All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California has eliminated speaking the President's name in upcoming prayer services. In many traditional churches, it is customary to pray for national leaders by name; but the Reverend Mike Kinman has decided that publically breathing the word 'Trump' might traumatize his flock.
"There are indeed people in our congregation for whom the anticipation of praying for Donald Trump by name in a worship service is legitimately triggering trauma and compromising the safety of the worship space." Pastor Kinman wrote, "I am speaking of the clinical definition of trauma; and not just 'I don't like it' or 'It's really hard for me.'"
Pasadena is only a few miles from Hollywood; one would think that Pastor Kinman might address something like, say, the number of celebrities who've been forced out of attending Trump's Inauguration because of death threats and such. But actually, according to the church's website, next Sunday's sermon is titled "The Call to Sacred Resistance." Prior to the sermon, the church announces: "At 10:15 AM, we will offer the first in a series of Intersectional Resistance Forums focused this week on Reproductive Justice. Join us for a conversation with Planned Parenthood's Sheri Bonner and Susan Russell."
So praying for the President in a church is emotionally traumatizing to these people, but supporting the murder of babies for profit, is not.
American Christianity is in sad shape if this is what passes for Christian leadership. During the last few years we've read about Syrian Christians having churches burned down over their heads; mass graves of Iraqi Christians whose organs had been harvested; Libyan and Yemeni Christians put in corrals and massacred; terrorist attacks on Christians in Egypt and Ethiopia. Maybe Pastor Kinman would do more good preaching about these things---since his congregation is in obvious need of exhortation to Christian fortitude and courage.
But, sadly, that is unlikely to happen. All Saints Church, though, does list a number of causes its parishioners can take up: among them are 'The Affordable Care Act', 'Climate Change', 'Gun Violence Prevention', and 'Marriage Equality.'
It's also somewhat sad to reflect that All Saints Church hasn't always been like this. The building is a lovely Gothic Cathedral built in 1924. The Church was formerly a real community leader in Pasadena---now it's become a symbol of Postmodernist degeneracy.
Pastor Mike Kinman himself is a recent arrival to Pasadena, taking over at All Saints last year. He was for seven years previously the pastor of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. There, according to his official biography, he had "a particular interest in the Cathedral's role in dismantling systemic misogyny and homophobia and promoting racial and economic reconciliation in St. Louis---and with Christ Church Cathedral was active in the new civil rights movement that was ignited in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri."
So there is Rev. Kinman's idea of Christian values in action: the Anarchist reign of terror in Ferguson. In light of this, his argument that mention of Trump in church could trigger people and 'threaten the safety of the worship space' makes sense. The mention of Trump's name in audience like that would be like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
But it's not exactly a Christian approach. For all his Ivy-League degrees in Theology, Pastor Kinman and his congregation would be better served by going back and reading the New Testament.