Political Violence

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t want this to be a political blog, but sometimes politics and religion overlap and I just can’t let the opportunity go by without writing something.

Now, people that know me know that I take very little at face value.  I fact check pretty much everything I’m told.  That happened again recently.  A little background first, though…

I’m a conservative.  More specifically, a constitutional conservative.  I love God, country, and fellow man.  I respect the office of President, the military, and the voting process.

Now, I don’t particularly like Donald Trump, but I’ve been upset that people that support him have been physically assaulted by those who don’t.  As I said, I fact check these things and in this case, there are multiple videos that show these attacks.

There are also reports of attacks by Trump Supporters on innocents as well.  One article I was sent can be found here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/anti-trump-protesters-attacked-all-of-us-in-san-jose/485444/?utm_source=atltw

So, what I wanted to know is if the candidates or the President have said anything condemning those attacks.  And I found that they have…sort of…

Here is the link that I found: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/clinton-trump-rally-violence-223885

Clinton started off with a good thing to say:

“I condemn all violence in our political arena”

But, then she started in with what I call the “condemn but blame” game.  Here are the next things she said:

“I condemned it when Donald Trump was inciting it and congratulating people who were engaging in it. I condemn it by those who are taking violent protests to physical assault against Donald Trump.”

“He created an environment in which it seemed to be acceptable for someone running for president to be inciting violence, to be encouraging his supporters,” she continued. “Now we’re seeing people who were against him responding in kind. It should all stop. It is not acceptable.”

“The police have a hard enough job trying to make sure that we’re able to gather and talk about the issues facing our country, and Trump has lowered the bar. And now is it a surprise that people who don’t like him are stepping over that low bar? I don’t think it is.”

Our president picked up on the “condemn but blame” game too:

“It is very important for us to remind ourselves of who we are and what is best about American democracy and not slip into some of the bad habits that currently manifest themselves in the other party”

“We saw in San Jose these protesters starting to pelt stuff and Trump supporters. That’s not what our democracy is about. That’s not what you do. There’s no room for violence. There’s no place for shouting. There’s no room for a politics that fails to at least listen to the other side — even if you vehemently disagree. Because I believe if you’ve got the better argument, then you don’t need to do that. Just go out there and organize and persuade.”

Trump was not innocent in all of this either:

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell—  I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise. It won’t be so much ’cause the courts agree with us too.”

I’m appalled.  All of these people who profess Christianity, but can’t seem to adhere to Christian values.

First, to Mr. Trump.  This was a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to say.  Violence of any kind against anyone in peaceful society should be frowned upon.  Inciting people to commit violence should not be something coming out of the mouth of a presidential candidate.

Mark 9:42 tells us that we should be careful not to cause a brother / sister to stumble:

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. – Mark 9:42

Inciting someone to assault another person is causing them to sin.  Why would you do this if you profess Christianity?  Even if you don’t profess Christianity, why would you do this?  Why not just say something like:

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience.  If they decide to throw them, it’s fine…it will wash out.  Matthew 5:39 says “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”  And look on the bright side, if you do have a tomato thrown at you, hey, free tomato.”

Furthermore, to be completely fair and to try to be as non-partisan as I can, I couldn’t find any statements by you condemning the attacks that your supporters have perpetrated on others.  As much as Mrs. Clinton and President Obama’s remarks are “condemn but blame” statements, at least they had the condemn part.

Second, to Mrs. Clinton.  Why qualify this?  Would it be so hard to just say “I don’t want violence of any kind against Mr. Trump’s supporters.”  And leave it there?  To continue on like you did was a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do.  Your statement can be summed up like this: “I don’t want any violence against Trump supporters, but he brought it on himself.”

That may be so, but why say it?  By saying this, what you are saying is no better than some of the following ridiculous statements:

I didn’t want him to have his house broken into, but he shouldn’t have left the door unlocked.

I didn’t want him to get murdered, but he shouldn’t have been there.

I didn’t want her to get assaulted, but she shouldn’t have dressed that way.

All of these, including your statements, are idiotic.  And are victim blaming.  Furthermore, it’s not even Trump being attacked…it’s innocent supporters being attacked by people that support you.  So, to put this into perspective, the statements from above become:

I didn’t want him to have his house broken into, but his neighbor shouldn’t have left their door unlocked.

I didn’t want him to get murdered, but his mother shouldn’t have been there.

I didn’t want her to get assaulted, but her friend shouldn’t have dressed that way.

This is ludicrous in the extreme.  Where is your empathy for those people who were doing nothing wrong but only holding signs or wearing caps?  To you it’s simply unfortunate that those people were attacked, but it’s understandable since their candidate said something stupid?  Why don’t you just say something like this:

I would like all of the violence to stop because the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:9 “not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing”.  Please do not attack anyone that supports Mr. Trump.

Now, on to you, Mr. President.  You almost had a great statement, but you had to get your jab in first, didn’t you?

“It is very important for us to remind ourselves of who we are and what is best about American democracy and not slip into some of the bad habits that currently manifest themselves in the other party”

Just couldn’t make a statement without trying to vilify the other side of the isle, huh?  Once again, this was a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to say.  Why not just:

“It is very important for us to remind ourselves of who we are and what is best about American democracy and not slip into bad habits and violence”

Are you not everyone’s president?  Are you not supposed to try to bring the nation together?  Why do you constantly disparage people who don’t agree with you on political topics?  Is that the thing to do?  Why can’t you just say something like:

Romans 12:18 says “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” so I would encourage everyone in the country to not be violent toward another because of what they believe.”

I have not yet decided if I will vote in this election.  It seems my choices are all bad ones.  I will say this: I cannot vote for you, Mrs. Clinton, because of the sin you support.  Mr. Trump, you support a lot of sin as well and that may keep me from being able, in good conscious, from supporting you either.  But, even if neither of you get my vote, you may get my respect if you would listen to and employ the things I’ve said in this post.

I really don’t expect this blog to ever be read by any of the candidates.  I would love it if that were the case, if they saw the error of their ways, and turned to Christ in earnest instead of just using His name for political gain.

In that vein, I ask all my brothers and sisters in Christ to share this post with everyone they know.  I usually don’t ask for recognition or to have my posts shared, but if this one can get out then perhaps we can finally have that voice that Christians are always saying we need.  I don’t want to be in the spotlight, but if I can bring glory to God by being his messenger for a time, I will gladly do that for Him after He has done so much for me.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” – Romans 12:1

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