Monday, January 30, 2017


   In Jesus' time Caesar was the legitimate political leader of the Roman Empire.  Today Donald Trump is the legitimate political leader of the United States.  

   However, to be a truly and fully legitimate leader, President Trump must enrich our political identity by touching and enhancing the better angels, the soul, of our nation.  He has to respect the soul of America and lead the nation toward ever more humanizing order, justice, good will, peace, freedom and love.  He needs to be knowledgeable of America's great principles of freedom upon which our nation was founded.  He needs to care effectively about the American people and the peoples around the world.  

   Very importantly, he needs to see the complete, overall picture of our country and the world, and then make decisions that fit together the various aspects of our country and the world in creative, healing and world-evolving freedom, justice, peace and love. That's the way to put American First!

   Sadly, President Trump has not shown that he capable of being the fully legitimate leader of the United States.  He has shown himself to be a danger to our democracy and humanity, and thus to our spirituality, which is the continuing evolution of our humanity toward fullness of life in love.  He is a challenge to our patriotism and to our faith.  

   And thus he is challenging us to make stark spiritual choice:  What shall we render to him and what shall we render to God?  The Gospels show us the way to our answer.  (Cf. Mt. 22:15-22)

   The Pharisees, looking to discredit Jesus, came to him in order to trick him into betraying Israel by giving legitimacy to the hated Caesar.  They asked Jesus if it was lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar.  If Jesus said yes, he would be a traitor to his people. 

   Instead of answering, Jesus asked them to show him a Denarius, the Roman coin used to pay the tax.  It was stamped with the head of Caesar.   Take a moment to imagine this.  Jesus Christ, God in human form, was holding in his hand the image of Caesar, who claimed to be God in human form.  

   Instead of answering the Pharisees' question, Jesus said, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render to God what is God's.

   What did he mean?  He was saying, "Give to his insane, humanly/spiritually illegitimate leader what is his political right to receive. Pay him his taxes because if we don't, the Roman army will annihilate us."  Jesus was facing the practical, concrete situation that Israel was facing at that time.  So he gave an answer that was sadly necessary under those particular conditions. He was not saying that we should give some allegiance to the political leader and some to God.  He was saying that we should give some allegiance to our political leaders, and all our allegiance to God. 

   He was subordinating politics to faith.  Jesus knew that everything and everyone, including the government, belongs to God.  And so did the Pharisees.  For example they knew well, "The earth is the Lord's and all it holds; the world and those who live there." (Ps. 42:1).  Kingship belongs to the Lord, the ruler over all nations.  (Ps. 22:29).  The story says that the Pharisees were amazed, i.e., confounded, by Jesus' answers.  That's because they were embarrassed that Jesus showed them to be the hypocrites they were.

   So Jesus gives us our answer to our question.  Trump or God?  We accept President Trump within the overall context of our true American patriotism, and within our overarching faith in God and Jesus Christ.  By doing this, we expect President Trump to fulfill all the requirements I listed above, which come under the requirements of both our country and our faith.  All them are of America and of God.   We render to Caesar only what is of God!  And we vigorously reject what of Caesar is not of God.

   Some Americans are saying that this means our country should be a Theocracy.  Some believe that Vice President Pence is of this opinion.  No. Our total allegiance to God does not mean that we should be a Theocracy.  It does mean that we must make sure that our faith is fully adult and up to date, so it can be relevant and effective in our country and world today.  This Blog is dedicated to presenting an adult, relevant, effective faith.   (In my next Post I'll show how Christ opens the way to freedom of religion for all people.)        

   In a previous Post I said that President Trump is a narcissist and psychopathic liar.  Now I must go beyond that sad opinion.  From my experience as a spiritual theologian and a psychotherapist, I believe that President Trump is a narcissist and pathological liar to the point of being delusional.  He is living in a world of his own making.  It is not the world of a democratic government run by laws; it is a world in which he is the supreme, unquestionable Caesar.  In his world, he does not ask advice from professional experts.  He has his own private Court, that feels free to tell the media to "Shut up!" and listen to their delusional views.

  And so, without consulting the experts that are readily available to him, he created his narrow-minded, bullish Executive Order to stop immigrants from entering the country, even handcuffing an Iraqi man who risked his life translating for our troops in Iraq.  With thousands upon thousands of people in the real world protesting, and with ACLU lawyers appealing to judges to correct the Order, he says that everything is progressing well at the airports.  

  And we remember that he "saw" thousands of Muslims cheering on 9/11; and that there were record, overwhelming thousands and thousands of people at his inauguration.  I submit that nothing that he does should be considered to be normal.  The media must look at him and report on him in the context of his being not normal but delusional. 

   Sadly, many of those who voted for him are agreeing with what he is doing.  They are mistaking process for content.  Yes, he is doing things.  But they are destructive things.

   Far too many of our legislators are being quiet and thereby abetting the President's destructive, delusional actions.  With forced calm, White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus,  trivialized the President's actions and said everything is ordinary.  And Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, sounded like one of Caesar's centurions when she issued the order, "Get used to it!"  I just heard that Trump has fired the acting Attorney General, whom he hired, for telling the Justice Dept. not to defend the immigration ban.  The White House reported that she has betrayed the administration.  "Betrayed!"  Good "Caesar" word!  Such unhinged words and acts are causing serious damage to our country's reputation and to everybody's sanity.

   Today we face a great and somber challenge.  President Trump is offering us a coin stamped with the face of a false God and demanding we give allegiance to it.  In a peaceful but vigorous way we must oppose him every time he acts like Caesar, and loudly choose allegiance to God.  

   God, please bless America!    





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