By Godfrey E. McAllister
Rev. Al Miller, a respected pastor in Kingston Jamaica, attracted my attention with his public statement, “I Pray Trump Gets a Second Term”. I was too much of a coward to pray that he did not, but certainly wished that he did not. I prayed that God’s will be done.
Abortion is either murder or manslaughter in self-defense. When it is medically determined to be the only way to save the mother’s life, abortion can be viewed as a binary choice to save one life at the expense of another. In every other situation, including aborting a child conceived because of incest or rape, or even one with a predictable terminal disability, it is premeditated murder. And regardless of all the sounds of “ouch” that come from a cross-section of our world and the Church, those pronouncements, uncomfortable as they may be, are indisputable. Scientists who successfully completed kindergarten class, understand that life begins at conception in the womb. Since the fetus at every developmental stage is alive, and since there is no day-light between a living human and a person with a personality, under developed though it may be, for anyone except that living person to unilaterally end its life is to commit the most heinous act of violent, fatal aggression against an unarmed person. Let us call its name – Murder.
God Prohibits Murder
In handing down the Ten commandments to the Israelites through His leader Moses, in the 6th Commandment, God specifically prohibited murder. In the Bible’s Old Testament, God went on to identify classes of killing, and laid the foundation for the concept of manslaughter in our laws. In the New Testament, unlike His treatment of the 4th Commandment to observe the Sabbath, God amplified and magnified the gravity and perpetual literal relevance of the 6th Commandment. He says, if you as much as hate your brother in your heart, you are guilty of murder.
In the Old Testament, God ordained wars and it still curdles my blood when I consider God’s sentence to utterly destroy all the Amalekite men, women, boys and girls and of course, their animals. Then I remember that there is a measureless difference between me, created by God on the one hand, and God, creator of me on the other hand. I am forced to concede that the only One who can give life, by default, has the right to take it without the approval of the recipient of life. The One who gives life can delegate the responsibility to take life to others like Magistrates and others in authority. But, to be sanctioned by God, the Magistrates and leaders of men, in prescribing the death penalty for any crime except premeditated murder, must never exceed their delegated authority from God. God’s teachings in the New Testament amplify not only the heinous crime of murder, but also the power of mercy in the forgiveness of all sin, including murder. There could be no better way for God to do this than to allow Himself in human form to be murdered on the Cross of Calvary as the only qualified sinless sacrificial substitute for the atonement of all the sins of the world, including murder.
Americans, and especially those who self-identify as Democrats in the last half-century are guilty of institutionalizing murder of the unborn child, made in the image and likeness of God and personally identified by God before conception. In Jeremiah 1:5 God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” And David in Psalm 139:16 states, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” The legitimizing of murder is one of the planks of the Democratic Party platform.
Democrats and the LGBTQ+ Agenda
As if murder of the unborn was not a big enough blotch on the Democratic Party platform, another plank is 100% support of the LGBTQ agenda. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for just the “G” in LGBTQ. In the New Testament He covers his total abhorrence of all the letters in LGBTQ and the “+” in Romans 1:21-31. When LGBTQ+ and same sex practitioners restrict themselves to exercising their God-given right of choice to run their lives as they choose and to receive the built-in consequences of their choice, I am obliged to love them, pray for them and leave them alone. However, when they publicly threaten the way of life of the overwhelming majority non-LGBTQ+ practitioners and lobby to revolutionize social norms; demand the right to adopt children when their choice prevents them from procreating; and successfully lobby Governments to classify Romans 1:21-31 as criminal hate speech, it’s time for us to fight in self-defense.
I could Not Vote for Trump
And yet after seeking the mind of God, and for all the reasons outlined on October 28, 2020 in https://thecdr.us/trump-or-biden/ I ended six months of internal trauma and agony by reversing my public commitment to pinch my nose, close my eyes and vote for Trump, and instead, I pinched my nose, closed my eyes and voted for Biden.
He Who Feels It Knows It
The phrase, “he who feels it knows it” has been widely attributed to the wife of a victim of the 1957 Kendall train crash in Manchester, Jamaica. Regardless of its origin, I endorse the principle and readily apply it to four years in America with Donald Trump as President. Voted into office in 2016 with the help of overwhelming support from White Evangelicals, Donald Trump has never one day tweeted anything that suggests that like Evangelicals, he has entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Instead, his words and actions all appear to be transactional, politically opportunistically motivated. And that is permissible.
