Who Donald Trump Reminds Me Of

By |2016-02-17T12:22:47+00:00February 17th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |23 Comments

Herod the Great.  Yes…THAT Herod.  The Herod of the bible who was ruling over Judea at the birth of Jesus.  Yes, with obvious exceptions, I think Herod the Great and The Donald have much in common.

I have visited the Holy Land many times and every time I see its ancient ruins, I  am impressed with Herod the builder.  He built luxurious Roman palaces, ingenious saunas, functioning long-distance aqueducts, mighty fortresses, and beautiful villas…all seemingly at will.  And of course, his greatest accomplishment was the construction of the Temple…built to secure the allegiance of the Jews.  These sites, most in semi-reconstructed ruins now, are some of the most impressive things to see on a tour.

Herod, like his modern day counterpart The Donald, had a endless supply of money, power, and personal will.  Herod never met a problem or a challenge he couldn’t solve…or so it seems.  Imagine his demands:

See that high bluff over there..high in the distance…above the great Salt Sea.  I want a winter palace there…a sauna and a pool in the middle of the desert; I want to sit on a porch up there and watch the sun rise and set without turning anything but my neck. Boom: Masada!

I want a really, really EUGE resort to impress my friends and my Caesar…It’s got to have its own seaport on the Mediterranean, and its own amphitheater…and an arena for watching chariot races.  I love horses!  Boom: Caesarea Martima.

See that mountain over there.  I want to put a palace on it. Wait!  It’s too short. Double the size of that mountain because I want to see the City of Jerusalem from the top. And bury me there! Boom: The Herodium

And these Jews need a place to worship their God. Let’s do it. I’m really, really big on religion. Let’s make Jerusalem GREAT again; let’s give it the Temple it deserves. Boom: The eponymous “Herod’s Temple

Palace after palace, the ‘premier properties’ of Herod the Great were the pinnacle of opulence and vanity for their day. Herod was big; really, really big. And obviously, so is Trump. Really big.

But history shows that Herod was also deeply insecure. He only pretended to be religious to curry favor with the Magi. He was threatened by a new born baby in Bethlehem. He flew into a rage when he learned he had been duped by the kings. And sadly, his most evil act, the slaughter of innocent children, was the result. I am not suggesting that Trump and Herod would have that in common, but they both seem very comfortable with anger, retribution, and intimidation to hold their position.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 10.00.41 AMDo others see that as insecurity too?  Who else but a man unsure of himself would say  “I’m, like, a really smart person.”  Does a secure leader smear a political opponent through his mother as he did the other night at a debate? His comments about women are particularly revealing.  What is he afraid of…other than being found out to be less than a perfect self? Really, what settled, secure person would ever say, “Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.“?

Self-confidence is admirable; we need our leaders to have it. But often extreme, iron-clad self-confidence is a smoke-screen.  Brash, boisterous self-exaltation should scare us.  We are all fallen creatures. Imperfect at best.  Where is some humility and a deep awareness of a fallen and sinful nature?  When asked about his religious life and his need for forgiveness, Trump said, “I’m not sure I have ever asked God’s forgiveness. I don’t bring God into that picture.” Enough said.

We can be good…and some people can be great; but none of us are all great. The proud Winston Churchill got it right when he said, “We are all worms; but I believe I am a glow worm.”  Perfectly true.

Herod was an builder, for sure.  And he was insecure. And today he is remembered NOT for what he built or achieved through his technological advances in construction, but for his terrible instability, insanity, and tyranny.  He is most remembered not for what he built but who he tried to destroy.

I don’t know Donald Trump and if he is elected president I will pray for him. But what we need today is a person of stability, humility, and maturity. We don’t need a man who only knows how to blow his own trumpet or else blow raspberries at his opponents. We don’t need peevishness or pouting. We don’t need a celebrity builder driven by deep forces we cannot understand.  We don’t need a Herod.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

Canon David has over 35 years of local congregational ministry, diocesan and national involvement, leadership, and ministry experience and is the founder of Leaderworks. He was the founding Rector/Pastor, Christ Church, Plano and currently serves as the Strategic Leader and Dean, Diocese of C4SO.

