Reviews | Gerson was right on the Christian right


How I wish every Christian would read Michael Gerson’s powerful and eloquent September 4 opinion piece, “Trump should fill Christians with rage. How come he doesn’t?

As Mr. Gerson wrote, many Christians learn to accept Jesus as their personal savior rather than follow Jesus’ teaching. Why can’t they do both? Jesus taught us to live with kindness and generosity – to help the poor, the blind and the oppressed. How has his message been twisted to elevate those who preach hatred, brutality and lawlessness?

Instead of integrity and love for others, we see selfishness and fear of anyone who is different. Hopefully more and more Americans will see the danger of professing their faith to politicians who claim to support the message of Jesus.

Joanne Doyle, Salisbury, MD.

An ordained minister had the pleasure of showing me the essay by Michael Gerson. We both found the argument interesting.

Rage is not a Christian virtue. “Love your enemies” is one of Jesus’ most poignant sayings. But how to love those who hate us?

I would cite a rule of Stoicism in this regard: life is too short to be wasted in rage. Stoicism does not imply contempt, however. When possible, a Stoic will constructively engage opponents and help them grow.

One cannot, in a few words, provide a manual for how to do this. If you’re looking for one, I like Mónica Guzmán’s book “I Never Thought of It That Way”. She is part of an organization called Braver Angels that sponsors decent debates between red and blue supporters.

The current polarization of American politics is a major threat to our freedoms. Both extremes inspire hatred in their efforts to gain support. There is little appeal for those repelled by extremism.

In this regard, I have high hopes for the new Forward Party. His program seems progressive in the best sense of the word and should appeal to Christians and liberals alike.

John M. Rathbun, Asheville, North Carolina

Michael Gerson’s September 4 Opinions in-depth essay on why evangelicals support former President Donald Trump helped clarify this puzzling behavior. Recently, a friend and I had discussed this very topic over lunch. After reading, I immediately passed on this “history lesson” to him and cut the pages to save them in my library.

Bonnie Boyle Cote, Washington

I have read Michael Gerson’s September 4 opinion piece and was impressed with how brilliantly he characterized Christ and his teachings and their relationship to the Christian political movement today. His scholarship and ideas were impressive – to put it mildly. If only his message could be internalized by Christian leaders and their flocks, our society and our politics would be in a much healthier state. Kudos for brilliant writing!

Joel Sherman, Chevy-Chase

Magnum by Michael Gerson September 4 Opinions Essay, “Trump should fill Christians with rage. How come he doesn’t? was the most eloquent and powerful statement I can remember seeing in The Post. It was not one-sided. He articulated the issues with miraculous sophistication, relying on exceptional verbal skills and extraordinary scholarship: for example, “Some religious leaders have fueled the urgency of this agenda with apocalyptic rhetoric, in which the Christian church is under Neronian persecution by elites displaying caligulian values.” Then, about the radical right, he wrote: “If it is not moral ruin, then there are no moral rules.

The Post is to be commended for highlighting this moving statement.

Frank T. Mannheim, Fairfax

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