Sunday, May 29, 2016

Love Thy Enemy on the Campaign Trail

I've been reading BODY BROKEN, by Robert Benson, and, in a chapter that contemplated the phrase "Love your enemy," I found myself thinking about the presidential campaign. First, I thought about the need for all of us to remove the vitriol from our political discourse. But then I went further.

Bernie Sanders is not my enemy, though I support Hillary Clinton. Even if those who support Sanders push me the wrong way, I can stomach the notion of loving them, perhaps in the abstract, perhaps as a vague sort of tolerance or forgiveness, or an open-ness to the value of their ideas and the value of differing opinions in driving the ship of state. Right-wing Republicans are not my enemy, though I strongly disagree with most of their positions. But Donald Trump?

And so I find myself squarely faced with the ultimate challenge. Can I love such a one? I cannot tolerate him. I cannot stand him. I hate him. I hate what he says and how he says it. I hate what he stands for and who he is and all he represents. I do, indeed, see him as an enemy to the things I cherish and believe in as an American. I see him as one who is dangerous and must be stopped. And here Christ tells me I'm supposed to love him. What does that even look like?

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