To the editor:

A few years ago, I retired from a career as a long-haul trucker. During that time I often saw, scrawled on bathroom walls, the words "I LOVE TO HATE." The words were often adorned with a swastika.

When Americans voted for Donald Trump, many did so from the fear of becoming outnumbered by the growing tide of people (usually brown and black) fleeing successive years of drought and crop failures resulting from climate change,  accompanied by war, crime and famine.

President Trump may not believe in climate change, but he certainly has a knack for capitalizing on fear and whipping that fear into hate. Hatred of the "other": Hispanics, Muslims, homosexuals, transsexuals, Jews, Democrats, reporters ... the list seems endless yet growing.

Of course, President Trump's hate speech plays well with Neo-Nazis and Klansmen, as the soaring body-count attests. But how do evangelical Christians reconcile the teachings of Jesus, such as "do unto others ..." and "judge not ...", with their adoration for President Trump's abhorrent  behavior as a human being?

A devout Christian couple, whom I hold as dear friends, were visiting during the height of President Trump's family separation atrocity. During our discussion of what should be done with the children, who were at the time being held in cages, my Christian friends were actually open to the idea of gassing the kids like stray dogs. Sounds disturbingly familiar.

The early Christian philosopher St. Augustine wrote that he believed the Bible didn't mean the Antichrist to be a given person but, rather, a type of person: a person who wears religious trinkets and performs religious rituals but who doesn't actually hold to the values taught by Jesus.

My Christian visitors tried to argue they could follow both Jesus and Trump. Can they? Can a Christian truly "love to hate"? Maybe not, but it would make a lovely bumper sticker.

MIKE LYMAN Martinsville