How the Election of Trump Is Like the Exclusion Policy

The United States elected Donald Trump as its next President last week. This event hit me in a similar way to the Church’s (forced) announcement of the exclusion policy last November. It’s not just that they were both surprising, although they definitely were that. I followed the election forecast and betting sites, and I believed them when they said it was most likely that Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton. As far as the exclusion policy goes, I definitely did not see it coming. Lacking a top-sacred clearance, I didn’t have any idea of what the Q15 might be considering in their meetings.

The major similarity is that both go against what I see as the fundamental principles of their organizations.

In the Church, I always held to the idea that love was a core principle, as well as the belief that God is no respector of persons. The exclusion policy feels to me like it violates these core principles in a cynical attempt to keep Church members from becoming too accepting of gay people. It suggests that what I thought of as a peripheral issue—sexual orientation—is actually a core issue for the Church. Similarly, as an American, I have thought that some of our core ideals were expressed in statements such as “all men are created equal,” “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” The election of Trump, who sympathizes with white supremacists, who clearly doesn’t believe in religious freedom, and who spews vitriol toward immigrants, seems to elevate not just peripheral ideals, but what I think of as anti-ideals, like arrogance, willful ignorance, sexism, and intolerance, over ideals like equal treatment, tolerance, religious freedom, and being welcoming to immigrants.

Of course I’m not saying that either the Church or the United States always lives up to these ideals that I feel like the exclusion policy and Trump violate. Far from it. But these ideals are still crucial in telling us what we are hoping and working toward. For example, after invading Afghanistan, George W. Bush at least had the decency to say “Our war is not against Islam.” At the time, I recall being frustrated that, given his actions, I felt like he didn’t mean it. But in retrospect, I’m grateful that he at least nodded toward the ideal of religious tolerance and didn’t paint an entire (huge!) religion with a broad brush. Trump, on the other hand, has no interest in this ideal. He hates (or is at the very least suspicious of) all Muslims. He thinks they’re all terrorists until proven otherwise.

It depresses me to think that I’m in the minority now in both my church and my country in what I see as core ideals. The hope I hold out is that neither the ideals of the Church nor the United States are fixed or inevitable, and with some advocacy, it’s possible they could move in a better direction.


  1. Hatred never cures anything. It just leads to more anger, hurt, and depression. Try forgiving for a change.

  2. Speak for yourself Rob. I didn’t hear any hatred in the post. I totally get the depression expressed…’s all disappointing…..

  3. Not that I like Trump or Hillary, people need to get over the election already and find positive attitudes. I have never seen so much liberal crying in my life. Get over it already.

  4. Your comments are totally unhelpful, Rob. It’s convenient for you, as a non-member of groups Trump has threatened, to tell everyone to “get over it.” Not everyone is so lucky.

  5. Ziff, you are not in the minority in your country. About a million more voters voted for Hillary than for The Donald. It’s just the oddity of the electoral college’s winner-take-all system in most states that allows a minority candidate to become president. This has now happened twice in recent years. Democrats have won the popular vote in 6 of the last 7 elections but have won the presidency only 4 of those 7. Go figure. And with population demographics shifting and Trump incapable of actually fulfilling his campaign promises to white, undereducated voters, the Dems will likely win the popular vote in coming elections, unless the Repubs totally change their tune.

    Also, if you think, like Rob, that we should just forgive and all come together behind President Trump, you need to read Leonard Pitts’s editorial in this week’s Miami Herold. It was also reprinted in the Salt Lake Tribune. I’m with Leonard.

  6. I have a friend whose father was a migrant worker and an associate of Cesar Chavez, who will be remembered at the judgement bar for lifting up the lowest of people, who contribute to our economy in the form of cheap produce.

    I have several friends who have been the victims of sexual assault, (it’s that common) and who are triggered to varying degrees by the campaign remarks and actions and final election of a sexual predator.

    I know a Syrian refugee family in the first weeks of adjustment to their new life in Arizona who found death threats from an anonymous neighbor, for whom many of us made an effort to encourage them that not all their neighbors would wish them evil.

    My friends are devastated that the misogynist, racist, religious bigot candidate squeaked by to be elected, and fearful of newly empowered racists, misogynists, and religious bigots at large. Anyone who wants to tell them they should ‘get over it’ already will have to get through me first. We all know that we must move forward somehow come January 20. Grieving is part of some folks’ preparation. Compassion is a duty too.

