Monday Musings for July 17, 2017
As I was reading a book the other day, I came upon a curious sentence: “When Donald Trump becomes the poster boy for second chances and the church is viewed as a place of judgment we have a serious problem.”
I read that and I said, “What??”
The part about judgment in the church made sense. Earlier the author had told the story of a megachurch pastor who was guilty of sexual misconduct. As a result, he lost both his job and his marriage. He also was shunned by the Christian community. There were very few of his previous friends who wanted anything to do with him.
I know this church went through something similar a few years ago with a pastor named Rusty Hancock. When pastors violate their sacred trust, there are serious consequences, as there were in Rusty’s case.
That part made sense, but what about Donald Trump as “the poster boy for second chances”?
I noticed the book I was reading was published in 2007. Not many people back then would have guessed that ten years later Donald Trump would be our president. So the comment had nothing to do with President Trump or even candidate Trump. So what was it about?
I racked my brain and recalled something that got a fair amount of press coverage at the time. In December of 2006, Miss USA got in trouble. Tara Conner was 20 years old and from a small, dry town in rural Kentucky. When she got to New York City with her newly won fame, she basically went crazy. Drinking, drugs, you name it.
The decision on what to do about this fell upon the owner of the Miss USA pageant, one Donald J. Trump.
I remember he kept us in suspense for a few days before holding a much-anticipated press conference. As I recall, I was watching live.
The expectation was that Tara Conner would lose her title. But that is not what happened. Donald Trump said, “I’ve always believed in second chances. Tara is going to be given a second chance.”
A grateful and contrite Tara Conner was quoted as saying that Trump has “a heart of gold.”
Whatever you might think of Donald Trump, I think you will agree he did the right thing with Tara Conner. (Who, by the way, has not gotten into any trouble since, at least not any I could uncover on Google.) As we discussed yesterday, he “erred on the side of grace.”