Here is some friendly pushback to the rebuttals I received on a recent Facebook post of mine in which I linked an article from the New York Daily News by Shaun King. The gist of the article was that the President-Elect and his proposed cabinet are not as educated as our current President and his advisors and what that might mean about their relative preparedness. While a number of people disputed the premise, I agreed with King’s thesis.
As to the value of advanced degrees for people running our country, I point out that no one is saying that education is everything. It’s not, by any means, everything, but it is something, something important for people in such important positions of power. I offer a parallel or two.
When in need of surgery it’s my inclination to insist on surgeons with some serious medical school under their belt! That they made a lot of money in real estate wouldn’t mean diddly to me. But that might just be me. If I ever need an attorney, graduation from law school will be near the top of my list of criteria, not how big a business s/he runs. If ours were the “United States of Affluence” then you might have a point that making money and running a country go hand in hand, but I’m not convinced.
It just seems logical to me that the people governing our great nation should have spent a significant amount of time in higher education, learning about how the world of governing, not just the world of finance, works. Making billions of dollars in business, in my opinion, does not prepare someone for lawmaking. If you disagree with me, that’s fine.
If that makes me a “Left-Wing Snowflake,” so be it, though I have to confess my ignorance of the “snowflake” reference. I’ve always thought of snowflakes in the most positive of ways––you know, pretty and different from all the other snowflakes. Speaking of ignorance, it’s always a bummer when you call someone a name and they don’t know what it means! Sorta takes the sting out of the insult. So, consider me ignorant and un-stung. I’m probably happier with both.
Some pointed out that there’s a difference between “wisdom” and education. Of course there is, but let me share a few of my thoughts about wisdom. I’ve always said, “If you want knowledge, go to college. But wisdom belongs in an entirely different category.” I read someplace that wisdom begins with “the fear of God.” It starts there but doesn’t end there. Wisdom then continues on as the insight and fortitude to consistently choose a righteous lifestyle. If it doesn’t, then it’s simply not the sort of wisdom mandated in the Bible, if indeed that is the sort of wisdom we’re talking about.
Knowledge (of truth) may well lead to true wisdom, but it won’t necessarily. The Pharisees had a lot of knowledge but little-to-no godly wisdom. That’s why the fear of God is indispensible to the development of the kind of wisdom he commands. And it’s not at all clear to my way of thinking that either our President-elect or his proposed cabinet members (with the likely exception of Ben Carson) possess that quality of true wisdom. I hope I’m wrong, and my deepest apologies to each of these beloveds of God and their fans if I am. But I don’t think I am.
Someone said that “time will tell” whether or not the incoming administration will help or harm our country. I’m not so sure about that. Since we’re so far apart ideologically, I’m inclined to think that whatever they do will gratify their admirers and correspondingly gall their detractors. If some of the things they’ve promised come to pass it will cause for jubilation for some and grief for others. Unless President Trump complete incinerates the country or ushers in the golden age, those on the right will praise him for what they see as his triumphs and those on the left will criticize him for their view of his failures.
Lastly, let me propose a few thoughts about the repeated dictum that God controls the outcome of elections and puts whomever he wants in places of authority. Donald Trump is therefore God’s choice for President. I’m quite aware of the usual suspects (i.e. the verses that seem to indicate that God always gets his way, especially in this area of installing his choice of national leaders). Although unpacking the subject of the sovereignty of God is much more nuanced than what some would like it to be––well, more than I’d like it to be––I will make a few cursory comments on the subject.
First of all, I won’t even mention how offensive this idea that God always puts people in their places of authority might be to the families of six million slaughtered Jews or the families of the three million Cambodians that Pol Pot murdered. I will resist reminding us how Saddam Hussein gassed his own people and Fidel Castro put the hundred and fifty thousand Cuban dissidents in front of the firing squad. I won’t cite those, or any number of others, as evidence that God didn’t rig the system so that such evil humans would be in power to do their disgusting deeds.
I will, on the other hand, refer to the two terms that Barak Obama served as President. I haven’t heard his detractors cite the theory that since God always gets his man (or woman) in the seat of power, Barak Obama must have been God’s first choice. I find that interesting, don’t you? How come what’s good for the goose is not, in this case, good for the gander? (Maybe the metaphor should employ the elephant and the donkey.) Given the belief that God always puts his choice in office, shouldn’t that apply to Bill Clinton or the liberal Supreme Court Justices that conservatives have been so quick to denigrate? No, I don’t think the Lord of history would appreciate being credited for elevating the leaders in our nation or any others for that matter.
I believe God is sovereign and that he sovereignly chose to give humans and nations, what I call “the frightening power to choose” their own destiny. I suppose it’s also his sovereign prerogative to intervene in some elections on some level if it pleases him to do so in answer to our fervent prayers. But to claim that God places every leader of every government in their positions is ludicrous, unbiblical, and offensive.
Donald Trump is going to be the 45th President of the United States. I accept that. I don’t like it, but I’ll pray for him and his administration often. I will pick my battles with policies that I consider damaging to America. I don’t have any evidence that God put him there, but the electorate did, and that’s that. I have no direct say in whom Mr. Trump chooses as his advisors, educated or not, but I’ll pray and hope that they’ll do a better job for the country than I suspect they will.
I just thought my opinion on these matters needed to be posited. Thanks for listening. God bless you and may God bless the United States of America!