Trump’s after-dinner speech at Buckingham Palace sticks in the throat (East London Humanists opinion piece, Barking and Dagenham Post 13.6.19)
According to the BBC, Trump’s Buckingham Palace speech contained nothing controversial. Not so.
True, he didn’t insult anyone. He didn’t use the occasion to dismiss overwhelming evidence on climate change as a hoax. He didn’t talk about those seeking sanctuary from persecution and poverty as if they are low-life criminals. And the occasion wasn’t used to sow division or make derogatory remarks about women, Muslims, disabled people or gays. Perhaps the Queen’s presence deterred the usual display of bigotry, nationalistic self-interest and scorn for science and truth Trump represents.
However many will take exception to Trump’s nod to the folks back home when he talked of ‘reverence for the rights given to us by almighty God.’ Odd from a man who has lived a life so far removed from any religious virtue. But his cynical claim to piety has won the support of extreme Christian fundamentalists, joyful at the prospect of turning the clock back on women’s dominion over their own bodies. Or perhaps Trump had in mind a divine right to rule, or to pillage the environment? The rights we enjoy were not given by ‘almighty God.’ There is no equivalent of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or the US constitution, in any of the holy books. They are man (and woman) made creations. Our civil liberties have been hard fought for over many centuries, not gifted from on high. We must resist Trump’s dangerous bombast and religious dogma that seek to reverse human progress.
Chair East London Humanists