You may have noticed that Donald Trump may be the most sympathetic President towards Israel that this nation has ever seen. There are several reasons for this but the one I want to focus on is the influence from the religious right – a huge block supporting the Trump presidency.
Growing up in Texas as a Hispanic Catholic, I did not know what a Jew was, nor a Protestant for that matter. Catholics do not refer to the Old Testament very much, it is all about the New Testament. As for Protestants, well, my parents would just say, “let them worry about theirs and you worry about yours”. So, we just concentrated on the New Testament and what we learned in Catechism (that is Sunday School for Catholics, but it was on Saturdays).
I only listen to 3 radio stations, depending what part of town I am in and how good the reception is at the time: Catholic radio, Protestant radio, and National Public Radio. Let me tell you, I listen to a lot of Protestant radio. I live 65 miles away from Houston, and on those drives, Protestant radio is better than listening to RAP, Miley Cyrus, or Kanye West.
One of the things that has caught my ear is how Protestantism CONSTANTLY refers to Jews as “God’s chosen people” – as is said in the Bible. This is what the far religious right is using to influence Trump. Although the statement is, in my opinion, true; what does it mean?
The way I see it, and this is what I have been taught by Catholicism, the Jews live by the book of Deuteronomy – which means “The Second Law”. After the Golden Calf incident in the desert, the Jews were given a second law to follow, an easier and inferior law. However, the Bible says that Jesus came to return us to the original law, the one before the Golden Calf. The second law allowed things like divorce, the first law did not allow divorce, for instance.
Stay with me here as I think logically through this. If Christians follow the original law, a Jewish law, then that means that Christianity is just Judaism with a different name; and thus, Christians are actually “God’s Chosen People”. Of course not everyone believes this, but if you are a Christian, this is the only logical conclusion. St. Paul even said that it did not matter if you were circumcised or uncircumcised.
Protestants say that Catholics do not know the bible (which is true); but if so, then how do all these Evangelicals I hear on the radio miss this point? The religious right goes on and on about how we need to protect Israel by supplying weapons and financial support because we need to protect God’s chosen people. Many American Jews are saying, “Judaism is my religion, not my nationality”. These Jews insist that they are Americans, not Israelis. And yet, it seems like many Christians have missed the whole point of Christmas – Jesus came to make us all family, His Chosen People.
Now here is what is really confusing. The far right likes Trump because he supports the Pro Life movement, and gun ownership, and the State of Israel. But ironically, Trump is working with the UN to make homosexuality legal everywhere in the world. Where are the Evangelicals now? Not a peep out of them. Instead they rant on about protecting God’s Chosen People. Where are Pastor Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Ravi Zacharias, and the rest now?
Do not get me wrong, President Trump is doing some good things for conservatives and we should not abandon him. The religious right does need to confront him on this issue. I would just like to say to all those conservative ministers out there, “Stand up and own your religious birth-right and help the President see the inconsistencies of his logic”. I have lived in the Bible Belt all of my life, and I know that legalizing anything LGBQT is not on the conservative right protestant agenda.