I appreciated Dana Milbank’s Dec. 4 column “Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist,” but I would not have said it that way.
I agree we are witnessing bigotry and racism. But I would not label Trump or his fans bigots and racists.
Bigotry is something we feel and do, not what we are. Trump and his followers are children of God, made in his image and therefore capable of courage and compassion. But they, like all of us, are also flawed (“fallen”) and therefore susceptible to darker impulses (“sin”). Some of us are more susceptible to certain sins than others.
Trump tempts people with the sin of bigotry to advance his campaign. I resent his tactic partly because those most susceptible to his temptations seem to be white Southerners – my own people. But he is harming my whole country.
The anti-Muslim bigotry he encourages can lead U.S. Muslims to feel they will never be accepted as Americans. That is the way ISIS recruiters want them to feel.
Trump may be engaging in this irresponsible behavior because he is particularly susceptible to the sin of greed for power.
I say, love the sinner, hate the sin.