This is an excerpt from the chapter entitled "Trump's Vision of America":
I saw a quote in a leadership article by Adriaan Groenewald saying, “We CAN’T escape this truth: A country, organization almost always reflects the character of its leader, in some way!” (Groenewald, 2015) In essence, my church leadership was just reflecting the character of its leadership. In the case of my church, that leader was President Donald Trump.
A year earlier, I was shocked when my pastor blurted out during a sermon that “you gotta love that Donald Trump, he just speaks his mind.” He backtracked by saying that he didn’t agree with all of his policies. As a person that could find little to admire about President Trump, much less agree with him, it forced me to wonder, what policies do you agree with him on?
...There were a few incidents with COVID-19 cases in our church that I felt were treated too casually. One incident involved a person that I worked in close proximity with. I was notified two weeks after I had served with him that he had contracted the virus. I felt my church was taking the treatment of the virus nonchalantly. Within a few months of the COVID-19 incidents at my church, a very, very dear friend of mine died of COVID-19. My friend went to a church that didn’t believe in social distancing or masks. His church suggested that he “just sit in the back.” As best we can tell, he caught the virus at church.
A short time later, my church resumed service without masks and limited social distancing. I couldn’t believe it. I decided not to go back. I shared my concerns with one of the leaders when asked why I wasn’t coming back to services in person. You can only imagine my reaction when that leader said I could just sit in the back. I had just told this leader about my dear friend’s death when we met the week before.
Why weren’t my church leaders more concerned about the virus? Because their leader, President Trump, wasn’t concerned. They were reflecting his values. I have come to call it drinking the “Trump Kool-Aid.” I wish I could say that the decision to go maskless and not be as concerned about social distancing was done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I can’t say that it was. The influence of the Republican Party and its leader had permeated the sermons and now even the conduct of the service. I couldn’t take it.
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