WSYK: Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Religion: You Shall Know Them By Their Fruits

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
District 32 Bronx

Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Religion: You Shall Know Them By Their FruitsYou should know that the latest Donald Trump controversy is related to the United States President Barack Obama and the Muslim and Christian faiths.You should also know that during a Trump rally in Rochester, New Hampshire on Thursday, September 17, 2015, a gentleman from the audience stood up to ask a question, saying that Barack Obama is not a Christian but a Muslim.  The man said: “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current President is one. You know he’s not even an American. That’s my question. When can we get rid of ‘em?”

Donald Trump kept quiet about what the man said about Barack Obama’s religion, giving Trump’s critics the opportunity to criticize him because according to them, he did not defend President Obama.  Donald Trump’s critics were expecting for Trump to feel obliged to correct or even reprimand the person with a response such as: “No, Barack Obama is not a Muslim, he is a Christian.”

This has created another controversy for Donald Trump, who claims it is not his place to defend the religion of the President of the United States – especially after having his own faith called into question by Dr. Ben Carson.

You may recall that on September 9, 2015, before a Rally in Anaheim, California, Republican Candidate Dr. Ben Carson said that Donald Trump’s Christian faith is not an important part of Trump’s life.  When a reporter asked him how he was different than Mr. Trump, Dr. Carson replied: “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life and that’s a very big part of who I am. I don’t get that impression, maybe I’m wrong but I don’t get that.”

According to Trump, after Dr. Carson made those statements, no one defended him, and no one corrected Dr. Ben Carson or criticized him about why he should not challenge another man’s religious beliefs.

This week Pope Francis, who serves as the spiritual leader of the Catholic Christian faith throughout the world, is coming to the United States.  His pronouncements will be given great deference to what people believe; it is expected that the Pope might make statements that will make a great impact in people’s lives and beliefs.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who serves as the leader of all Christianity has let us know how we as humans can identify those who are Christians and those who are not. Jesus Christ said: “My true disciples produce much fruit.” [John 15:8] and “You shall know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:16]

This can also be used to tell if a person who proclaims to be a Catholic, Christian, Muslim or Jewish acts according to their religion’s teachings, and stands by the principles of whatever religion they belong to.

We all know that someone is Jewish by the way they stand by the principles taught in Torah, and someone who is a Christian by the way they stand by the principles of the Holy Bible. We know that someone is Catholic by the way they support the Catholic teachings, and that someone is a Muslim by the way they stand by the teachings of the Quran.

It is not up to any of us to defend anyone’s religion. The people themselves will be known by what they say, how they live and the issues they defend and stand by according to the religion they profess.

For example, I for one have been publicly criticized, ostracized, condemned and rejected for my stand and support for the issues that my religion teaches. All of the criticism I have received as a Christian is because of the two issues that my religion opposes: gay marriage and abortion – even though I am second to no one regarding other social issues.

We all know that religion cannot be truly professed only when it is convenient or safe.  In the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

It is easy for anyone to say: “I am Jewish,” “I am a Christian,” “I am a Muslim,” or  “I am a Catholic.” However, if your actions speak otherwise, then they speak volumes.  No one has to declare what another person’s religion is. We can all see by the way they act and the way they publicly support, defend and uphold the teachings of their religion.

Now that the Pope is coming to the US, you will see many elected officials who stand against Catholic teachings and beliefs – professing to be Catholics, but no one will say that they are or are not Catholic.  It is interesting to note that I have not known of any Muslim who does not publicly stand by what the Quran teaches, nor have I ever known of any Orthodox Jewish person fighting against what the Torah teaches.

When the Bible says: “My true disciples produce much fruit.” [John 15:8] and “You shall know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:16] that is to let us know how to identify people and their religion. This is true for those who follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Bible, the Quran or the Torah and it applies to the President of the United States, to Donald Trump, to any other candidate running for President of the United States, to you  my dear reader, and to me.

And so, you can see, my dear reader, it’s not up to Donald Trump, nor anyone else to defend the religious practice of the President of the United States or the religious practices of anybody else.

No one has to defend President Obama’s religion because the American people should already know if our President is a Christian or not by the actions and positions he has taken, the statements he has made and the issues that he has supported.

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

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