Exasperation Of The Right/Left Binary: Billy And Nadia

Recently one Christian claimed that it was the hand of God that elected Donald Trump while another Christian likened Donald Trump to King Herod.

Billy Graham Jr. says it’s the hand of God.

Nadia Bolz-Weber says Trump is King Herod.

Who’s right?

Who’s wrong?

Not only that but while it could be said that the Religious Right has aligned itself with Trump it could also be said that the Religious Left has aligned itself with the Democratic establishment. Rachel Held Evans continues to decry the election of Trump going so far as to agree with government agencies that are trained in the art of lying, deception and redirection. It would seem that many are comfortable “lifting the veil” but only in certain places. And that’s what I find so tiring, even exasperating.

For example, here’s the aforementioned Nadia Bolz-Weber Tweet:image

While the point is well-taken, it’s a bit frustrating given that the person that Donald Trump ran against was responsible for the coup in Honduras which has resulted in the oppression of many vulnerable persons. What’s more, the Supreme Court made abortion legal in 1973 and Planned Parenthood (which Nadia boldly supports) is the brainchild of a woman who wanted to do away with all kinds of vulnerable people. Sure, Donald Trump is a problematic person because of his frail ego, but there are also plenty of things that are very dangerous to the vulnerable in a culture that exalts utility and consumerism above all else. Unfortunately, this is what tends to happen when we find ourselves reading the world around us through the binary lens of the left and right. It so often results in projection and an endless tit-for-tat. It becomes demonic as we take on the role of accuser but only in regards to what we consider important.

So often this is done in the name of Jesus. On a base level it makes sense as Jesus is so very easy to conform to our own image rather than our being conformed to his. Cut and paste, plagiarize and you got yourself your own personal Jesus.

Oddly (or maybe not), it’s this very impulse that he resists during his earthly ministry. Is this not the reason why he has nowhere to lay his head? Left, right, up, down, pure, impure he just doesn’t fit into a box. He is grossly disappointing at times. Ministering to the servant of a centurion, waiting two days before going to raise Lazarus from the dead, slipping away from the crowds that wanted to make him king, talking about taking up a Roman instrument of execution. He always goes beyond our binary ways to a deeper level or what some would call a third way. When we filter him through our lenses of left and right we begin to lose him and his fullness.

Misogyny and racism are beyond problematic but so is abortion.

Immorality and broken families are beyond problematic but so is unfettered capitalism that reduces people to cogs in a machine.

A president who make things up as he goes along is beyond problematic but so is one who kills families with drones and calls Ed Snowden a hacker.

A government that attempts to influence the election of another country is beyond problematic but so is a government that has done so for years.

All of these things are interconnected and they are not so easily divided as we tend to make them. Nonetheless, dividing things in such a way makes the world seem safer and easier to understand. I don’t know, though, because while it may give us a sense of control it actually makes the world a more dangerous place. That, I believe, is something we need to really take to heart as we move into the era of President Donald Trump.


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