God's orders: "Go to the royal palace and deliver this Message. Say, 'Listen to what God says, O King of Judah, you who sit on David's throne — you and your officials and all the people who go in and out of these palace gates. This is God's Message: Attend to matters of justice. Set things right between people. Rescue victims from their exploiters. Don't take advantage of the homeless, the orphans, the widows. Stop the murdering!" — Jeremiah 22:1-3
On Friday, President Donald Trump went before the annual Values Voter Summit and declared America "a country that never forgets that we are all, everyone one of us, by the very same God in heaven." In the name of Jesus, Trump vowed to "stop cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values." But the Values Voter Summit, hosted by the anti-abortion, anti-gay Family Research Council, no more represents Jesus than did the church authorities who backed slavery.
Trump invoked the name of Jesus just a day after he announced his executive order to stop the federal government's Cost Sharing Reduction payments, which subsidize health care for lower-income families under the Affordable Care Act. Throughout the Scriptures, virtually every story told by Jesus admonishes us to see to the needs of the poor and vulnerable among us. Instead, Trump told the crowd of cheering evangelicals that he would always defend those who use religion to discriminate.
The Christian nationalists Trump has emboldened do not follow the Jesus I know and preach. Their values stem not from Christ, but from cash; theirs is the gospel of greed, not grace. As the Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse chronicled in his book "One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America," these preachers are the heirs of the corrupt religious leaders who spoke against Rabbi Abraham Heschel and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.
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