Know them by their Fruits

Matthew 7:16  Jesus said “You will know them by their fruits.”  He gave us the litmus test so we would be able to discern a person’s motives, and know whether they are working for “the Kingdom of God on earth”.  What does it look like when a person or group is bearing  good fruit? For one their actions and lives shine, they are kind, loving, and respectful of others and they are active, doing all the things Jesus said would be required of his followers on the “Day of Judgment” [see   Matthew Chapter 25: v31-46]: Feeding the hungry, nursing the sick, giving shelter to those who are homeless, sharing what they have with those in need, and  ministering to those in prison, whatever their prisons may be. In short, those whose lives are lived to serve, those who care for justice and truth, those whose actions make the world a better place, these are the bearers of good fruit.

With this in mind, I am completely baffled by the millions of Americans who say they are followers of Jesus, and are able to support Donald Trump in his run for President of the United States. And I feel scandalized by the high profile Christian leaders, like Franklin Gram and Focus on the Family founder, James Dobson who have openly endorsed Donald Trump. I do not know how they can ignore Jesus’ own words in order to support a man whose whole life has been lived for his own selfish motives.  Not only is Trump a mean spirited bully, but his past is checkered with crooked deals and dishonesty. Trump University was a scam from the beginning, a way to bilk unsuspecting students out of their money. His four bankruptcies hurt many ordinary people. A piece in  USA Today online June 21st  says  “Donald Trump casts himself as a protector of workers and jobs, but [our] investigation found hundreds of people – carpenters, dishwashers, painters, even his own lawyers – who say he didn’t pay them for their work.”

And there is no evidence that Donald Trump believes in ‘paying it forward.’ In the Washington Post’ online June 28th  David Fahrenthold writes, “Records show Trump has given nothing to his foundation since 2008.” Compare this stingy billionaire’s philanthropy to the likes of Bill Gates who has donated 28 billion so far to the Gates Foundation.

Donald Trump claims to be a Presbyterian and that he said he attends Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, but according to a representative of the church he is not an ‘active member’.

It seems the only issue that may possibly cause a Christian to vote for Donald Trump for President of the US is their desire to overturn Roe v. Wade, to make all abortions illegal in this country.  First let’s be honest.  Donald Trump is not in line with most Christian’s definition of being Pro Life.  In his book The America We Deserve released in 2000, Trump claimed to be “pro-choice” but against partial birth abortion. In 2011, before a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., Trump was asked about his pro-choice position and he responded, “Who said I’m pro-choice?”  Trump’s supposed list of Justices for the upcoming Supreme Court nominations, who were all conservatives, was nothing more than a ploy to grab the Christian Right’s vote, and it seems to have succeeded since many of these voters only look at this one issue.  I heard one person say “He’s not that bad.  Congress and the Republican party will keep him in line once he’s elected.”  The Republican Party?? They have yet to prove they can control anything Trump says or does.  And I heard another say “The Republican party is against abortion. So I will vote Republican for president.”   OK, let’s assume that Trump truly is a Pro Life candidate.  Let’s look at recent history.  Since Roe v. Wade 43 years ago  there have been four Republican presidents and during 34 of those years conservative Supreme Court Justices [those appointed by Republican Presidents] have outnumbered the Liberals [those appointed by a Democratic president].  Since 1973 there have been 30 cases regarding abortion rights that came before the highest court in the land that could have given the court the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade or at least restrict abortions. But it never happened. So voting for a reprehensible man for the highest office in this country because he might stack the Supreme Court with conservative Judges who may overturn Roe v. Wade does not make sense.

If you are still having trouble discerning Donald Trump’s fruits, just listen to him speak, or read one of his many tweets and you will know without a doubt that he is a narcissistic  racist with misogynistic tendencies.  Need I say more?   “You will know him by his fruits,” and his are all rotten.

Now let’s look at the fruits of Hillary Clinton.  She has always had a passion for women and children, advocating on issues important to families since 1971.  After graduating from Yale Law school in 1973 she worked as an attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund.”The CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves, paying particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities.”   In 1975 Hillary knocked on doors, got signatures and spoke to families with handicapped children who were not going to school, to help get the Education for All Handicapped Children Act  passed.   Hillary was the Director of Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Arkansas School of Law from 1974-77.   As the First Lady Hillary tried unsuccessfully to make National Health Care a reality.   But this defeat did not stop her. She  turned her energy toward getting the Children’s Health Insurance Program passed in 1997 .

Hillary Clinton is a lifelong Methodist and has no trouble talking about her faith, which she lives out in her life.  She has been known to repeat a saying attributed to John Wesley, founder of Methodism, “Do  all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for all the people you can.” These are just some of the fruits of Hillary’s life, so far. It is obvious where her heart lies.

So if you do wish to vote your conscience, use the best litmus test ever, and ‘Know them by their Fruits.’    

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