I realize that CNN may have been somewhat biased in the way it reported on the Trump presidential campaign, and that it since his inauguration shows a clear antipathy towards the new president. I try to balance their reporting with what I see on other channels, such as the BBC, Euronews, and other European and non-European news channels. And, of course, I also follow the main Dutch media. (I have always been interested in what happens in my country and around the world.)
I must admit that lately I am more emotionally affected by what I see, hear and read than usual. Hearing the Trump rhetoric during his inauguration speech, for instance, and listening (last night) to his address to the Republican leaders in Congress and in the Senate, made me really depressed. Is this megalomaniac, egocentric business tycoon, who is unable to utter any two sentence without using expletives like ‘great’, ‘amazing’, ‘tremendous’, ‘fantastic’ when describes his plans and capabilities—is he going to do all the things he has, often so incoherently, announced? It made me almost physically sick.
Now, I know that many of my fellow-believers actually voted for this immoral, but self-confessed born-again Christian, and that one of the prominent members of my church even accepted a cabinet post. It is truly beyond me. The official Adventist media are very careful in commenting on political issues. To some extent, this is to be expected and even respected. Yet things change when moral issues are concerned. In such cases these media should be clear where Christian (and Adventist) values are at stake and in great danger of being ignored.
The Adventist Review has, as far as I can tell, made a few exceptions and has reported on two issues that are related to the political earthquake that has shaken the USA. It has reported in rather positive terms on the fact that a Seventh-day Adventist now occupies such a high position in the new US government and that the daughter and son-in-law of the president are Sabbath keepers. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, now a senior advisor in the White House, is a Jew and Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism. The Adventist Review applauded the fact that their Sabbath keeping will ensure that the importance of the Sabbath is highlighted in a very special way.
I would have hoped that our official church media had been more reluctant in their ‘endorsement’ of Ben Carson. The 64.000 dollar question is not whether it is good (and may be useful?) to have a Seventh-day Adventist close to the president, but whether he will show in his conduct, his influence and the policies that he will propose and put in place, that he is guided by Christian values and principles.
And what about the Sabbath keeping of two members of Trump’s family? Let us remember the prophetic words, as for instance found in Isaiah 1 and Amos 5, that tells us that Sabbath keeping is only pleasing to God when those Sabbath keepers ‘do justice, encourage the oppressed and defend the case’ of the disadvantaged in society. It remains to be seen whether mr. Jared will live up to that prophetic challenge. The omens are not very good and positive reporting on him in Adventist media is, in my view, at least premature.