Taiwan Church News
November 14 – 20, 2016
Speaking In Reason And Not Emotion, As Telling Truth Is Better Than Inciting Fake
Beating the seemingly irreversible forecasts of mainstream media, even shocking the majority of Facebook population, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election of US. During his campaign rally, Trump always used a very vulgar and provocative languages to proclaim his “Make America Great Again” policies, like harassing Muslim, deporting immigrants, and quitting Paris Climate Change Accord. No wonder, a series of anti-Trump protests broke out after the outcome of US presidential election unveiled.
As the protest gone wild, a lot of placards and voices shown up as “Rape Mrs Trump”, “Kill the Cops”, and etc, Trump started to change his attitude from an initial complaint as “Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting.Very unfair!” to a more pragmatically inclusive one as “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”
Behind this US presidential election, be it in Trump’s inciting campaign languages or among a series of anti-Trump protests after the election, there seems lying an undeniable rule: when emotion is put above reason, there would be chaos and no way to proceed serious discussion to solve the problems. From Trump’s significant turns on some critical policies or events, people know Trump has learned not to play a campaign winner only, but a president for all US citizens!
In fact, this week in Taiwan is not peaceful either after Trump won the election. Except the impact of US presidential election still beats up and down in Taiwan society, the so-called Marriage Equality Act also ignites the momentum at many conservative groups, like Union for Next Generation’s Happiness and the Taiwan Religious Groups Alliance of Protecting Family. Many pastors and church members are asked to take sides on this issue.
Just like some vote for Clinton and some vote Trump in US presidential election, taking sides at a candidate or an important issue is a very natural thing, not absolutely in itself good or bad, but requires an open, unbiased and rational dialogue as a necessary condition. Regarding the opinions about the Marriage Equality Act within Taiwan churches, up to date we still have not seen any open discussion, public hearings, or rational clarifications about the information received by the related parties. More we received are emotional or parochial statements, in name of God or an apocalyptic fear, urging church members to take sides. Such relentless bullying should not be done in any democratic society or even in religious groups!
When Martin Luther proposed the famous <95 theses > to the Roman Catholic Church, he acted as a rational scholar rather than an agitator. An open and reasonable attitude to share our thoughts with other people is the basis of theological education and the spirit of the reformers. Without this rational spirit to explain the contents of a Christian faith in a reasonable way, John Calvin would not have to bother repeatedly re-writing his most important works: Institutes of the Christian Religion.
What the dictators most love is playing cheap demagogue, stirring up the fear inside the people, without paying any cost, time, and reason to convince them. Nowadays Christians should never follow the media or any interest-invested group without awareness. In order to stand firm in this information-explosive age, on the critical issues concerned by the church, we should especially learn to listen, understand, and judge on them with a independent mind full of love!