23 Comments

  1. David Rine February 17, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I would agree with part of your allegory (yes allegory) between Donald Trump today and Herod the Great in a past. However, we do need a new president (and for that matter, a part of congress) that is not afraid, as our founders did, to stand up to (unfortunately as our current republican congress is) to oppression in the forms of progessivism,liberalism, and socialism. Many of our proposed new leaders have been shown in the past to be week and more scared of losing their government jobs than having some backbone. Many of our founders were not afraid to lose everything (and many did). Unfortunately, Donald Trump seems, more than others, to take that risk, and he is willing to dedicate his own money rather than ours in the process. The only other candidate who seems to quietly be willing to take that risk and who has consistently (and so has a background of being humble, truthful and wise) is MD Ben Carson. So, until convinced otherwise the two quite different but tough candidates and Ben Carson and Donald Trump. Dave Rine, Olathe, Kansas. Active in my Anglican Church.

  2. David Roseberry February 17, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Yes…there is the double edge sword. The fact he is willing to use his own money makes us vulnerable to a candidate who has not accountability at all.

    Thanks for your comment.

    • David Rine February 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      Response. What kind of accountability? Fear of not being elected like many in the Republican congress? Decisions by the polls? Hasthe current president by ‘accountable’ to us?

      Thank you for your willingness to interact.

      Blessing,

      Dave

  3. Dode Worsham February 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    The brashness, the immaturity, the childish behavior, the bullying……..all signs of insecurity……irritating and annoying coming from anyone but absolutely terrifying when coming from a potential leader of our country. I very much appreciate your insights and thoughts.

  4. Romeo Cayangyang February 17, 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the insight. I will pray for him as well as for others. God is always looking for someone to stand in the Gap. I’m not sure how many prayed but Obama is in the same bought and God allowed him to lead this country. He is the man who claims to be Christian and says God bless you and God bless Amerca after each speech, yet he is one of the most liberal presidents this country has ever had.

    • David Rine February 18, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

      It is quite deceitful to say that Herod the Great and Donald Trump have much in common. Herod the Great (HG) was one of the most brutal dictator of historic times. He murdered many of his own family, he murdered thousands of children, he was complicit in having thousands of his Jewish community crucified, HG was terrible at commerce and business, to build the HG empire he taxed the Jewish people to death (even the poor) and what he could not get in taxes he stole, even from the poor. There is much more that is too terrible to repeat. And note the HG taxed the Jewish people to death in order to build his edifices. The taxation part, incidentally, seems to be more like some of our other D candidate’s plans. Finally regarding pure humility the only candidate is MD Ben Carson, who we are supporting. PS. When making comparisons I do wish that you would get your history straight. Why must Anglican leadership be drawn into these kinds of discussions?

  5. Fr. Theron Walker February 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    People are drawn to Trump because they perceive him to be an “outsider” who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. And they believe that he will fight for them, and won’t be corrupted. Yet, confronted with his history of using the government to take private property to enrich himself through eminent domain, or paying Huge sums of money to democrats (and of late, republicans), he says, “Don’t blame the man….blame the system.” He’s already proved that he’s and an end justifies the means guy.
    I think Roseberry’s comments are well aimed. My concern is, narcissists are great fighters, so when they are on “your side” it sure is great. But cross them, question them, and they will turn on you. We’ve seen it with the personal attacks on Carson’s faith, Rubio’s “sweaty hands,” and Cruz is, “when you think of it, worse than Hillary.” Personal attacks, no substance. He’s a fighter to be sure, but is that what America needs, or what Christians should look up to? I don’t think so (obviously).

  6. Greg Smith February 18, 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply

    David,

    Thank you for posting this. It was a much more thoughtful and artful response than I could write. It’s always dangerous for us, as priests, to enter into politics — but we do have to do it so as to bridge the gap between Sunday and Monday. Thanks for writing something that I can use to help my people (at church and at The Citadel) think critically.

    Blessings! Greg Smith

  7. James Moore February 19, 2016 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Absolutely, he might be the first Pres. With a full House and Senate to get impeached, because he has no rules and doesn’t like to be questioned by anyone.

    • David Rine February 19, 2016 at 9:52 am - Reply

      I would like to see specific data and documentation supporting this irrational statement.

