By Andrew Pate, Jr.
From where I sit, politics in the U.S. since 2015 have been much stormier than usual, due in largest measure to one person – Donald J. Trump. Mostly, I have kept my views quiet within the confines of the church I have been serving. For I am well aware that many congregants do not see the world and certain issues as I do.
But I think it a serious mistake to let my voice remain silent. The Christian Church expects its ordained ministers to be knowledgeable about current happenings in the world and to be able to apply Biblical insight to them.
So it is, for those interested, I wish to state my Biblically based views on recent political events.
#1 – For good and valid reasons, I am no follower of Donald Trump. Indeed, he epitomizes for me the very opposite of the core Christian values I look for in our nation’s leaders. He plays loosely with truth. He defines what he says because he has said it as the only correct view, and often without evidence or Christian values to support whatever he is thinking, which varies from moment to moment. Trump’s disrespect for education and basic democratic principles alarms me greatly.
#2 – I am a member of no political party, and never have been. I vote for the candidate who, to me, best meets the standards I have cited above. And I take a position on particular issues in the same way.
#3 – To be as knowledgeable as I can be, I read widely a variety of major newspapers. For my daily news, I follow most closely AP and UPI news, while reading regularly a variety of opinions by our most respected reporters, including several who are conservative and traditional Republicans. I pay almost no attention to extremists, on the right or on the left, whether on Fox News or CNN.
#4 – Also on a regular basis I discuss politics with close friends, my wife and other clergy. For the most part, as you’d expect, I think, we tend to agree. We share the same study and reading habits.
#5 – THE major issue with which I have had to deal throughout my 61 years in ordained ministry stands above all others: racism, especially with respect to the Southern heritage, in which I was born and in which I have worked most of my adult life.
Racism in the U.S. is deep-seated, and often unacknowledged. Early in ministry, I discovered how entrenched it is. With the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s I thought (I hoped) things would get better. But they still are major racist problems in the U.S. and nowhere more evident than in Trumpism.
Pro-Trumpites do not want to be challenged, especially by a minister, even more do they not want it when the minister is their minister. I deeply regret what I consider to be their closed minds on the subject, closed to the Truth as we understand Truth in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
To Sum Up: As a minister of Jesus Christ and staunch upholder of Christ’s values, I am categorically opposed to any form of racism that degrades another human being because of their color or because they are not like Anglos.
And I wish this to be known by everyone who has a real interest in my opinions as a Christian minister.
13 May 2021