What is your favorite absurd Bible verse
February 5, 2017, 6:55 am
The world agrees: It doesn't work that way. What the new American president is doing is getting increasingly grotesque: It wasn't that long ago that the fall of a wall was rightly celebrated as a great human achievement. Now Donald Trump is building a new one.
For centuries people have struggled for religious freedom, it is considered a great asset worth protecting. Religious freedom is seen as a feature of developed democracies, it is evidence of tolerance and reason. President Trump, on the other hand, excludes people who have the supposedly wrong religion. Not only is this unreasonable, it is also unchristian. I say this because the president also spoke of his religion during the election campaign and emphasized his denomination as Presbyterian. The Bible is his favorite book, he said in an interview last August. Significantly, his favorite Bible verse is "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".
Now one can say that election campaign and reality have little to do with each other - not only in the USA. Furthermore, you cannot (yet) win an election campaign in the USA without a clear commitment to Christianity. Apart from that, Trump changed parties - went from Democrat to Republican. Conservative Christians in the USA still give him great credit for this. Also, for many white evangelical Christians, Trump is someone who stops the decline of morals. In their eyes, his slogan "Make America great again" means nothing more than that homosexuality is once again ostracized or that the alleged sin of abortion is being massively tackled.
That may also be one of the reasons why Trump defeated his rival Hillary Clinton, as she stood for a liberal approach to these and other issues. That made them ineligible for many American Conservative Christians. Trump became president with many evangelical and conservative Christian voices.
Trump, the Christian, is now marginalizing people who have the wrong creed. It seems almost absurd that many Christians have given him their vote. This shows that the abuse of religion has also found its way into Christianity. Unfortunately, this abuse is not infrequently accompanied by violence.
Trump's abundance of power is dangerous. The past week has shown what it can do with it: Desperate people at airports, literally ostracized because of their religion and origin. Fortunately, there are many people who take to the streets against this discrimination who have a different understanding of religion. Because it is also fundamentally stated here: With Christianity, people can never and nowhere be excluded, be it on the basis of their religion, their skin color, their sexuality. Obviously, that's how I thought until last week.
This is how the reformers' thoughts are sadly topical: they initiated and fought for religious freedom and maturity 500 years ago. Just as their descendants are still committed to it. Freedom and responsibility are at the heart of the Reformation anniversary celebrations. This emphasizes the freedom of people from all worldly constraints and hierarchies. The benchmark is conscience and responsibility towards Christian values and the human dignity based on them. Human rights flow from this. Freedom and responsibility - both are currently being trampled on in the USA.
And because the President's favorite biblical verse was mentioned earlier: an eye for an eye - a tooth for a tooth. Incidentally, Jesus Christ commented on this sentence from the Old Testament (2 Mos 21:24): In the Gospel of Matthew it says: If someone hits you on your right cheek, offer the other one too. And if someone presses you a mile, so go with him two. Give to whoever asks you and do not turn away from whoever wants to borrow from you.
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