I want to address the alleged comments President Trump made about Haiti and certain African countries.
First, these countries do not have people trying to leave by the hundreds or thousands because they are fabulous places to live. Their governments are corrupt and the people are starving. The reason Christian (and other) missionaries travel to these countries is that we love the people and we believe God has blessed us to be a blessing (2 Cor. 2:8-9; Gen. 12:2). None of us go hating the countries or the people in them, no matter how awful they are. Trump didn’t donate to Senator Rand Paul’s medical mission trip to Haiti because he hated the people there, or somehow didn’t think them worthy of help.
Second, no one knows for sure that Trump said what he was accused of. That is, no one who was not in the room. Senator Dick Durbin, who made the initial accusation, is reportedly a known liar, and in the days after was forced to admit Trump might have said something other than what Durbin initially reported. Other people in the room either didn’t hear the exact words used or claim the president said something else entirely.
Third, people need to quit being so quick to believe everything they see and hear. In fact, I am learning that the faster something spreads the more skeptical we should all be. The faster news spreads after a private meeting, the greater the chances that the one telling the story is only doing so to advance an agenda. The quicker Durbin could get the public and the world angry at Trump, the quicker Durbin could get everyone to back off their principles concerning immigration and give into his demands.
Fourth, since when are Christians so quick to believe the worst about people, especially a president who has done so much good for our economy and for the country? Why are we as a nation so quick to assume what is reported about someone we have never met is true? It is different when we actually watch a speech given live and know firsthand what was said. It is another thing entirely when we take the word of confirmed lying liars, as Michelle Malkin likes to call them.
When Fiction is Preferred to the Truth
Let me remind you what Scripture says on the subject. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us exactly how we are supposed to love others. Among other things, love is never self-serving, seeks to believe the best of others, and never assumes the worst. It is not easily angered, nor does it seek to cause dissension by making people angry at each other.
You would never know it from today’s reporters, but it is possible to report the facts with watering them down or intentionally enflaming people.
One MSNBC anchor was so angry over the things that Trump may or may not have said, that she actually said it would be better for him to apologize than to simply say he didn’t make the remarks about Haiti and Africa. She pointed out that the accusations make our nation look bad in front of the rest of the world.
So, if he didn’t say it, it’s still better to apologize? If what he is accused of isn’t true, shouldn’t he say so and leave it at that? Shouldn’t she be most concerned with the truth being told? As a writer, reporter, Christian, and citizen of the United States, I want the truth, even if the media or half the world doesn’t believe it. Their belief or disbelief doesn’t change the truth one iota.
But, what angered me more was her statement on how the accusations make our country look. She is absolutely right, they make us look bad, which is exactly why people shouldn’t go around making false accusations. They shouldn’t take an accusation and blast it all over the news without verifying it first—and making sure it isn’t made by a confirmed liar is really the best and simplest (and dare I say most obvious?) place to start.
Think about it. How much hatred must a man have for his country and its citizens to intentionally lie about, or even misconstrue, the words of our president? How angry does a man have to be to want us to look bad to the rest of the world just because he disagrees with the president and all the people who voted for him?
That takes a special kind of hatred that goes beyond anything we have ever seen from our elected officials.
You will notice I am not defending anything President Trump said. I am not saying he didn’t say it. I am saying we do not know what he said or the context, and until we do, we need to strive to believe the best about him, that he has the country’s best interests at heart.
Not only does common civility demand it, God demands it of His followers.