We, as a country, are experiencing passage into a place that, biblically speaking, resembles what we would say is what hell must be like. One might say, to use an old colloquialism, we are actually in “one meleva hess.”
Many fundamentalist Christians who are opposed to extra-marital shenanigans, as well as lying, have “jumped into bed” with President Donald Trump who is blatantly guilty of both of these sins, not to mention being a racist. It is hard for me to accept the fact that the president of our United States was quoted as saying “sh–hole” countries in referring to certain nations. They deserve better than that. And we deserve a president that is better than that.
The fact that Trump has had three wives and countless affairs seems not to bother some people at all. The recent discovery that, prior to the last election, he paid a porn actress $130,000 to keep quiet about a sexual affair, and is not being condemned by fundamentalist Christians is vivid testimony that they are willing to let sleeping dogs lie as long as Trump continues to be a racist. The obvious racist acts and statements of the president with no condemnation from the fundamentalist Christian community shows there is still a strong vein of racism in this great nation of ours.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Trump is deliberately playing to our lowest instincts. There are times in the lives of most married adults when they have been tempted to be untrue to their marriage vows. Many people in business face the temptation to cheat in their business practices. But they resist those temptations and move on. Also, many vestiges of a segregated society still remain which have been promoted by Trump. And yet he was elected president! He is now the titular head of supposedly the greatest democracy on Earth. So, one could say, “It must be all right to lie, cheat and promote racial prejudice. Trump did it and we elected him president.”
It is not the first time we, as a nation, have made a mistake, and it will almost certainly not be the last. For example, we made a mistake in not impeaching Bill Clinton. The House of Representatives voted for impeachment, but the Senate did not, thus aborting the impeachment process. Clinton kept our nation in an unnecessary uproar for a year or more by lying about having sex with Monica Lewinski, a young White House intern. This is truly unacceptable. Our country is better than that.
Trump’s election should make a lasting impression to never again vote for a person with so many obvious character flaws simply because we agree on one particular issue. In Trump’s case, we have a person with character flaws all over the map. He lies. He cheats. He‘s a racist. He’s extremely arrogant. He has also long both courted and harassed numerous women, many while married.
It is still difficult to understand why many people in America voted for a crook, a racist and a womanizer. There was much evidence on the flawed character of Trump. For example, prior to the 2016 election, an outstanding book was published dealing with Trump’s outright chicanery. It was by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Cay Johnston, titled “The Making of Donald Trump.”
In the July 25, 2016 issue of The New Yorker there was a huge story of the remorse of Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s bestselling book, “The Art of the Deal.” He spent many hours with Trump in writing the book, and he became appalled at the man’s true character. When Trump ran for president, Schwartz was hugely distressed, feeling that he had been a part of the background that allowed Trump to make a valid run. It is too bad that we did not read and heed that article.
The evidence is becoming quite clear that there is still a large amount of racism and anti-immigration sentiment prevalent in America. There are still a number of people who want to “build that wall.”
Am I free of all prejudice? Are any of us prejudice free? I doubt it, but all of us should be striving to move on up the road to civil rights. In my own struggle it is comforting to remember those heroes of the past, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks.
And racists are not limited to whites. There are some people in all our racial groups in America who bear some prejudice toward other races. To be completely clear of racism is a never-ending struggle. None of us are perfect in our pursuit of racial justice, but it is a struggle well worth pursuing. I would like to think that you and I are a part of the society that works for a brighter and more inclusive tomorrow.
In my opinion, we can begin now by working hard to impeach the person who is daily leading us Americans through the gates of hell.
Inman Moore is a retired pastor with the United Methodist Church. Contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.