Home Uncategorized Poisoning our Blood? New York City Minister Responds to Trump’s Remarks

Poisoning our Blood? New York City Minister Responds to Trump’s Remarks

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Op-Ed by David Beidel

Donald Trump’s recent statement that immigrants are “poisoning our blood” is one of the darkest statements an American presidential candidate has ever made. It is also personal for many of us.

My father’s family is an Anglo mix that dates back to the Revolutionary War, my mother is Korean, my wife is Puerto Rican, and my children are a beautiful blend of a multitude of races. My dear friends throughout the New York City and Philly Metro areas represent every tribe and tongue. What blood poisoning is Donald Trump speaking of?

I have tried to stay out of political dogfights, but this is a “blood curdling” statement. It would be less so if it was not part of a terrifying pattern:

  • My mother suffered a leg amputation and the devastating effects of childhood polio. I was appalled when Trump mocked a disabled reporter with the kind of imitative gesturing my mother experienced in elementary school.
  • I was appalled when he refused to condemn the torch bearing white supremacists who chanted “Jews will not replace us.”
  • I was appalled at his refusal to stop using the term “China-Virus” even after it opened up a horrific season of anti-Asian violence.
  • I was appalled at his refusal to stop using the term “China-Virus” even after it opened up a horrific season of anti-Asian violence.
  • I was appalled at his referral to military heroes who gave their lives for our country as “losers.”
  • I was appalled at his three hours of silence during the deadly ransacking of the Capitol Building. He only broke the silence to tweet a “hit” on his vice president when the violent mob controlled most of the facility and gallows were erected on the front lawn.  Michael Pence was a loyal VP and friend, but when he chose to honor the constitution and his moral compass over President Trump, frenzied loyalists understood the tweet as an order to kill him.
  • I am appalled at his delight in fingering people on social media: poll workers, witnesses, senators, judges, the FBI, anyone he wants to destroy; making them the targets of death threats by his extremist followers. 
  • I am appalled at the rise of overt racism and hatred under his leadership. For over 30 years I have served in vulnerable black and brown communities, particularly in NYC Public Housing. I have discovered more beauty and heroism in these neighborhoods than I could ever express. Simultaneously, through decades of research and first-hand experience, I have been mortified by the insidious scheming behind closed doors to segregate, defund, demoralize and devastate black and brown communities. Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions have normalized hatred, unbridled racism, white supremacy and even violence, making it acceptable to millions. 

To my dear Republican friends, please consider some of the other candidates while there is still an opportunity. His promise to remove, even jail anyone who is not a fierce loyalist is a path to dictatorship. Trump with nothing to lose, endowed with presidential powers, unbridled, unchecked, burning with retribution and vengeance is a set up for a national nightmare.

Finally, I have been appalled, mystified, and embarrassed at the Evangelical support for Donald Trump. My heroes in Evangelicalism are John Wesley, William Wilberforce and Willam and Catherine Booth. Throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries they led movements that abolished slave trade and launched the most powerful compassion revolution the world has ever seen. The “Evangelical Political Party” has been trending anti-compassionate for so long, it’s become unrecognizable as a Christian movement. 

In speaking of the hungry, the stranger, the prisoners and the oppressed, Jesus said: “As much as you have done it to the least of these brothers of mine, you have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). The most recognized Bible verse in the world is: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16).

The Christmas story is a story of love for all, even our enemies; national, cultural and political. Jesus died for all nations, there is no poisoned blood in our world. The blood of Jesus was shed to redeem, forgive, and make new anyone who asks Him. His “ask” of us is that we would bring His peace and healing to our traumatized and wounded world. 

RELATED: The Bloodless Revolution: What We Need to Learn from John Wesley and the Great Awakening

David Beidel is the president of Urban Hope, founder of Saturate NYC, cofounder of Jesus Week, and the author of Samaria, The Great Omission and Saturation, A Plan For Gospel Immersion; He is the producer of “Magnificent Obsession and Saturation” (ITunes, Spotify) and the developer of SaturateNYC.app, a faith-based, social service web/app.