There used to be a notion that conservative-minded Christians—especially Christian Reformed folks—invariably voted Republican. Now we don't discuss politics much at meetings of Synod. Our political preferences are generally kept to ourselves.
Given the current debate among those seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2016, and given the extraordinary popularity of Donald Trump, one wonders if the Republican Party has lost its way. When Trump declares that all Muslims should be banned from entering America, and the implication that those who live here should return from whence they came—and that Mexicans should do the same—those attitudes are anything but Christian.
Instead of espousing the notion that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves, Trump would be inclined to refer to loving our 'white' neighbors as we love ourselves.
Synod's determination to continue the Muslim-Christian dialogue would be difficult under a Trump presidency because there wouldn't be many Muslims with which to engage.
His response to mass murders on school campuses, in movie theaters, and at public gatherings is not to ban guns but to put guns in the hands of 'good' people so that they can kill 'bad' people. Clearly not a biblical principle. America's greatest fear should not be Islamic terrorists but our own gun-totting neighbors. America has the highest per capita rate of gun-related murders of any nation on earth.
What is most amazing is that there is no significant denunciation of Trump's comments by the Republican Party. The Republicans want to win next year's election...and as long as Trump's fascist comments are popular with a significant number of Americans, the party will go along for the ride.
Republican values used to be akin to Christian values. That is no longer the case. Unless there is a significant shift in those values over the next few months, I think it would merit significant discussion time at next summer's Synod meeting. What kinds of values should shape our society—on both sides of the border? At what point should the church speak out when political parties advocate notions that are clearly unbiblical? Given Synod's reluctance to deal with partisan politics, that discussion is unlikely to happen. But the discussion could and should take place within the pages of The Banner.