returning to our roots – and the roots of our faith – that we can hope for healing. We must stop looking for saviors in the political arena, and turn to the real Savior.