Let me start by saying I have no political or religious affiliation. I choose people according to character.
After reading the posting by Father David Epps from March 1, 2018, I watched the Michelle Wolf speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. I did not find it funny either. It was hateful and appalling to call it comedy.
I’m wondering how influential a comedian really is. And who should be held more accountable for their speech — a comedian or the president? The comedy sketch was 20 minutes and will soon be forgotten, but we’ve listened to President Trump for three years and will have at least three more years.
Father Epps described Ms. Wolf in the following ways — “vulgar, insulting, and generally unfunny,” “embarrassed by her performance,” “was in attack mode.” This perfectly describes the most influential person in our country and perhaps even the world — President Trump.
Take an hour or two and watch one of his rallies or any speech or debate he has had since announcing his run for president. Even his Twitter feed is full of comparable rhetoric of how Father Epps described this fairly insignificant comedian.
He chose a passage of scripture from one of my favorite books of the Bible. Father Epps stated, “The Bible says that, “A merry heart does good, like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).” I love Proverbs. It is full of the best guidance for how to act, and who and what to avoid. It gives plenty of warnings against characters like Trump.
In the 2016 election, Pew Research found that Protestants, white Catholics, evangelical Christians, and Mormons voted greater than 50 percent for Trump. Essentially, more than half of Father Epps’s congregation voted for a bully.
What happened to “the Word of God” as Christian Trump voters went to the polls, especially the 81 percent of evangelicals? What happened to all the great guidance and warnings in the book of Proverbs?
Growing up Catholic, we were taught that it was our duty to strive to be “Christ-like.” When choosing a leader or someone in my inner circle, one place from which I draw guidance is the Bible. Mark 12:30-31 says the new covenant commandments are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Seeing that “love” is the guiding principle here, the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, describes “love” as patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. What, if any part of this describes our president?
After listening to Trump’s latest rally and watching the spectators, I must say that what I saw and heard was the opposite of what the Bible and God expects of us.
Near the end of Father Epps article, he said, “But, these days, we have a polarized country. We have people who enjoy seeing other people bullied and humiliated … especially those who think differently than they do.” You can observe this very description by going to YouTube and watching any of the many Trump rallies or campaign debates.
Peace and unity will never happen without respect and tolerance. This has to start at the top.
If I were not so deeply concerned about the world and America, I would not follow anything Trump says or does. But he has too much power to not know what is going on. After Trump makes America great again, perhaps Father Epps or any other influential Christian leader, could step up with him, follow the principles and teachings of the Bible, and help him to Make America Kind Again.
Peachtree City, Ga.