Judging from the reactions I’m getting, I hold what appears to some to be wholly contradictory views of Donald Trump’s recent diagnosis with COVID 19.
On the one hand, I firmly insist that the duty of Christians is to pray for his healing and recovery. I think it is wicked and sinful to gloat over his suffering and, worse, to desire his death or (worst of all) his damnation.
On the other hand, I feel not the slightest compunction about saying that he is not a martyr, nor does he suffer innocently, nor do I think it beyond the pale to point out loudly that not only did he bring this disease on himself, but he deliberately, wilfully, and with malignant selfishess did all in his power to expose others–including children–to it.
So while I believe it a Christian duty to pray for his recovery, I do not feel the slightest sympathy for him and my chief hope is that any suffering he experiences might burn out of his soul this deeply evil selfishness that has characterized him his entire misspent life–and galvanized a whole MAGA subculture of cruels to imitate him.
To me, these reactions seem both logical and compatible, like two sides of the same coin.
My views on prayer for the man come straight out of the New Testament:
“But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your cloak do not withhold your coat as well. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:27-36
Note what Jesus does not say. He does not say, “Lie to yourself and everybody around you that your enemy is not your enemy.” Forgiveness presupposes real sin. Whereto serves mercy but to confront the visage of offense? So while I pray for this vile man’s recovery and for the forgiveness of his sins, I likewise point out loudly and for the civic health of the nation that he has a ton of real–and, as far as anybody can tell, completely unrepented–sins. And they directly affect the lives of millions of people around the world
This matters because his miserable cult of gaslighting bullies has, as is their custom, sought to turn the Christian demand for forgiveness into a manipulative lie that any criticism of this criminally negligent fool is “politicizing tragedy”.
Bunk. This is not “tragedy”. This is the utterly predictable result of a selfish swine who chose to recklessly endanger a host of people, including children, because nothing matters to him but himself. He knows perfectly well what is at stake.
He just didn’t care:
Only one minor correction to this information as of this writing:
“In a statement a few hours after the briefing, Conley said the information at the briefing had been incorrect. When he said 72 hours, he meant Trump was on his third day of his diagnosed illness, with the confirmation coming Thursday night. And similarly, Trump was on his second day of the antibody cocktail, so it was begun Friday.”
In short, this still means that as early as midday Wednesday there were indications Trump was sick. Taking Dr. Conley at his word, Trump must have been symptomatic on Wednesday. So all day Thursday he knew he was sick with something and it might be COVID. And he still went ahead with his events, etc.
This Administration of criminally negligent fools is 100% responsible for the Rose Garden Massacre and is also 100% responsible for doing everything in its power to kill a number equal to all the dead of WWII by Inauguration Day and all the dead of the Civil War by this time next year. Look at this feckless contempt for public health and ask yourself what conceivable good is being accomplished by letting these morons kill a million of us in the coming years.
Here’s Kellyanne Conway, who tested positive, selfishly doing all she can to spread COVID to Bill Barr while he in turn does his best to give it to others by shaking their hand. Barr now refuses to quarantine.
As of this writing, the Coney Rose Garden soiree is a superspreader event in DC. And that does not even scratch the surface of the 300,000 other people in the US who were diagnosed in a single week thanks to this moron’s encouragement of cult events like this:
It is, to my mind, perfectly compatible to both pray that this miserable sinner who is doing so much harm and inflicting so much death and pain be forgiven and healed while also begging God that we be delivered from his evil and that God do whatever he sees fit to cure him, not just of COVID, but of the repulsive selfishness that makes him behave like such a swine.
Nor could I care less about the gaslighting lies of those who scold critics for “judging”. I am commanded by Jesus to know false prophets, and their monstrous antichrist cults of personality, by their fruits.
Here are the fruits, not only of this mocking sadist, but of his vile cult of self-pitying bullies, who think this is a scream.
Or that time he famously mocked a disabled reporter:
I’m praying for his recovery. But there ain’t no way in hell I am letting his cult of bullies try to turn this swine into a martyr. May he make a swift recovery–and may his presidency die a swift death.
