Is Rev Al Miller still praying for Trump?

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Is Rev Al Miller still praying for Trump?

Glenn Tucker

Monday, January 11, 2021

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In the weeks following the US elections my phones were bombarded with calls asking me to read Reverend Al Miller's article in this paper. I was told it was in support of Donald Trump — praising his performance and praying for a second term for him.

Some days before, I got a video of an animated Paula White repeatedly striking a table, while praying and predicting that God would give Trump a second term.

There are some people who gather at my home for Bible study twice each month. They are all highly intelligent individuals who take scriptural matters seriously. I was surprised to learn, recently, that some of them are staunch supporters of Trump. My own position springs from substantial reading and research on this man.

I would never argue with a Trump supporter, as I think that our positions run along parallel lines and, thus, there is little likelihood that they will ever meet.

I must confess, however, to a considerable amount of bewilderment when I read what Reverend Al Miller had to say about this man. Rev Al is one of my favourite pastors. I have a healthy respect for him and the others in his family constellation who I happen to know. I still struggle to understand what he was trying to say.

Reverend Al spoke of “Traditional values that have been time-tested and proven to make for stable societies, and the strength to maintain the balance of power in the world from oppressive regimes and terrorism.” But two months after Trump's presidency began, a Gallop poll was conducted using six key characteristics — (1) keeps his promises; (2) is a strong and decisive leader; (3) can bring about changes this country needs; (4) honesty and trustworthy; (5) care for the needs of people like you; and (6) effective management of the Government — revealed that his image among Americans as someone who keeps his promises had already started to fade, falling from 62 per cent to 45 per cent. In fact, he had slipped in all key characteristics.

Trump started his presidency with a flurry of executive orders and Cabinet appointments. This seemed to convey the impression that he was keeping his pledges to fundamentally alter the course of the federal government. Two months later, among all demographic groups, including Republicans and Democrats, the polls showed that Americans were less likely to think Trump keeps his promises.

Globally, Trump publicly humiliated America's friends. He went to extraordinary lengths to dismantle the global alliances that kept the world safe for 75 years. The World Health Organization (WHO), which caters to the world's poorest, was targeted for elimination. At the UN, his representative warned the world that those countries that do not vote in line with America's wishes needed to “watch it”.

Yes, there are many who see this style as “strong and decisive”, but it's really just rude, crude, tactless and bullying behaviour which the diplomatic community found revolting.

And what are the “time-tested and proven traditional values, proven to make for stable societies” that Trump promoted? Is it concern for the poor? Here are a few examples of his 'concern'.

* He raised household payments, negatively affecting one million needy households.

* He delayed court proceedings on Barack Obama's expansion of overtime payments, negatively affecting 4.2 million workers.

* He repealed Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Executive Order exposing working women to sex abuse, harassment and discrimination.

* He cut taxes to the wealthy by US$157 billion over 10 years that was required to help fund Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal claims that he personally benefited to the tune of US$3.2 million from this initiative in 2016 alone.

* He slashed job training programmes, negatively affecting 2.7 million people.

* Some 1,265 communities were negatively affected by a US$6.2 billion cut in housing and community support programmes.

Is it family life? I will not comment on his multiple marriages, but he faced 27 cases of allegations of sexual abuse and rape. One case he still has to answer has to do with claims made by a prostitute who he used campaign funds in a failed attempt to silence while his third wife was pregnant. Although God used a prostitute called Rahab to further the fulfilment of his plan, his feelings about that profession are clearly stated in Proverbs 23: 27-28.

I only heard of this tragedy, but I relive it nightly as if I had witnessed it. It is the policy decision by Trump to tear children from their mothers at the border. Mothers who walked for weeks, because they had no alternative, in search of a safe and better life for their children. The picture was painted in vivid terms, of hundreds of wailing children, with no sanitary conveniences, wearing the same clothes for weeks in stink cages.

Here is God's position on individuals like Trump, Rev Al, Proverbs 14: 31, “He that oppresses the poor, reproaches his Maker…”

I do not know if local support for Trump has to do with the fact that American evangelicals at one point formed Trump's largest block of support. If so, it is important to understand who these people are. Fredrick Douglass, in his first autobiography, wrote that when his master converted to Christianity he entertained the highest hopes that he would treat his slaves better. Instead, he was more brutal. In polls conducted last year, a clear pattern emerged that white Christians are consistently more likely than whites that are religiously unaffiliated to deny the existence of structural racism. These white Christians insist that police killings of black men are just “isolated incidents”.

The dreaded Ku Klux Klan professes to be a Christian organisation. Klan members who, for sport, set the homes of black families afire at nights while they were asleep, and hanged and castrated black people with their children watching before heading off to church to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know,” existed until quite recently.

Before Trump took office, a majority of Americans viewed him unfavourably. He is the first elected president in Gallop polling history to receive an initial job approval rating below the majority level and has never come close to surpassing the 50 per cent mark.

I am struggling to understand how in the age of Trump, all of a sudden, sin is no longer sinful, cruelty is tolerable, and selfishness is smart.

Reverend Al, God is wise. That is why the elections went the way it did. Forget about the second term. Just pray for him.

Glenn Tucker is an educator and sociologist. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or glenntucker2011@gmail.com.


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