I’ve recently seen a spate of Facebook posts, political emails and opinion columns saying the writer can’t (and we shouldn’t) “approve of the President.” I would suggest this is a fundamentally flawed approach…
Saying this suggests we should hate or dismiss the man for what and who he is.
And yet, as a minister, I and many of my peers constantly preach and demonstrate we love all of our neighbors no matter who they are or what they believe. No matter what their race, income, nationality, immigration status, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Jesus taught that we are to love each other without judgment, without preconditions.
That includes the President, too.
So, I cannot approve of him, nor disapprove of him.
On the other hand, I can judge his actions, his words, and his competence.
Leaders have a special burden. The Bible teaches they will be judged severely for failing to care for the poor, the widowed, the ill, and the hungry. We can judge our leaders, including our President, by how carefully they pay attention to these most basic tasks.
I do not judge who he is, but I do judge what he does, and I am convinced that what I see him and his fellow leaders in Congress to be doing is far from what Jesus would have us do.
I do not approve or disapprove of them; and I love them because I am called to do so. But, it is also made clear throughout the Hebrew and Christian scriptures that we cannot be silent when we are witness to such injustice.
We can judge their actions and their words and their tweets. We can resist the evil they are spreading, whether they do so knowingly or not.
We do, and we will not stop.