This mantra has been the cornerstone of his campaign to become president of the United States. But what are some of his ideas for making America great again? So far he’s suggested profiling all Muslims, building a wall between the United States and Mexico in order to keep out illegal immigrants and making Mexico pay for its construction.
I wonder what else Mr. Trump believes needs to occur in order to return America to its former glory? Who else would need to be profiled? What other people group needs to be penalized as a whole for the sins committed by one person in that group? As the political season forges on, we are guaranteed to find out.
Since the beginning of his campaign, many people have pointed out the multiple problems with his overall philosophy and how his ideas, if implemented, would actually make America less secure and less great.
Other people have suggested that Trump’s views don’t represent the heartbeat of our nation. Now that he has secured the nomination to become the Republican candidate for president, it’s clear that his message of separation and isolation is actually shared by multiple people.
Other politicians are expanding on Trump’s message of making America a great nation again. Rick Tyler, an Independent candidate running to represent Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District in the House of Representatives says the way to make America great again is to “make America white again.”
Although many people have already spoken out against Tyler’s statements, as with Trump, there’s still a portion of our nation that agrees with him, as well.
When I hear Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Tyler’s rhetoric, or read of campaign ads to make America white again, I am eerily reminded of calls to make America a Christian nation again. Every year, multiple politicians make this idea of returning our nation to its former religious glory part of their platforms.
On a personal note, I don’t think that people who desire to see this happen are evil. I don’t think that people who hope to have their particular faith tradition recognized and remembered as an integral part of our national history are necessarily wrong. As a Christian and a pastor I wholeheartedly believe in God, Christ, the Church and the positive changes that Christian faith has made within our nation’s history.
But, I wonder what returning America to a strictly Christian nation would look like and what type of Christianity we would follow.
Would it be the kind that justified slavery by citing Old Testament scripture? Would it be the kind that agreed with keeping women silent in all areas of life based on one or two debatable sections of scripture delivered by Paul while ignoring the other passages where he clearly recognizes and affirms women as his equals in ministry? Would it be the type of Christianity that justified wiping out other nations because they wouldn’t convert to our system of beliefs?
I make these comments realizing that other faith traditions can be accused of these same things, but I can’t think of any recent campaigns to make America a Muslim, Hindu, or Zoroastrian nation.
As I listen to the speeches being delivered on campaign trails, I am left with a few questions. Are we called by God to make America into one homogeneous land where everyone agrees with one particular party or line of religious thinking? Or are we called to recognize God’s image as reflected through the diversity of people and opinions that we experience, even when that diversity isn’t always congruent?
I hold out hope for the latter because a nation like the one being touted by Mr. Trump doesn’t sound like a place where sinners, tax collectors, grumpy fishermen, or carpenters who think they can change the world for good would be welcomed.