I haven’t said much about the 2016 election on this blog. I have chosen to write about what I believe, to share the good news about God’s vast love for all of us, which we know in Jesus Christ.
The election is now over and, as always, there are winners and losers. That is how elections work. But this one is different because of the rancor and hate that is left in its wake.
There are many calls for national unity, and there is a lot to be said for that. I think both Hillary Clinton and President Obama gave impressive, classy speeches about the peaceful transition of power, which is a hallmark of our democracy.
They had to do that, and they did it well.
However, Donald Trump said many extremely hateful things during the campaign that are on the record and can’t be unsaid. As some of you know my scholarly specialty is on the idea of atonement, a word in the Bible that is also translated as reconciliation.
My deep concern now is that we will buy national unity too cheaply. I’m reminded of Jeremiah’s words: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)
If there is to be true reconciliation Mr. Trump needs to apologize for things he said about women, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, the disabled, the press, and many other of our fellow Americans.
There can be no reconciliation without repentance. If he wants to be President of all the people, as he said on election night, he needs to address this. We can’t treat this wound as if it were not serious, and we can’t allow Mr. Trumps remarks and behavior to be viewed as normal and acceptable. They are not.
Without such apologies and assurances Donald Trump will not be the President of all Americans.