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Paid political letter: I value honest religion

As I write these letters about my values, I respect you even if your values are different from mine. I am hopeful that you will think about, define and be clear about your values.

I value people who are honest about religion. I value people who have religious persuasions different from my own. One friend from high school has chosen the pagan religion. I asked that friend, “Is it OK if in a sermon I referred to you as my friend who is a witch?” She said, “Yes!” I learn from friends when they are honest with themselves and with me about their religion. A person can show respect and value while disagreeing.

In my religious family, a cousin is an atheist. I honor her emotional and intellectual work to be honest about this. I am asking you to do that work of being honest about what you value. Be honest about religion. If you do not value the teachings of Christianity, be like my friend and my cousin. Don’t claim to be Christian if you are not.

Donald Trump’s words and actions simply do not align with the values of Christianity. Trump says he is a Christian and a Presbyterian. He gets to say that. But you get thinking about whether he values Christianity. Here are six examples showing Donald Trump does not value Christianity and is not honest about it.

Donald Trump does not understand sin and grace. When asked whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions. Trump answered, “I am not sure I have.”

Donald Trump does not respect churches or pastors. Trump visited a Methodist church in Flint, Michigan. The pastor interrupted and said, “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to give a political speech.” “Oh, oh, oh, OK, that’s good,” Trump replied. However, on national TV the next day he made fun of the pastor, saying she was a “nervous mess.”

Donald Trump did not respect St. John’s Church in Washington. With no communication with the church, Trump had peaceful protesters violently removed so he could wave a Bible in front of the church sign.

Donald Trump manipulates religious leaders. Baptist leader Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned leadership at Liberty University with the underlying revelation that his campaign endorsement of Donald Trump was based on Trump helping him cover up a sex scandal.

Trump trivialized the sacrament of Holy Communion. “When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker.”

Recently Trump used a false religious statement against his opponent saying, “He’s … hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God.”

If you value honest religion, vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president. Vote for Tina Smith for senator. Vote for Dan Feehan for 1st Congressional District. Vote for Thomas Martinez, Minnesota House of Representatives 27A. Vote for Dan Sparks Minnesota Senate District 27.

Joel Xavier

Ellendale