      • James Moore February 19, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

        A possibility with a precedent in history is not necessary irrational , since we have had 3 Presidents start this path, one can look at the attitude that Trump brings that he can do no wrong, I can see immediate conflicts as he tries to accomplish all he has promised and run into immediate conflict and just take matters in his own hands as he has build his empire and not back off.

  8. Bill Brewer February 20, 2016 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Thanks Fr David for writing the post. To everyone else, please know that I am privileged, very much so, to sit under Fr Davids ministry at Christ Church Plano. Though I don’t believe the characterization that David has put forth applies as much as he stated, I do agree there’s food for thought. If nothing else, its caused me to re-evaluate Trumps positions on specific matters.
    My biggest concern about Mr. Trump is not his style (I may have spent too much time in high testosterone work places), though I really don’t prefer the threats to sue fellow Republicans, but rather his forbearance to put all of his spoken positions in writing at this official website.
    Specifically no mention of: Repeal Obamacare, Reduce the annual budget deficits and radically eliminate the myriads of federal regulations choking businesses. He has expressed concern for those in need of acute medical care who cannot afford it. This has won him charges of favoring “socialized medicine”. So there are political conservatives who see him as a “softie” on this aspect of health care, no Herodian there.
    My other pain point is the tariff approach to resolving trade balances. This was a popular approach back in the late 1920’s with Congress and Herbert Hoover. We all know how that turned out.
    However, he does have an excellent demeanor, in my humble opinion, for striking out against the crony capitalism – federal bureaucracy hegemony so evident in DC these days. Establishment Republicans and Democrats alike both are choking this country with over-sized and overreaching government.
    I see Trump’s style to be more of an Old Testament Judge and not that of a King Herod. Rough around the edges at times for sure, but out to do good for his country and its people.
    Obviously, the Judges were all filled by the Holy Spirit of the LORD. I would so love to see that in “the Donald”. I think we’d still see the same passion, but with better choices of words and more carefully chosen outbursts. Please don’t get me started on Cruz, who I’m very attached to ideologically, but can totally see why very few folks enjoy collaborating with such a smug individual. Ben Carson was my early favorite, but he lacks the passion necessary, I believe, to do the job.
    This election, like most, presents interesting conundrums on which choices to make. When praying for our country, I pray most of all for the electorate to again find the wisdom of Scripture in making their choices, instead of pop culture. I yearn for the days when people of both parties were patriots but differed on strategies to help everyone.
    Fr David, thanks again so much for the article, and look forward to our next worship time together. For everyone else, Christ Church Plano is truly an answer to my wife’s and my prayers to find a place to both worship our Saviour reflectively as well as hear the Word so soundly taught. There is not space or time here to tell of all the blessings (I do mean it) that the last five years at Christ Church have given us.
    God Bless David and all y’all.
    Bill Brewer

    • David Rine February 21, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

      February 21 2016

      Dear Friends in the Anglican Community:

      Please join us in the Thursday February 21 2016 National Collegiate Day of Prayer. Here is the link to see information and to register with us.

      http://www.collegiatedayofprayer.org/

      I have selected my two colleges. Please do the same for our young adults who will be our future leaders and resources of the USA.

      Dave Rine
      Professor Emeritus
      George Mason University, Virginia

  9. Kurt Hanke February 23, 2016 at 7:36 am - Reply

    There’s more. The enemy used Herod to try and end the life of the Messiah. The decree to have all first-born male children of a certain age killed. Rev. 12:4 “…And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.” Herod ruled over the Jews but understood nothing of their faith in God.
    The Donald could not bring anything to mind when asked what his favorite verse was. He’s stated that he’s never asked God for forgiveness. He claims to be a christian, but understands none of it. A man ripe to be used by the enemy – just as Herod was.

    • David Rine February 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      It is absolutely ludicrous and a major untruth to even try to make this comparison between a USA patriotic citizen and the terrors of Herod the Great! As a follower of Jesus you should be absolutely ashamed to use this kind of deceit!! If not then why make compare Bernie Sanders with strong arm socialists like Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin or other strong arm socialists? I also note that you may implicitly be approving the biggest liar and deceitful person in Hillary Clinton. Yet you give these a pass. Thankfully you have not been in a place to teach my former students about all this deceit!!

