Sunday, March 5, 2017

Does Pence have the moral authority to be president?

Many have wondered why President Trump’s associates haven’t taken away his Twitter access, but Tom Friedman, columnist for the New York Times, cut to the chase on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, March 5.  

"Forget Twitter," he said. "They're going to be talking about taking away his football, and I mean the nuclear codes."

A president has formal authority, Friedman noted, but Trump "is eroding his moral authority.” He described the tweets on Saturday, March 4, against former President Obama as "juvenile behavior."

How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

Well, suppose Trump does indeed get himself impeached or rendered impotent, and we have Mike Pence as our president.

I'll take a sane president over an insane one any day, even if he's anti-abortion and anti-gay.

In that case, however, I begin to look at Pence's moral culpability for putting Trump in office.

He and most other Republicans finally went with Trump against their better judgment in order to gain power and advance their agenda.  It was an opportunity, much like Satan tempting Jesus in the desert.

He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." --Matthew 4:8-9.

Jesus said, "Away with you, Satan!"

Pence said "Yes, I will be your running mate and we will win."

His decision gave Trump the votes of many evangelicals, who overlooked his flaws to win on the abortion issue and choose the next Supreme Court justice.  These votes were key to the slim Republican victory in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.  

Trump wanted the power and splendor of being president, and he has it, for the time being.

Pence wants the same thing, and he may get it.

But in the long run, historically and eternally, both will be judged.  

Voters are culpable, but the Jesus judges common people less harshly than the rulers who lead them astray. "Woe to you, blind guides... hypocrites," he often said, as in Matt. 23:13-39.

The Judeo-Christian god, as well as the god of the Qur'an, is above all a god of justice.  Look at the judgment scene in Matthew 25 or these commands from Torah and the Qur’an:

Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice – Deuteronomy 27:19.

You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt – Exodus 22:21.

One who repulses the orphan and does not encourage the feeding of the indigent will face judgment – Surah 107 of the Qur'an.

We must each work for justice for refugees, immigrants, the poor, people newly insured by the Affordable Care Act, minorities, and others.

Doing so requires us to work against the Trump administration, and we may have to endure government by the morally compromised Mike Pence after Trump fades from the scene.

Nevertheless, I take comfort in knowing that Trump and Pence, like me, will finally face their Maker.

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