The Trump distraction and disgrace

Published 8:27 pm Friday, July 24, 2015

By Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr.

Donald Trump garnered much publicity for himself by appearing on a television show and telling people, “You’re fired!” Personally, I hope the Republican Party will have the good sense to now say the same thing to Donald Trump.

Trump’s recent comments about Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war John McCain were despicable. Trump said, “He’s not a war hero. He was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”


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How could a man who would say that ever serve as commander in chief? He can’t.

In many ways, Trump represents the worst of America. He recently said this about immigrants from Mexico: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”

Trump’s inflammatory statement implies that most Mexican immigrants are drug-dealers, criminals and rapists, when in fact the vast majority of them are decent people who are looking for the opportunity to work. They didn’t happen to be born with Donald Trump’s privileges.

Don’t get me wrong. We cannot just throw open our borders, especially in an age of drugs and terrorism. We need fair and reasonable immigration policies. What we don’t need is angry rhetoric.

This is the same Donald Trump who took to Twitter a year ago to protest the fact that compassionate Christian doctors who had contracted Ebola while serving the sick and poor of West Africa were being allowed back into our country to get treatment.

He stated, “The U.S. cannot allow Ebola-infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great — but must suffer the consequences!”

Is this really a man we want sitting in the Oval Office? The doctors who went to “far away places” were doing so out of love for Christ and love for people who have none of the advantages we have as Americans. When they were infected with the disease themselves, they were taken back into our country under the most secure procedures imaginable. Their lives were saved.

I pray for Donald Trump to come to know the One who lovingly came from heaven to a “far away place” called planet Earth. He came here to allow Himself to be infected with our disease, a disease called sin.

Jesus came to rescue us by taking our sins on Himself and dying in our place. That is why Christians go to dark and dangerous places to share Christ’s love with others — because we know that He came for us.

And when it comes to immigrants, we are called to show compassion. God told the Israelites in Exodus 22:21, “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”

That is especially important for Americans to remember, for we are a nation of immigrants. Unless you happen to be a Native American, your ancestors came to this country from somewhere else.

Never forget that, and never forget that God calls you to love your neighbor, no matter where they were born.

The fact that a person like Donald Trump has a large presence in American life is indicative of the coarsening of our culture. Fortunately, most Americans see through his act. Let’s just hope his presence in the campaign doesn’t distract from the real issues we face as a nation.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.