    Thank you for writing this post. Love is still a core principle both for church and nation, at least for me. And a majority of us voted that way. Fortunately there is no Electoral College in control of our personal principles.

  7. The protests and backlash of the anti-Trump folks is just so un Christlike. I myself voted but did not vote for any presidential candidate. Thats as far as my dissent or lack of support goes. I personally do not like either Trumps nor Hillarys platforms they ran on. But, now that we have a new President elect, and he most certainly will be our next leader its time to pray for him and pray for our country. Its not time for the protests and utter hatred to continue. Its just makes you hypocrits and doesnt solve anything.

    I remember when Obama was first elected and I was really displeased. But never, as a follower of Christ did I go out publicly and bash and protest. What do you think Christ would say?

  8. Is anyone questioning why the person who gets the most votes doesn’t win? Is this not a valid question in a democracy.
    Feel similarly on both issues.
    Not responding to you Rob, You are not listening.

  9. Hitler came to power by election, Rob. Trump isn’t quite like Hitler (yet), but he’s leaning that way. Are there no conditions under which you would think protesting is a good idea? I think Jesus would applaud people protesting such a hateful and awful man.

  10. Ziff,
    Consevatives called Obama a Hitler. Its all ridiculous to call either of these two men Hitlers. The claim is unwarranted.

    I remember when Clinton was impeached and yet he remained in the white house. People protested in a rational manner. People protesting Trump are in large part misinformed liberals who only want things one way and get militant when it doesnt happen. I can hardly see Christ approving their actions.

  11. Trump is so far out of the norm of any past politicians who were compared to Hitler. The fact that anyone called Obama Hitler, or Bush Hitler for that matter, is unfortunate, because it does make it harder for us to call a fascist a fascist when he actually appears. And here he is.

    But it’s clear you don’t believe that. So let’s end this tangent.

  12. Ziff,
    So, if you are correct, then in short time after Trump is made president then expect to see America fabricate a war with Canada and Mexico, imprison and set up concentration camps for all the Muslims, jews, gays, etc to starve to death. Then, in the meantime start a white aryian race of the elete. Then start up medical experiments on the handicapped and unknowing, etc.

    Because that is what you are saying.

  13. Exactly, Rob. If it’s only Muslims he locks up, the comparison totally fails. Because an analogy must relate two things that are completely the same.

  14. Ziff, the scriptures say that the Lord will try our hearts. I look at these two events as the crucible to try my heart. Will I follow my Church leaders no matter what they say or will I love my neighbor as Christ loves me? Will I just “get over it” and start supporting the president-elect or will I stand up and make sure that everyone knows I do not support a president who boasted to sexual assault? #NotMyPresident #NotMyPolicy

  15. I dont quite understand how one can claim Trump boasted to sexual assault. In the infamous tape Trump does indeed admit to kissing and touching atteactive women. But, of note, he says that they let him do it because of who he is. Trump isnt saying he forcefully assaulted them against their will. He said that he was allowed to consensually kiss and touch women because of his fame and money. Sexual assault is when you forcefully touch or make sexual contact with someone else against their knowledge or will. But thats not what happened. Trump boasts to consensual sexual contact by being who he is.

    Now, of course Trump was being completely inapproprite and boasted to immoral actions, but consensual sexual contact is not sexual assault.

  16. Great post! ZD always comes through!!! I thought you may have pointed out the biggest similarity being as being a loss of love, hospitality and charity. Lamentably, a separationist distain has set in both our church and our country. I’m watching the sky for lightening bolts because nothing incurred God’s anger quicker and more consistently in all scripture than a lack of charity and hospitality in a people. It’s sinning against the greatest and second greatest commandments. Consequences will follow. We need to do everything we can to stand with targeted groups and protect the liberties of all men/women. Sadly, there are many fronts now engaged which need valiant advocates for targeted brothers and sisters.

  17. “I thought you may have pointed out the biggest similarity being as being a loss of love, hospitality and charity.”

    Excellent point, Mortimer. I guess I was kind of in the same ballpark, but you really hit it on the head: these events both encourage anger and division, and discourage love and understanding.


Comments are closed.