What a Southern Baptist Democrat has to say about Trump's America
"I come from a long line of Southern Democrats"
I've never regarded myself as a political individual until the 2016 Presidential campaign. Since I was eighteen (able to vote), I've been a card-carrying Democrat. I was excited the day I registered to vote. I come from a long line of Southern Democrats who have always held the ideas of hard-working Americans who was never afraid to roll up their sleeves. Since registering to vote in 2014, I've never missed an election. I've always voted on local and gubernatorial elections, while never leaving my voting ballot blank. I've always felt it was my patriotic duty to vote. As if, I was almost doing a service for my nation; making my voice heard through the power of one single vote. I take advantage of this nation-given right because many people in this world don't get to have that kind of freedom; being able to vote. Even though I've never missed an election, I've never been biased for one particular party. Just because I'm a Democrat, doesn't mean I only vote Democratic. I've crossed party lines numerous times, even in big elections. So, on June 16, 2015, being a non-biased voter, I was interested to hear what real estate mogul Donald J. Trump had to offer to the political table. On that day, after hearing his candidacy speech live on CNN, I knew, the world would never entirely be the same.
A little about myself: I'm a devout Christian, and I consider myself to be Baptist. I've never touched alcohol, I've never smoked, and I've never done recreational drugs. There are many things I've never done. I've always tried to lead my life by God's word. Being a Southern Baptist with a more progressive ideology has put me in a strange minority, nowadays.
Let me be clear. I'm not what you'd call a "liberal." I'm just more progressive than your average Baptist. When it comes to things such as gay marriage, for example, I've always held the mindset of: I shouldn't judge them because it's not my place. Afterall, it does say in the bible,
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
These words are why I've always kept my nose on my face when it came to issues like gay marriage or transgender issues because I've always felt like it wasn't any of my business. However, many in the Evangelical community have significant problems with these topics, and this is why a traditional Evangelical, and I, have such differences. I know how to keep my nose on my face. Me being a Baptist, I've taken the word of the Holy Bible literally. When the Bible says "Do not judge, or you too will be judged," I take that as in, "don't judge."
For some reason or another, the Evangelical community took to Trump, even early in his Presidential campaign. Which, was awful strange to me. The question I asked early on in his campaign was: 'how can this man be attracting this kind of Christian following?'. To me, he goes against everything in the Bible. He's a wealthy man who's twice divorced; he's cheated on all three of his wives, attacks little people, judges everything about you from your appearance to your weight, mocks disabled people, and has said he has never asked for forgiveness. How could a Christian individual possibly support such a movie villain-type of person?
Apparently, to my surprise, many can support him! Some even support him to the point of cutting off family if they don't agree with President Trump on every little topic. Moreover, I'm not what you'd call a "liberal." I'm more of a Centrist. However, being a Centrist in this society we find ourselves in, sometimes can even feel liberal, due to Trump voters' far-right ideology. Yes, a few family members of mine have unfortunately cut off all communication from me, due to my very up the middle way of thinking. I wasn't "right" enough for them, I suppose. Which is sad because family should never cut each other off due to their belief in politics. However, the situation has gotten to that point for millions of people in this nation.
To me, it seems as if Trump voters have intertwined religiousness and this newly founded sense of false-patriotism that Donald Trump appears to give his base. For some reason, the Trump base has seemingly forgotten that there are many Christians outside of the United States. Take for instance, in October of 2017; the Trump administration began to separate families at the southern United States border. The separation of immigrant families appeared to excite the Trump base, which, is a mostly Christian base. Afterall, Trump did promise an overly large border wall that Mexico would pay for it, which, hasn't happened, yet. Trump has also called immigrants drug dealers, rapists, and breeding animals. Multiple well-known Evangelicals praised the family separations, brushing it off these poor immigrants as monsters and demons that didn't belong in their America. Between Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and famous figures in the televangelist community picking up on this rhetoric, it's no wonder why the way of millions of Americans think, has changed for the bad.
It is simple. Due to Trump's rhetoric, millions of people in his base think of immigrants in the same way they think of a filthy animal. Let me correct that statement. They treat filthy animals better because some would genuinely pick up the filthy animal, and help it. So, I guess you could say, they think of poor immigrants as being lower than an animal. Which, is un-Christian. It is simple for me. To deny the immigrant; is to deny the word of God. There is a passage that's in the Holy book that says,
"The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God."
(On another note, these ways of thinking are being passed along to the children of America. Trump voters who condone this racist rhetoric are passing this along to their children. Don't believe me? I posted a video below this article showing two children at a Trump rally. This video disgusted me because I know this way of thinking came from adults. These children have no clue what they're saying, but it will impact them later in life. Have a look.)
When the family separations began to take place, something inside me changed. I felt I couldn't keep my voice silent any longer, and as a devout Christian, I thought I must stand for Christian values. Separating families is wrong, period. Moreover, it doesn't take a Christian or any other kind of religiously devout person to see it.
From the beginning, Trump fueled this un-needed culture war with people of Latino descent. Calling even an illegal immigrant a rapist or a drug dealer is wrong because also if you feel as if they broke the law, they are still a human being. They are still children of God. God doesn't treat one child better just because he or she was born on a specific side of a border. The Lord loves us all equally.
As a devout Christian, the way Trump and his base feels about immigrants, whether they be legal or not, bothers me a great deal. Surely this isn't the Christian way of thinking about another human being. However, many Christians in the United States have gone out of their way to feel and embrace this disdain for people of color. Trump's Christian base has a special love for things like Confederate flags, "Don't tread on me" flags, Confederate statues, and other controversial things that bothers many people in this nation. They often pass their love for these type of things off as "their history."
Here, we get into the whole "false-patriotism" thing. Trump's base has mistaken their "us versus them" mentality as patriotic. A Confederate flag doesn't represent anyone's "history."
It represents a dark time in our history. The Confederate flag stands for separation and division of the country, among other things it stands for, such as slavery. Yes, the Confederate flag is still very much celebrated among the Trump base. Moreover, we must ask ourselves the critical question, 'why do they still fly this defeated flag'?
Me being from the south, I believe they still fly this flag because they want to feel closer to their people. They want to be separated from other minorities if that's even safe to say. Some Americans in this nation feel as if being white, somehow makes you more patriotic than other people of color. They feel as if; if you don't stand for the flag during the anthem, they feel like you're not a Christian like them. Whatever object such as a Confederate flag, or a phrase like 'don't tread on me' that exists in this nation, that may represent division or separation, they will cling onto it, and pass it off as patriotism.
So, if you ask me what problems I have in this newly founded Trumpian America, I would tell you I have a problem with the lack of compassion. The lack of care for fellow Americans, whether they be Latino, African-American, Asain, or any other ethnicity, we all have to care for one another. Something, millions of Americans are unwilling to do, at least, for the meantime.