An Open Letter to President Trump
Dear Mr. President;
One of the things I teach as a pastor, a father, a grandfather, and a volunteer basketball coach is that we need to respect our national leaders. I believe that this is Biblical, moral, and a necessary ingredient of a healthy democracy. As a result, I teach both Republicans and Democrats to respect you because of the office you hold as the President, and I have taught them to do so whether they voted for you or not and whether they agree with you or not.
This is not a new teaching for me. I taught the exact same thing when President Obama was in office. I will continue to teach that we offer respect to Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Judges, other leaders, and all people. I will teach these things to my congregation, my children, my grandchildren, and my community as long as I am able, regardless of the political situation.
Respectfully, however, I feel compelled to tell you that you are making my job much tougher.
Your continued disrespect for others in your choice of words leads to diminished respect in all avenues of American life. Words used by you recently (like “horseface” and “Pocahontas”) are merely the latest in a long line of insults that you seem to enjoy and that escalates a growing level of disrespect across American culture.
I am not claiming that this disrespect started with you. I am very much aware that many Americans refuse to give you the respect a President deserves, so I will continue to teach respectful behavior to the best of my ability.
I’m asking you, though, to set a much-needed example of respect.
Remember the words of Jesus to “turn the other cheek” when disrespect is offered to you. Remember also the words of the Apostle Paul, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” A stronger example of respect coming from the oval office would make it much easier for all Americans to live respectfully.
You are the president, my president. I will continue to respect you because of the office you hold. And you have my continued prayers that you will lead our nation with great wisdom and ability. But I also respectfully request that you live by a higher standard of decency and that you offer others a higher level of respect.
I’m not asking you to do so for political purposes. It may or may not lead to higher popularity, more votes at reelection time, or a better chance at getting the results you want.
I’m asking you to do this because it is the right thing to do.
Pastor Jack Marslender
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