Warning: rant ahead!
Historians know that the beginning of WW1 took the form of a series of baby steps over a period of several weeks. The end result was not inevitable; indeed, the various participants had been to the brink before. All it needed was for someone to step back and say, ‘Look, we can see where this is going; is this really what we want?’
I’m not suggesting that Canada and the United States are going to go to war with each other. But a trade war could be devastating, and our countries are old friends. Many, many people in the Canadian government have tried to get the Trump administration to face facts. How is it to their advantage if they devastate the Canadian auto industry? After a few more years of this kind of thing, what happens the next time the U.S. gets attacked by terrorists and needs alternative landing sites for its aircraft? How is it to the advantage of the U.S. to be isolated on the world stage, with Vladimir Putin as its only friend.
Mr. Trump claims to be a Christian (although I have a hard time seeing any evidence at all of that), and many of his supporters are vociferous in making that claim too. Well, Jesus taught us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. He didn’t teach us to make ourselves great again; he taught us to look out for each other. He said ‘Whoever wants to be greatest of all must be the servant of all’. ‘My country first, no matter what it does to the countries around me’ can’t be supported by a single line of the New Testament. And especially when the country using that slogan is already the most prosperous country in the world, with the economic clout to force its will on others (as it is now trying to do on its oldest and friendliest neighbour).
Do you remember the great commandment, Mr. Trump? Surely your Bible knowledge extends that far. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. That’s meant to apply to every part of life. Jesus isn’t just Lord of our personal lives; he’s Lord of our political lives too. Maybe, Mr. Trump, you need to start thinking about what it would be like to be on the receiving end of the suffering you are already inflicting on others. And maybe you need to remember that the God of the Bible has an unbroken record of being on the side of the underdog. You should think about that next time you say ‘God bless America’. God has already told you the conditions on which he will bless America (or any other nation). You’ll find them in Isaiah 58.