“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5:38–48, ESV

America is not now nor was it ever the Kingdom of Heaven. No political candidate, especially one as craven, warped, and uniquely unqualified as Trump, can change that. As a church, we are still largely in denial that our period of political dominance has ended. We’ve been reduced to anger at that dispossession and have demonstrated a shocking willingness to compromise or outright abandon our beliefs to hold on to whatever crumbs remain. The truly toxic, vile candidacy of Donald Trump is an unmistakable sign of that truth. I am deeply ashamed of his presence on the ballot, and you should be too. There is no conceivable defense for tolerating his behavior let alone cheering it. I will not be voting for President this election, and I ask you to abstain as well. Let Donald Trump be utterly, completely, and most deservedly humiliated.

It can be tremendously depressing to let go of a sentimental attachment to “the way things used to be” or some notional value of what a Christian culture looks like. The sooner we as disciples of Christ come to terms with the reality of the secular, multi-cultural world in which we live and accept our minority status within it, the sooner we can begin to grasp the abundant opportunity before us to bring hope and compassion to hurting, confused, anxious people.