President Trump Has Done Some Good
President Trump has acted with laudable boldness in his public support for Israel by recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel on December 6, 2017, and subsequently relocating the USA Embassy in Israel. On September 15, 2020 President Trump signed a historic Peace Accord which he brokered between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors. The Bible tells us that this Peace Accord cannot last, but Donald Trump is to be given full credit for his temporary achievement. Trump has appointed three conservative Supreme Court Justices, as any other Republican President would have done although his henchman Senate Leader Mitch McConnell unjustly denied President Obama the right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice in the last year of his Presidency. If political affiliation means anything in the US Supreme Court, it is desirable to have a 5-4 Court, and arguably most Christians in America would desire the 5 to be Conservative. But a 6-3 Court in any direction is potentially dangerous, because both sides are likely to be prone to excessiveness in typical majority rulings. Neither Conservative nor Liberal Justices are by definition and/or life-style, Christian, God-honoring and God-worshipping Justices. White Evangelicals and all Republicans hail Trump for his conservative Judicial appointments to the Federal Courts. But has any Pastor, including Rev. Al Miller, observed that of the 246 Federal Judges that Trump has appointed, only approximately 4% of them are Black in a country where systemic racism and post-slavery discrimination against Blacks are still real?
Racism in America
Trump’s numerous actions and public utterances feed the perception that he is a racist and, at the very least, a White Supremacist sympathizer. Undeniably, White Supremacists and racist bigots in America have breathed fresh oxygen under his Presidency, and his own Justice Department’s FBI has reported an alarming spike in White Supremacy motivated crimes. Apart from Trump’s most recent tortured, forked-tongue, loud dog-whistle to the Proud Boys to “stand back… stand by”, Trump has unabashedly shown his contempt for Black people who he infamously described as coming from “shithole countries”, like Jamaica, for example. These daily incendiary attacks mean little to good people like Al Miller who do not live in America. But for Black Americans, it ties into a long, well-documented narrative.
Slavery of Blacks in America
For 246 years Colonial and United States of America built its prosperity in part on the blood, sweat and tears of enforced Black slave labor. On December 6, 1865 slavery was legally abolished in the United States of America… “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”. Former White slave masters ensure that there were plenty of crimes for which freed slaves could be convicted by all-White juries.
For at least another 100 years, under Reconstructionist laws, Jim Crow Laws and Segregation Laws, Freedom for the Black man was at best pyrrhic, and in many instances marginally more tolerable than slavery, if at all. But through great struggle and despite permanent emotional, mental and social scars, horrific lynchings and the free-flowing blood of thousands of martyrs, the 1965 era under the Democratic Presidency of Lynden B. Johnson ushered in the long-awaited Civil Rights Era for Black Americans. Perhaps the most important legislation in this period was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But this Act was gutted in 2013 by a Republican Conservative Court that laid the foundation for wide-scale voter suppression by the Republican Party in Republican controlled States.
The Voters’ Verdict
Clearly President Donald Trump has done some good things and has done some great things, and those we expect from our elected leaders. But in the eyes of the American people, the bad and the evil and the wicked that he has done easily out-weigh the good. In a democracy, the will of the people expressed at the polls is the ultimate referendum on the performance of a President. Trump turned out more people who voted for him in 2020 than he did in 2016. But Biden turned out even more people who voted him in 2020 than voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. In an Election that Democrat and Republican Leaders publicly declare to be fair and free from systemic fraud, and with all of Trump’s frivolous lawsuits imploding around him, not only will Biden win the Electoral College, and possibly by the same margin that Trump won in 2016, but Trump will lose the popular vote by possibly twice as much as he lost the popular vote in 2016. Neither Al Miller’s prayer that “Trump would win a second Term”, nor Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s quip that there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Term, appear likely to become a reality on January 20, 2021.
Trump and Covid19
President Trump built a great economy on the foundations laid by President Obama who inherited a south-bound economy from President Bush in 2008. But President Trump single-handedly destroyed that economy by his pathetic, potentially criminal handling of the Corona Virus Pandemic on American soil. Neither his much-touted ban on visitors from China after the Virus had already embedded itself in America; nor his blatant, flagrant lies about the existence and severity of the virus in America; nor his refusal to acknowledge the magnitude of the crisis and consequently invoke the Defense Production Act early enough has protected the most powerful nation on earth from becoming the laughing stock of the world. As at November 13, the United States of America has recorded 10,727,885 cases of Covid19 infection including the President and several of his allies, and 244,302 Covid19 deaths, many of which would not have occurred were it not for Trump’s documented dishonest and dysfunctional handling of the Pandemic. Is becoming a One-Term President too high a price to pay for someone who will most likely face prison time from State convictions despite his likely self-pardoning from Federal convictions that may already be in train before the pardon?
