No Trump, I’d Rather be a Sheep than a Lion

By Joel A Hess

It’s better to live one day as a lion than a sheep for a hundred years” – Donald Trump and Benito Mussolini

Whether or not Donald Trump knew this quote was taken from the il Duce, the baldheaded embarrassment to both dictators and Italians, doesn’t matter. What does matter is that he desires to own and live by this quote. It should be noted that the original author of the quote was eventually mocked by the Germans, who really know how to do dictatorship, and dragged naked through the streets by his own people. I’m not sure Mussolini’s words are ingredients for success.

At first, most people probably like this pedestrian proverb. Be honest, it’s right up there with “live fast and die young.” In other words, it’s a cheap rock star quote. We should not desire a rock star to be president.  At the very least he could have quoted David Lee Roth, “I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.” Watch out for rock star politicians. Essentially this is what Nazism is — an art movement far more than it was any sort of political movement.

But what concerns me more is the peculiar love for Trump among so-called “Christians.” Though I would guess many of them come from mega churches where the cult of personality is the chief organizing principle. Now, I know that one does not have to be a Christian to be a good governor. I don’t vote for a candidate because they are Christian or more Christian than the others.

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Still, the quote mentioned above is a completely unchristian quote. For if God’s people are compared to any animal in Scripture, it’s sheep! All of humanity is sheep! Wandering, stuck, stubborn, foolish, lost, lead, dead, hostile, or found sheep.

Indeed, it is humiliating to think of oneself as a sheep. This is something Donald Trump would never admit to, which makes him a dangerous leader, but also a great person to have a drink or two with. Quite frankly, America has had cocky asses as leaders in the past and has survived—Andrew Jackson to name one, so no one should be freaking out. Yes, I know many pretend to freak out. That’s their job.

We pastors don’t like to be sheep, either. Be honest, fellow pastors. Like running for president, someone who speaks in front of a large group of people must have some ego. And yes, we often go by the title, Shepherd, one who leads sheep. We do, but we are still sheep before the Lord; we are helpless animals who need a leader in every way. Though, we would much like to be the Lion. We would like to be the hero of the “silly as it sounds” blogosphere. We want to be the savior of the Church and the Lion who rescues the poor pitiful sheep, but we are not. So put away those aspirations or God will put them away for you. Plenty of Lions have been shot in the Church, even by our Lord. And rightfully so.

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There is only one Lion: the Lion of Judah.  Thank God it is not me, nor Trump, nor Mussolini. It is the one who came to serve rather than to be served.  It is the one who helps those who do not and cannot help themselves.  It is the one who laid down His life, not for an idea or principle, but for those who hated him. He didn’t run for office because we would never vote Him in, not even the nerds at Bob Jones University.

He tore the office away from its usurper, Satan. He immediately went looking for His sheep, lost sheep, dead sheep, rioting sheep, dirty sheep, abortionist sheep, sexually immoral sheep, lying sheep, politician sheep, you and me. Through His Church He’s still searching, finding, reviving.

So I would rather be a sheep than a Lion any day. By God’s grace, I will dwell in green pastures for far longer than 100 years.

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15 thoughts on “No Trump, I’d Rather be a Sheep than a Lion

  1. As Christians, we’re told that the meek shall inherit the earth. All your points are solidly Biblical. If we’re talking about our personal journey, I’m with you.

    Here’s a serious question, however – is that what we want from our country’s leaders?

    Should FDR have been a sheep when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? Should he have turned the other cheek? If so, Israel wouldn’t exist, and we’d all be speaking German.

    In our personal lives, that is what God commanded us to do. But is that what God wanted the US to do?

    I’m really not trying to troll you with these questions; I’m really interested in your honest take.

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    1. see below. totally agree. its not about lion v. sheep for leaders. the quote trump used isn’t about being a strong leader, its about living for oneself. its nitzschean.

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  2. Blending the kingdoms a bit, there, aren’t you? Knowing that I am a sheep in the kingdom of God, does not make me a sheep in all matters of this world – although humility is very important in all things, it is not the only thing. Also, if it is in my mind to protect the people I live with in this world from evil and criminal disorder, as a citizen of this country, it is my duty to enhance the strength of the God-given authorities according to prudence and wisdom that is available to me.

    Trump is not an excellent man in my understanding of that virtuous way of God. Some others are better at that than he is. In my eyes, at least, there is weakness in some of them that makes a strong government instrument of God less likely to be effective, or even responsive to their duty. Is he the best for that? I’m not really sure yet, and he’s not the only one I can favor, but I can support him given that choice.

