During the latest debate by the candidates for the Republican nomination for president, Newt Gingrich declared, “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear-cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them.” He got a standing ovation. Andrew Jackson was, of course, the president responsible for the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States to the West.
For a party whose members ceaselessly declare allegiance to Christianity, Gingrich and his standing ovation would seem to heap more than a little contempt on their Lord and Saviour. Christ, after all, had quite a different idea about how to treat your enemies. In Mathew 5:43-44, He says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
you, and persecute you." In Mathew 5:38-39, He says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
Christ's advice, it seems, is not welcome in the Republican Party. It's all an eye for an eye there.