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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Donald Trump and Instinct

A defiant Donald J. Trump suggested on Sunday that he had been singled out for attacks by the hosts of Thursday's Republican presidential debate and again threatened a third-party White House bid if he was not treated "reasonably fairly" by party leaders. (  He later added that we can discern fairness instinctively.


How do you react when you don't get your fair share of something? Suffer in silence? Pout? Have a fit? Demand your rights? Other? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 337).

In several illustrations Jesus warns us not to sit in judgement on the fairness of God. He tells approvingly of the story of the landowner (God) who paid  discriminatory wages, and notes that God sends rain on the just and unjust.  Jesus's ministry in many ways fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah regarding  a savior who would "give sight to the blind, bring prisoners out of prisons, and bring those who live in darkness out of dungeons." (Isaiah 42).  That is, Jesus was far more interested in unbounded redemption over calculated justice.  Redemption by its very nature is inherently based on grace and mercy rather than justice.

It is worth noting that in signal ways justice looks backward while redemption looks forward with hope. That is, a society that is solely interested in justice and not in redemption is exponentially impoverished.  I would agree with Donald Trump that we perceive justice instinctively. However I would note a difference between "instinct" and "informed instinct."  Informed instinct is the instinct that can see the forest for the trees and is characterized by a social perspective. We often call this point of view "maturity." We see the little child pitching a fit because he cannot monopolize a toy. With maturity the child will be introduced to the concept of sharing. This is simply another way of saying that he will be inculcated with the Golden rule which will thereby inform his instinct and redeem "fairness" from blatant selfishness.

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