None of These Things Moved Me Enough
And yet, it was not the caging of children and the permanent separation of babies from their parents at the border that made Trump unworthy of my vote when Biden was the alternative. It was not the in excess of 20,000 total or partial lies by Trump that has been documented by the Washington Post that swayed me. It was not the direct and indirect support of White Supremacy and general display of racism that influenced my vote. It was not the near destruction of America’s relations with its world allies and the nation’s international standing that offended me to the point of causing me to vote for Biden. It was not Trump’s embrace of world-renowned Dictators and Democracy piranhas that agitated me most. It was neither his course language, misogynistic utterances nor his discriminatory behavior towards the weak and the poor that finally dislodged my vote. It was not even all of the above combined that forced me to vote for Biden and not for Trump.
Trump Attacked my God-given Right of Choice
It was the single fact that Trump dared to try to deprive me of my God-given prerogative of choice and the unfettered exercise of my free will that sealed my ballot against Trump, and placed it in the column for a man who at the personal level is the polar opposite of Trump, although his Party’s platform planks include abortion and empowerment of the LGBTQ+ Agenda in addition to Christian values such as social justice and protection of the poor and the stranger in our midst.
Pro Choice God
Rev. Al Miller’s God and my God made man, initially Adam and Eve, in His own image and likeness. To achieve that, God had to construct man with “free will” with its attendant responsibility of choice. It was not God’s intention that man would exercise his free will and power of choice to disobey God and destroy His plan for the human race. When Adam did exactly that, God had it within His power to shut down the failed experiment and start from scratch with a semi-free will model man. God knew that failing to do so would lead Him to the cross in order to redeem the creatures He loved. He knew that His ultimate sacrificial death would meet with only partial success because more people will say “No” to Him, than those who would say “Yes”. And for all that, so committed was God to respecting the Divine importance He attached to man’s choice as a result of his free will, that God refused to cancel, block, deny or impede man’s free will and his God-given right of choice.
Trump’s Voter Suppression on Steroids
But Donald Trump tried to do just that, and is still trying. In 2016 he declared the Election was rigged, until he heard that he won. He then claimed that there was electoral fraud that caused him to lose the popular vote. He appointed a high-level commission to identify the fraud. That commission found no unusually significant fraud, and died a natural death. In 2020, he again predicted electoral fraud long before the elections took place. With the full knowledge that Blacks tend to support the Democratic party, and knowing that because of his bungling of the Covid19 Pandemic in America, Blacks were being disproportionately suffering and dying from the virus, Trump waged a vicious war against mail-in ballots which would be one way to safely vote in a Pandemic.
Trump appointed Mr. Louis Dejoy, yet another one of his political donor cronies, to control the United States Postal Service. Among the first things he did were to dismantle and destroy massive machines critical for the effective handling of huge volumes of mail-in ballots; drastically cut overtime work by mail-delivery personnel; and even began uprooting long-standing mail-boxes in presumably Democratic areas. All of this was part of his massive voter suppression campaign, pursuant to he wishes of his master, Donald Trump.
Not satisfied, Trump signaled, as he appointed his third Supreme Court Justice, that he would be relying on the Courts to deliver him a November 3rd victory, just as the Court stepped in and gave the 2000 victory to Bush. But in a performance that very, very weakly echoes the directly proportionate relationship between sin and the grace of God, in a year where between the Trump Administration and the Corona Virus, there has never been a more consorted attack on the right to vote in the history of America since universal suffrage, there has been never a greater assertion of the right to vote in the history of the Republic. And Choice won over Suppression.
Trump was definitely appointed by God. Some Christians claim he was anointed by God. So was Saul. And so, Biden will be installed as the 46th President of the United States of America at noon on January 20, 2021, if God spares his life. And then, God help America.
And that’s the main message. It is God who has helped America during the last four years of Trump. It is God who has helped America during 8 years of Obama. It is God who has helped America during 8 years of Bush. It is God who has been helping the United States of America from its birth on July 4, 1776.
And this is what the Church of Jesus Christ needs to understand. It is not the Democratic nor the Republican administration that America is depending on for its prosperity. It is God. We retain on our coins, “In God We Trust”. That may not be so for most Americans, but we certainly rely on God. And God’s preferred agents of choice are the righteous ones who are the blood-washed and blood-bought redeemed of Jesus Christ. It is on the influence of Believers in Jesus Christ as Salt and Light that America depends.
Political leaders will come and go. Political parties will rise and fall. But the Church of Jesus Christ has this assurance from God that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it. And for those Christians who described Trump as the anointed of God, and not just the appointed of God, here is some consolation. If God could use Donald J. Trump, and He has, He certainly can use Joe Biden and, yes, even Kamala Harris to achieve His purposes.
These are dispensable, but the Church is not. God has no substitute for His Church. So let the Church be the Church. Let the Church review its identity in Christ as sons and daughters of God, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation and as Fellow Citizens of heaven. It’s Ok to be a Democrat. It is OK to be a Republican. But it is obligatory to be a Christian, first and foremost.
As for me, I am a Christian Democratic Republican.