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There is no defense for hypocrisy

By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist | One of the defenses I have heard most often offered for support for Mr. Trump is his defense of unborn life, a term that seems oxymoronic or possibly contradictory but can at least be appreciated when offered with sincere spiritual commitment.

The contradiction, I sense, attaches less to the term itself than in its rather narrow application. This, combined with a worshipful elevation of Mr. Trump to a pedestal his life and words almost certainly don’t support and which seems almost blasphemous when accompanied by tortured explications of scripture and motivated reasoning that stands in for solid theology.

One might think there is but only one sin described in the Bible or at the very least that that one sin is worse than all of the others combined. But even a cursory examination of scripture finds far more attention paid to the treatment of the stranger or alien, the importance of truth, kindness, mercy, and charity than reference, even tangentially, to unborn life. 

The New Testament, particularly and especially, would seem to harbor the solid principle that the ends cannot justify the means; a poisonous tree does not bear good fruit; that all sins are equally troubling to God save for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which is unredeemable; and that we are all God’s children with one nation or people or race not having a step up or special seat but all with equal access to salvation and Grace. 

And of course, while cautioned to love our neighbors we are warned about the perils of usurping God’s judgement. The prescription offered in Micah 6:8 seems a succinct prelude to the gospel message to come: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

But putting all of that aside, if one really can, the question persists: Has Mr. Trump really promoted life both of the unborn and those already here?

I suppose an answer, although in reality quite narrow in scope, is that the appointment of federal judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade is sufficient proof. Never mind that those same judges hold theories of jurisprudence that promote wealth and property over life unless we are discussing the life imbued in the corporate structure.

I would submit though that cutting programs that provide access to healthcare for the poor and uninsured including those carrying the unborn is not supporting life. Cutting programs that support nutrition, an essential element in a healthy pregnancy and a necessity for the development of children, does not support life nor does it speak to Christian values of mercy and charity. And if one argues that charity is not the place of government, then doesn’t that undermine the argument that government ought to be righteous with respect to other elements espoused in our faith?

Some of those wishing to enter our country are surely pregnant. Is their treatment consistent with the precepts of protecting the unborn? But then I might ask if God considers anyone illegal solely on account of their place of birth? Does the separation of families fulfill any commandment? For those who would argue that “those folks” (which fundamentally ignores the injunction that we are all one under Christ) ought to wait in line, I can only wonder if Jesus designated where the line formed or if “Come to me” was sufficient. Are those who are refugees as a result of our country’s meddling and hubris owed consideration or recompense for our geopolitical sins?

But, when I see a multitude of those who preach a perverse prosperity gospel arrayed in their expensive finery and hovering around the seat of power as so many sycophants seeking earthly riches while praying as the hypocrites who sought notice of men, I am reminded more of the descriptions in Revelations foretelling the Beast than anything holy. In at least some of Mr. Trump’s followers I see a cult-like mob who behave with an almost rabid contempt for their neighbors.

We arrive back at the healthy, spiritually prosperous, even blessed tree, the one that yields good fruit. If you believe in the sanctity of life then act like it, not with lip service to one narrow aspect but thoroughly and fully, just as we are encouraged to submit our souls. Violating several commandments while questioningly serving one does not seem like sufficient justification for the prevarication, the lack of humility, the insults, or the policies that harm so many.

(Mark Jamison retired as postmaster in Webster and lives in Jackson County. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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