A New Song: Give Them Their New King
I wrote what I thought was a protest song. But a friend told me that he thought it was more of a lament–maybe even intercession.
I have been confused that so many people who claim Jesus of Nazareth as the center of their lives are celebrating a man who is so antithetical to everything that Jesus lived and preached. I might understand (though disagree) with someone who is quietly reluctant to vote for a lesser of two evils, but this has been something more than that. No matter what happens on Nov 8th, an only lightly challenged voice within this corner of the church is a toxic waste spill into the ecosystem.
In some sense I am grateful for it. If some see Trump as a brick through the plate glass of politics, I see him as a good hard look in the mirror for Evangelicals. This is the 20th anniversary present for a news organization that has told people 24/7 to be angry and afraid. If what you put in the ground bears fruit, then Donald Trump and Roger Ailes (among others) are the evidence I have to run off of. And last I checked, a constant state of angry and afraid seems antithetical to the sort of fruit that God is looking for.
And it all reminds me of Israel and Saul. They wanted a new king, a different version of power than what God had given them, something they could see and control and show off. They got what they wanted: a temperamental, self indulgent, self directed madman. It cost them dearly.
Though a few years ago I cast an empty ballot in order to talk about how much evangelicals love politics and how much it is destroying them, I have largely tried to keep out of the public fray. It was not my role. But this seems so obscene, or perhaps just insane. And I needed to purge the madness out of my system, to mourn an old dog who has both lost its teeth and its kindness in exchange for a meaner bark.