Is Trump "reaping what he sowed"? Spiritual leaders address views on sinners with conflicted flock
Church during the pandemic
People attend a press conference with Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan at Our Savior Parish in Manhattan about reopening churches in the archdiocese amid the coronavirus pandemic in New York on May 21, 2020. Spencer Platt / Getty Images
About an hour after President Donald Trump confirmed on Twitter that he and his wife tested positive for the novel coronavirus, I texted my friend, a Presbyterian minister, early that morning asking how she was on the news Liberal community wanted to largely contextualize for them. "I'm not quite sure yet," she replied. "But my inbox is already flooded."
Flooded with notes from Church members traveling in a complex emotional cocktail of malicious glee - which is understandable given the president's dire mismanagement of the pandemic and his history of hideous personal and political viewpoints - and feelings of guilt for worrying about the news of Have pleased Trump's diagnosis.
"There will be a lot of answers that will end up being, 'Am I bad when I feel what I feel?' and an opportunity to discuss what the Bible says about good and bad, "she wrote.
As Salons Nicole Karliss wrote on Wednesday, many Americans generally struggle with similar feelings, and from a therapist's point of view, this is perfectly normal. Karliss spoke to Amalia Miralrío, LCSW, LMSW, M.Ed, who said a "reaction of glee glee to Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis could be a way for some to regain power in an otherwise powerless relationship dynamic".
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"It's a way to regain that sense of power, a way of feeling like someone who has abuse of power and control over you, and when that person suddenly loses some of it, you feel like you have a greater sense of equality in yourself the world. " dynamic, "Miralrío said." It is normal to have this emotional reaction when you feel truly disempowered in a relationship and feel that someone is actually trying to harm you. "
With this in mind, religious leaders across the country are preparing for church services this weekend that will be staffed, virtual or otherwise, with parishioners who have spent days reflecting on their spiritual commitments - especially in traditions where forgiveness is a key tenant - times.
For Rabbi Bryan Mann, who is the Rachlin Director of Jewish Student Life at Vassar College, his mother was the first person to seek spiritual advice.
"She said: 'What does Judaism say about that?' Mann said, "And it's interesting because there is a Jewish prayer that we say as part of the Amidah weekday that is about exterminating the wicked and praying that wickedness will be removed from the earth and that the wicked Humans are removed from the earth. "Earth."
Mann continued, "On the other hand, there is this really well-known story from the Talmud in which a rabbi has some bandits in his neighborhood. He prays that they all die, and his wife Beruriah. Says, 'Don't pray that they die - pray that they essentially cease to sin. This is how we remove wickedness. ' "
Man admits that these are two seemingly different doctrines ("As the old joke says, two Jews, three opinions, right?" He says with a laugh), but there is a lesson to be learned if you consider the tension between the two holds.
"I have a feeling that Judaism and Jewish teachers are known for asking more questions than giving more answers, if you will," Mann said. "But I really think, especially with college students, I really want to open myself to these bigger questions and delve into these two very different sources. What do we do when we feel like there is one person who is very angry about this?" And what if we see a pattern of behavior that doesn't seem to be changing? "
Mann also stressed that he is not the kind of spiritual guide who puts people to shame for their thoughts, especially when those thoughts might be rooted in some kind of trauma. This is something Perry Dixon, an associate pastor of the Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, has in mind as he prepares his sermon for this weekend.
"[Trump] is at the forefront of so much suffering," said Dixon. "We literally have parishioners in the hospital and on a ventilator from COVID. We had a number that diagnosed and tested positive and they are now watching the president minimize people's suffering."
Speaking to the needs of its congregation - the LGBTQ members who are concerned about the Supreme Court's threats to overturn marriage equality, the members who are sick and financially stressed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic - is one way that Present truth as a biblical virtue.
"For me in the pulpit, I have to tell the truth where I can," said Dixon. "For me, it's rooted in the experiences of our parishioners."
Rev. Jonah Overton is the senior pastor at Zao MKE, a Milwaukee church they started after searching for local denominations in which they both love Jesus and "in some of their own marginalized identities, including their weirdness" that could be embraced impermanence. "As such, Overton understands that their parishioners may have some complicated feelings.
"I think we all have a mix of emotions now," said Overton. "As someone who leads a community full of people who have been directly or indirectly harmed by the president's abuse of power, it is a complicated moment to see him suffer the consequences of the abuse of those powers."
They continued, "I think one of the things that any conversation about compassion or prayer towards the President in general, but particularly in the face of this disease, is that President Trump is basically reaping what he has sown . "
Overton said Christians can simultaneously lament the evil Trump has cultivated in the world, hold him accountable for the actions he has or did not take that have harmed other people, and still feel sorry for him as a Have child of God. You would encourage people struggling with their complex feelings about Trump and his illness to realize that the desire for justice and understanding is not only natural but also right.
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"Keeping these things in tension is at the heart of the gospel and the way Jesus taught and lived," they said.
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