Letter: President sends mixed signals regarding Charlottesville tragedy

From: Kermet Merl Key


In John 5, Jesus heals a man, and the Jewish leaders harass him for working on the Sabbath. He tells them, “My Father is always working and so am I.” John 5:18: “So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.” Christians argue that passages like this prove Jesus claimed to be God based on the leaders’ response.

Recently in Charlottesville, Virginia, neo-Nazis and white nationalists clashed with counter protesters. A white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. National leaders immediately denounced the neo-Nazis in the harshest terms. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote: “Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.” Conservative pundit Bill Kristol wrote: “What @POTUS should say: ‘To racists and anti-Semites who claim to support me, know this: I denounce your bigotry and reject your support.'” But President Donald Trump said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

Andrew Anglin, creator of the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, praised Trump’s response. “He didn’t attack us. …(He) implied that there was hate … on both sides. So he implied the antifa[scists] are haters. There was virtually no counter-signaling of us all.’ White supremacist David Duke tweeted: “Thank you President Trump for your honesty and courage to the truth about #Charlottesville and condemn the leftists terrorists in BLM/Antifa.” CNN commentator Van Jones stated, “An American was assassinated in broad daylight by a Nazi. A Nazi who the day before had been marching with torches down American streets saying anti-Jewish, anti-black stuff. … This is not a time to talk about ‘both sides.'”

On Aug. 14, Trump condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists, but the following day he attacked the media and reverted to his “many sides” argument. However, I’m more concerned with what was said Sunday morning and every Sunday for that matter. I am concerned with what preachers, pastors, priests and proselytizers who pore over books in order to dissect divine meaning from just one are saying to the people in their pews each Sunday.

According to a Pew Research Preliminary analysis, 58 percent of Protestants voted for Trump in 2016 (with 81 percent of white, born-again evangelical Christians). I cannot understand how it is possible if these churches are teaching the biblical gospel that more than half of them would in turn vote for a man who gives support to neo-Nazis. Let’s not ignore his numerous sexist, racist, xenophobic and bigoted remarks, yet one who studies the same book their entire life in order to parse this jot and that tittle would have to in order to vote for a man who resembles the antichrist more than the savior. I wonder if this Sunday these learned men will read Matthew chapter 23 to their people. How will they respond?