“If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well.”
The above scripture, Luke 6:29, comes from the Gospel of Luke or “good news.” In this third of four gospels, we learn how Jesus Christ is the “most perfect” of all men. As God’s Son, he puts others first before he considers himself. His life was all about service and forgiving his fellow man.
Martin Luther King III met with the real estate mogul at Trump Towers on the day Dr. King’s birthday is celebrated in America. According to Daily Caller, the late civil rights leader’s son spoke briefly to reporters after the meeting and was asked his opinion on Trump’s comments about Rep. John Lewis (“All talk, talk, talk, and no action”).
At least 18 Democrats will boycott Friday’s swearing in ceremony https://t.co/fOHsXuo0c2
— New York Post (@nypost) January 15, 2017
King III took the high road and said that while he didn’t agree with Trump’s tone, he believes the country should move on and come together as a country to tackle larger issues. He believes his father would want nothing less. I sense his entreaty is for everyone to turn the other cheek, just as his father would have, just as the Son of Man did during his short life.
“I think my father would be concerned about the fact that there are 50 million people living in poverty in this country. We have to create a climate for all votes to be lifted. It’s insanity we have poor people in nation.”
Dr. King’s iconography, his body of work, was simple: the Baptist minister, like Mahatma Gandhi, used the principles of nonviolence to unveil the cancer of racism and discrimination in such a way that it becomes overt and the antithesis of democracy.
AMERICAN PATRIOTS BEGIN TO RESIST As of Saturday evening, at least 20 members of Congress, vow to boycott Trump’s inauguration: pic.twitter.com/m1280T3bX0
— RogelioGarcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) January 15, 2017
As a Democrat-turned-leaning-Independent, the growing number of lawmakers that will either skip Donald Trump’s inauguration, stage a silent protest or openly boycott the ceremony saddens me.
As a citizen and beneficiary of the U.S. Constitution’s Preamble, which reads in part via Cornell, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility…,” I am confused.
As a follower of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of peacemaking and Jesus Christ’s spirit of forgiveness and grace, I’m disheartened.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 16, 2017
I find it absurd that we are bickering at this point of the democratic process when the direction of the country hangs in the balance. I find it hypocritical that elected officials are leveling the lack of decorum against Trump that they accused the President-elect of during his campaign.
The Electoral College has certified Trump’s presidency. Like it or not, he will be the commander in chief. You don’t need to respect the office holder; that’s not a requirement for citizenship or a ticket to the party.
Instead, our focus should be on the Constitution. That’s where our voices are and that’s where our rights of redress are in an unmovable way.
Undoubtedly, Trump opened up the floodgates of disrespect and divisiveness, but campaigns are gritty and often the rules that govern the process are bent to exploit the heart of the electorate. However, the presidency is vastly different — and surely Trump knows this much.
To that end, I’m sure he’s wise enough to know that the same passionate voters are likely to abandon him in a heartbeat if he doesn’t produce and make good on his promises. In short, empty rhetoric that is characterized by fluff can only last so long before the tide turns.
Like Bruno Mars says, “Don’t believe me, just watch.”
Surely, Trump knows this.
I turn to scripture, not as a card-carrying Christian, but as a person who looks at life with a bias towards pragmatism. I reason that in light of the state of our union when our country stands on the brink of unraveling the good fight Dr. King laid down his life for, enlightenment can’t hurt.
The Bible is full of scriptures and encouraging quotes that point to forgiveness. If Japan and the United States had not formulated a truce, our countries would still be at war.
Had the world not forgiven Germany for the atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich, we would not have a loyal NATO partner.
Had Native Americans not forgiven foreign invaders, there would be more bloodshed and a democratic state would not be possible.
Finally, had Jesus not given his life for our salvation and asked the Father to forgive his tormentors, for they do “not know what they do,” mankind may have ceased to exist.
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, and all attempts have been exhausted to nullify his presidency, to no avail. Game over.
Trump will be judged from the first day in office on whether he lives up to the reverence of the office or maintains his dangerous course of divisive politics. It’s my hunch that We the People won’t tolerate it for more than one term. It’s the natural law of things in America.
Until then, I think we are all best served by giving candidate-Trump-President-Trump a chance to sink or swim. Until then, we have to forgive — and move on beyond the person and focus on the country.
The whole world is watching.
Proverbs 24:29 said it best.
“Do not say, ‘Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.'”
[Featured Image by Mark Makela/Getty Images]