“One of the great paradoxes of Donald Trump is that, for a president who is among the least overtly pious in recent memory, he often presents the world through a religious lens.” – Emma Green, Atlantic Monthly December 24, 2017
The opener for Ms. Green’s December 24, article in Atlantic Monthly is a declaritive statement and a thought provoking one at that. She describes President Trump’s leadership as nationalistic “often washed in religious identity.”
There is no disputing President Trump’s overarching leadership principle is “America First.” However; the second part of her description sets the tone for the rest of her OpEd. She describes the former administration’s leadership as a significant departure, “which tended to view other factors as more significant drivers of foreign policy.”
It is clear President Trump takes faith seriously, very seriously. From his choice of running mate Vice President Michael Pence to the cohort of military advisors; President Trump values colleagues who understand loyalty, oaths and the first amendment. Why the soft-slam against President Trump in the article?
Let us look at the biblical position. Abram is instructed to leave his way of life in Genesis…
12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, and your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.
2. I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing.
3. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who treats you with contempt. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”
Let us remember Abram is a gentile as was everyone; there are no Hebrews at this point unless you look far down the road to his decendants. This God whom Abram obeys and follows, is the God of both the “old” and “new” testements. Same God then, same God now. He promises Abram the gentile, not only will his decendents become a nation, a great one but also they will be a blessing to all the families of the earth. Such a deal; who wouldn’t take that deal, on the spot? All you have to do is hike and obey.
Not only that, others whith whom Abram shares his story will be blessed if they deal kindly with he and his family along the way. How hard is it to welcome a stranger and let the stranger and family camp for a few days? But in reality, this “terms and conditions” blessing goes back farther in the timeline.
In Genesis 9…
18 The sons of Noah who went out from the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 Noah began to be a farmer, and planted a vineyard.
21 He drank of the wine and got drunk. He was uncovered within his tent.
22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
23 Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, went in backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were backwards, and they didn’t see their father’s nakedness.
24 Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done to him.
25 He said, “Canaan is cursed. He will be a servant of servants to his brothers.”
26 He said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.
27 May God enlarge Japheth. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.”
Shem is the progenetor of all Semetic people groups; Hebrews, Arabs, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians and so forth. Japheth is the progenetor of all people groups who migrated north, west and east of the fertile crescen or Mid-east. Ham is the progenetor of those who migrated south and specificly the Canaanite people group. This is the broad-brush outline of the dispersion of those who survived the flood.
The descendents of Japheth have a relational obligation to the descentents of Shem; all of them. What might that look like today for the peoples of Japheth? Perhaps it can be summed up as, upholding a conditional, relational partnership. Mutual aid if you will. How does that work in light of the fact there are diverse peoples of both Shem and Japheth with divergent beliefs, values and ethics? Very carefully.
Six of the last seven Presidents of the United States have tried; Egyptian President Anwar Sadat gave his life for the cause of reconciliation and peace. In this author’s opinion the previous administration did not uphold the diplomatic mission or protocols of the previous five. If we consider the directives we have received in Holy Scripture, the indifference of the previous administration and the ongoing threats to the peace, safety and wellbeing in the middle east; it is incumbent upon the sons and daughters of Japheth to adhere to and act upon our family responsibilities to the sons and daughters of Shem.
Guided by religion? No. President Trump is clearly guided by Holy Scripture and wants blessing for our country. His method is by positioning our country to do the right thing by Israel; move our embassy to Jerusalem and put the pressure on the Palestinian government, people and other interested parties to stop fighting over inches and craft a fair and equitable peace with Israel for the benefit of all.
Creative Commons License
Halieus Media http://halieusmedia.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://halieusmedia.wordpress.com/about/