I ask a question that I realize could spark hostile debate. Please know, I do not ask this to instigate negativity. I am seeking to understand. I ask for thoughtful explanation, and thoughtful conversation.
I was raised in two households. During the first part of my childhood, I was raised by my single mother. She is an immigrant who arrived in U.S. in the ’50s. Her family worked very hard to send my mother and her sisters to this country. My mother boarded a ship as a pre-teen, with two of her four sisters, and arrived to this country in New York City where she was picked up by my great-grandfather.
My grandmother and her three daughters lived in Little Italy in the North End of Boston in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. They paid for showers at a bath house. The girls went to school where they were teased by the American-born Italian children for not speaking the language. My mother was likely in the 6th grade at the time of her arrival. However, she was put in a first or second-grade classroom as they did not have an education system that could address the language barrier. She soon dropped out of school, as many did at that time. The embarrassment and bullying became too much, and she needed to begin working to help support herself and her family.
Like many immigrant children, my mother experienced childhood trauma. Her experiences made it nearly impossible for her to hold a job. She suffered from severe migraines and panic attacks. We lived in the projects just outside of Boston and were grateful beneficiaries of the welfare system. It allowed my mother to stay home and care for us, and I am so grateful she was home.
I began to spend time with my dad on the west coast when I was eight years old. Eventually I began to split time between the coasts and switched from school in Boston to school in the west, with summers in the east. My father is a conservative Republican. He is also a Christian. My mother a Catholic.
The first Presidential election that I remember well was 1988, Dukakis vs Bush. I remember announcing to my dad, ‘I want Dukakis to win! He’s from Massachusetts, and he’s for the people’. I was immediately scolded and told that I was to root for Bush. And from that point on, I was indoctrinated into the belief system that aligns with a Conservative Right worldview. Not a large task as I was only 11 years old.
I lived a life divided. One that experienced the benefits of a democratic social system that took care of people who could not completely fend for themselves, and another largely motivated by conservative religious ideals. Neither do I feel are wrong or bad, but neither were distinctly my own point of view.
I found myself floating along for years, owning mostly the thought system of my father. I didn’t really know why I was impassioned to defend the beliefs I had as they were not organically my own. It wasn’t until I hit my late 30s that I began soul searching to determine my own political views.
At 41 years of age, I am still soul searching. What is it that I believe? It may seem bizarre to others that I admit this, but it took this long to figure out: ‘are these my beliefs because I really think this way?’ or ‘is this thinking someone imposed on me, but I really do not think this way?’.
I do believe there is a God. I have seen evidence in my own life of a higher power. I am comfortable with the idea of spirituality. I accept that not everything can be seen or touched to make it real. Some things simply require a belief system of faith. I still believe in Jesus. The Jesus I know is a God of love. His teachings focus on defining love. He teaches the acceptance of broken people and modeled agape love during His time on this earth.
Which bring me to my question: What does Jesus think of Trump?
In this complex, polarizing political time, I see and hear Christians proclaiming their undying devotion to Donald Trump. Yet I am perplexed in what I see as a contradiction between things that Trump says and does, and the things that Jesus says in the Bible. An example of this would be Trump’s feelings on immigration.
Immigration is a topic especially close to my heart. If my mother was unable to immigrate to this country, I would not be here today. My great-grandfather and grandmother left a war-torn country to claim a better life for their children, and their children’s children. My great-grandfather and great-uncles helped build the bridges and tunnels that millions use every day in Boston.
I hope someone out there sees this and answers my question. Again, I am only asking to understand. I mean no offense. I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I do vote. I do not vote based on political party anymore. I research each topic and each candidate and base my vote on the facts I am given. I am not a political writer, although this blog post contradicts that statement.
My writing is meant to cover all aspects of my life and in this case, I am reflecting on current politics. My motivation to write this is a desire to learn.
Thank you for reading this. Please leave a comment!