    As it turns out, I’m even a very conservative Christian in all things, as a theologian and a citizen of this country. I am neither ignorant nor cocky in my work, although I do have a working ego, like any sheep in the kingdom. These are narrow (and perhaps ignorant?) mischaracterizations that you hold, and probably should reconsider, even if you disagree with my political thinking. Asking questions to understand, rather than asserting nastiness, might help. You could learn something by accident.

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    1. i know i know! i totally agree that one can be a sheep in God’s kingdom and a lion in the civil realm. i definitely do not want the reader to think that a good president must also be a good christian, etc. i believe i made that statement in the post. that being said, his quote is not the quote of a great leader but of a 10th grader, and betrays a commonality more with Mussolini, which is not good. of course sadly, the democrat candidates are far worse for other reasons – like – the love of killing innocent babies and the elderly then making us pay for it.

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    2. Hey…Don….you write as snarky as I write sometimes. I think we both need to tone it down a notch. I think Joel made some good points in his piece, and your comments overall also good. As for Trump, I was leaning towards him because he seems to “tell it like it is” and he taps into voter disgust with the dismal presidential choices. I was hoping Cruz and Rubio would be more civil, but both have been behaving like schoolyard dimwits. Actually…if Ben Carson were on the ticket, I would support him, but he can’t get to first base. He has an intelligent way about him, and would likely pick a solid team to run the country. Our nightmare is Hillary, and I am afraid that is what too many people and the media desire. I pray our country can survive it.

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  3. “that being said, his quote is not the quote of a great leader but of a 10th grader”

    I think that quote speaks a lot to what most conservatives want our country to be – a lion.

    Does it really matter who said it? If Hitler quoted the Golden Rule in a speech, would that mean we should then reject the Golden Rule because of its association?

    Based on your reply, I’m not sure of the whole point of your post in the first place. What, exactly, are you trying to say?

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  4. that quote is not referring to the country being a lion but the person being a lion. the quote is the quote of a simpleton (aka 10th grader-sophomore), not a great leader.

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  5. I expected someone here would go off a bit and start giving voting advice. I suppose that is inevitable, especially this most charged of an election cycle. That having been said, It would behoove you to actually get your lead off quote correct as to who REALLY said it, and in what context!

    Here are the facts of the matter, and the context, which does NOT make the statement unchristian by any stretch of the imagination:

    + + +

    On June 14, 1918, a nineteen year old Italian soldier by the name of Bernardo Vicario was ordered by his commander, Carl Rigoli, to carry out a curious task. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Italian forces would soon be hit with a furious bombardment that would mean the death of most of them. Rigoli clearly knew this, which is why he told young Bernardo to write an inscription on the ruined wall of a home in the village of Fagare, where they were holed up:

    “Better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep.”

    Rigoli perished in the battle: Bernardo lived to tell the tale. And almost a hundred years later, a researcher looking for ways to smear GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stumbled across a reference to it and attributed it to Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator.

    Justin Raimondo _antiwar.com

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    1. not giving voting advice just running off the quote. seriously, there’s a lot i like about Trump. its not ridiculous that i would not know the story regarding that quote. i have yet to find evidence of your story anywhere. though that certainly doesn’t make it true. good story. it doesn’t matter who said it. it isn’t exactly an original or creative quote. its been said a million times in a million different ways.

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  6. There are other sources online (in Italian, sigh) plus a photograph of the actual wall.

    The purpose of “whomever” over at gawker.com ( who started this whole matter) – and gawker is not exactly a reputable source of anything, was to specifically connect Trump to Mussolini in terms of fascism. That is unquestionable, and manifestly dishonest on the part of gawker. The point of your comparison (lion/sheep) was quite valid in and of itself. But to echo the media’s clear agenda over against Trump, using the quote was very iffy.

    Jean, not to cause you further dismay, but there are more than a few very confessional pastors who have thus far, or will, vote for Trump in the primaries and caucuses, and more shall do so in the general.

    🙂 Pax

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    1. “Jean, not to cause you further dismay, but there are more than a few very confessional pastors who have thus far, or will, vote for Trump in the primaries and caucuses, and more shall do so in the general.”

      You mean confessional pastors are sinners just like everyone else? That’s what I’ve been taught too.

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  7. Jean –

    And your implication in your words is . . .?

    I was not discussing that topic whatsoever, so I was kinda wondering why you brought it up in this context.

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  8. One is left no option but to supply the answer obvious to a snarky question. Vote for Trump, and Her HIghess the Jean, in papal like authority, has declared you sinner.

    Perhaps, for both enjoyment and enlightenment, she ought to consider the following from this radical:

    President Harrison

    Pax . . . jb

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