      • Kurt Hanke February 23, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

        So you’re obviously a Trump supporter. To who is deceiving who? Trump stated very clearly he is “pro choice” and would not hinder partial birth abortions. He also owns and runs casinos – those wonderful purveyors of christian ethics, he has left people holding the bag by declaring bankruptcy numerous times, he said “sleeping around was own personal Vietnam” which is such an insult to those who have served there, he has been through multiple divorces, refers to women as “pieces of ass”, etc, etc, yet you think this is not Herod-esque? And you actually taught school? Regarding Hillary, I regard her as even worse than Trump, if that is possible. The only difference between them is all her deceit wes in the public arena, whereas his has been in the private.

        • David Rine February 23, 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

          I never said or I dictated who I am supporting. Thank you. However where do you get the Anglican authority to single out just one candidate for abuse? I do have one candidate who I have been supporting and I will be happy to discuss this with you by email or Facebook but not on a website devoted to Jesus. I trust you see my point. I made a serious choice many years ago to become a believing member of the Anglican community.

          • Kurt Hanke February 23, 2016 at 3:07 pm

            Since when do I need “Anglican authority” to point out what Trump himself has admitted at various times to doing? …. or “Anglican authority” for anything else for that matter? This is a part of exercising good judgment in choosing our next President, who I would really like to be a Christian – wouldn’t you? The author’s original point which I agree with, is that Trump is very much like Herod.

    • David Rine February 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      This is crazy!! Why not give every one of our candidates such a litmus test? Recall that MD Ben Carson was asked whether or not he would be willing to support a Muslim as a presidential candidate, and for this, taken out of the full context, he was called from very bad things. Fine that you do not like Donald Trump but why not give fair objections. I’ll also bet that you loved Mitt Romney though h is not a Christian either.

      • Scott March 13, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

        Don’t get angry because Kurt called you out on this matter David. It is a false dichotomy to believe there are only two choices, and a vote for one is against the other. Trust me there is a litmus test for Christians, read the Didache, the early church clearly had one and it centered on abortion.
        Secondly, the article was a comparison, and a fair one. It’s supposed to spark thought and retrospection, it’s not an attack on you.

        • David Rine March 13, 2016 at 10:54 am - Reply

          Thank you for your reply. No one is asking for a litmus test and that is not close to what I believe I commented about. If you are speaking at Ben Carson I ask – Do you even know Ben. I do. He usually quite prayerfully thinks through his responses. He loved our country and also Jesus. I truly believe that his actions are in this direction. If you are calling me out your are also calling him out. Yes, I am pro-life in general terms but we should need a detailed discussion of what that means if you like. I also have many Muslim friends. Here where I live they are good folks and their center has come out openly and strongly against those Muslim groups who are supporting extremism. It is an interesting topic – Some of our pro christian friends in Sudan have gone to jail or worse for actually supporting Christian – based help in rebuilding their country. Again would you like to go into a very long discussion on these ideas. I to would not work to support a conservative, non-secular Muslim for president and that does not mean that I do not dearly love my country and how it was founded. But if indeed a conservative, non-secular Muslim were to be the president it would mean that likely Islam has reached a majority in this country – Do you want that to happen and do you know what that would mean? Not supporting someone does president does not mean that Jesus does not love them and has not also died for them. Surely you must understand this. So if you are calling me out on these things then so bit it- we just differ in ideas. Fine. But I still love you friend and all for the sake if of Lord Jesus. May God bless you as we move toward that time of year when we all remember what Lord Jesus has done for us.

          Oh — what did you think of the UK PM speech supporting why his country should be celebrating Easter? It is on my Facebook page if you did not see it.

          Blessing to you.

          Dave

  10. David Rine February 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Okay. I’ll close this off with a very short personal opinion. If we are looking for a presidential candidate who has lived a life like Jesus taught there is only one candidate. That one is Ben Carson and he is the only one we have backing. The others from both parties seem flawed in terms of a consistent life style. So if you were to want a president who has been a follower of Jesus, to my limited knowledge, it would be Ben Carson.

    I think we can stop at that.

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