I will pray for his recovery daily. I will also remind his cult every day that they have the blood of hundreds of thousands on their hands and are in no position to tell their victims to be silent.
The MAGA Cult of Sociopathic Narcissists see all human suffering as a matter of indifference or an object of mockery–except their own. They feel nothing if you suffer, except when they feel amusement. Only their suffering matters and is real to them.
This utter lack of empathy is also why, when you look at the timeline from last week, Trump only bothers to make his diagnosis public when he starts to feel the effects of the disease. It did not become real to him until he felt it. The lives of others meant nothing to him. It’s of a piece with the consistent selfishness and narcissism of his Cult:
Gun slaughter at a school? “Don’t blame me. Don’t touch my gun!”
Trump Depression? “My portfolio is doing fine. Get a second job, lazy.”
Refugees? “I’m white. I’m rich. I don’t live in a shithole country. Not my problem.”
Mass sterilization of refugee women? “The fewer browns I have to think about, the better.”
Children kidnapped into rape camps? “Meh. They should have obeyed the law. I believe in law and order. I’m good.”
Nothing ever matters to them but them.
This psychological pattern is so deeply true that when those the Cult hate express empathy, the Cult always projects on to them their own contempt for human suffering and accuse them of “faking it” because they cannot even imagine what empathy is like. This is why they heaped contempt on Obama for consoling victims of mass shootings. It is why they likewise sneered when Biden graciously stopped negative ads in response to Trump’s diagnosis. It was, for the Cult, all a gimmick, because that is what displays of empathy are for the Cult.
I’m not saying it’s easy for me to walk the tightrope of willing the good of this sadistic, selfish criminal and speaking what I think of him. I’m actually pretty terrible as it. But I think it is necessary to try to do both lest I be false to the gospel on the one hand or false to the testimony of my anguished heart on the other.
Trump lives an enormous and very literal body count of victims, both spiritual and literal behind him. Praying for him while not place their good before his seems to me to be as false to the gospel as refusing to pray for him. So as I close, let me just say that I think of this scene a lot as I contemplate the possibility of Trump dying and of my own deeply conflicted thoughts and feeling. I’ll leave you with it:
“If there is any person in the town, who feels emotion caused by this man’s death,” said Scrooge quite agonised, “show that person to me, Spirit, I beseech you!”
The Phantom spread its dark robe before him for a moment, like a wing; and withdrawing it, revealed a room by daylight, where a mother and her children were.
She was expecting some one, and with anxious eagerness; for she walked up and down the room; started at every sound; looked out from the window; glanced at the clock; tried, but in vain, to work with her needle; and could hardly bear the voices of the children in their play.
At length the long-expected knock was heard. She hurried to the door, and met her husband; a man whose face was careworn and depressed, though he was young. There was a remarkable expression in it now; a kind of serious delight of which he felt ashamed, and which he struggled to repress.
He sat down to the dinner that had been hoarding for him by the fire; and when she asked him faintly what news (which was not until after a long silence), he appeared embarrassed how to answer.
“Is it good?” she said, “or bad?”—to help him.
“Bad,” he answered.
“We are quite ruined?”
“No. There is hope yet, Caroline.”
“If he relents,” she said, amazed, “there is! Nothing is past hope, if such a miracle has happened.”
“He is past relenting,” said her husband. “He is dead.”
She was a mild and patient creature if her face spoke truth; but she was thankful in her soul to hear it, and she said so, with clasped hands. She prayed forgiveness the next moment, and was sorry; but the first was the emotion of her heart.
“What the half-drunken woman whom I told you of last night, said to me, when I tried to see him and obtain a week’s delay; and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me; turns out to have been quite true. He was not only very ill, but dying, then.”
“To whom will our debt be transferred?”
“I don’t know. But before that time we shall be ready with the money; and even though we were not, it would be a bad fortune indeed to find so merciless a creditor in his successor. We may sleep to-night with light hearts, Caroline!”
Yes. Soften it as they would, their hearts were lighter. The children’s faces, hushed and clustered round to hear what they so little understood, were brighter; and it was a happier house for this man’s death! The only emotion that the Ghost could show him, caused by the event, was one of pleasure.