The Morning After

We are not a Christian nation, but we sure like to say we are.

Somehow, so many people in our country have confused Christianity with Republicanism.

Somehow, the words of Jesus about how we treat our neighbor have translated as the least important words to follow, even though He sort of said they’re a big deal–one of the biggest deals.

Somehow, the message of grace comes after the message of repentance when we talk to people, even though Jesus always showed grace first.

This morning, I woke up with a heavy heart and a sense of dread.  I’m not a political guru.  Like, at all.  I don’t closely follow most of the issues or most of the stances.  I find overwhelming all of the moving parts of how the country runs, the competing values and interests and needs and the right way to allocate the limited resources, and all of the nonsense that gets added to bills and measures in order to pass them.  There is a stunning lack of clarity about how things get done, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.  But I’ve heard some the things that Donald Trump has said, and I just don’t understand how America got here.

Our Father God has a plan for all of this.  He is sovereign over all and that brings me comfort.  But the biggest response to this, as a Christian, needs to be repentance.  We have work to do, sisters and brothers in Christ.  We, the church, need to do better.

If you are a Christian, and you voted for Donald Trump, I would like answers.  Why did you vote for him? How are none of these things priorities?  How will you respond?

When you see you black and brown neighbors and friends, after they are stopped and frisked, after they are the victims of police brutality that is endorsed by the President of your nation, how will you look them in the eye and tell them that you loved them as yourself?

When you see the millions–MILLIONS—of women who came forward and shared their sexual assault stories after Donald Trump bragged about his own compulsion to grab women, and then pooh-poohed his comments as just locker room talk, how will you look them in the eye and tell them you seek justice for the oppressed?

When I first heard that audio of Trump, I was awake all night.  I lay in bed, reliving and re-experiencing multiple sexual assaults.  I wound up getting up and trying to write down all that I could remember just so that I could maybe get some sleep.  I was shocked by how much I remember, and I was also shocked by how much I can’t remember.  In case you’re wondering, I only ever tried to report one of these incidents, and I was not believed.  I am not the only woman for whom this is the case.  And that’s only counting the ‘big’ ones, and not the regular occurrences of men smacking my behind, grabbing onto me and refusing to let go, making vulgar comments, or otherwise making me feel like an object instead of like another human being.

When you talk to your daughters and your sisters, how will you explain how an overly qualified woman had a chance to be the first President of the United States—seriously, the best resume for the job that a person could have, ever—and the man without any experience was chosen instead?  (Note that this also happened after this same political party made it very clear that the future first black President was ‘unqualified’ because of his lack of resume.)  How will you look them in the eye and tell them that you love justice?

When you see your Muslim neighbors, how will you apologize for the fear that they feel?  How will you avoid oppressing the sojourners among us?  Remember that you know the heart of the sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

When you see your brown friends, whose racial identity isn’t obvious, and as such experience the fear of getting pulled over by the police or questioned at an airport or otherwise harassed because of their lack of whiteness, how will you explain to them that it’s okay?  When you see people whose religion is different from yours being persecuted by authority figures solely because of their religion, how will you demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit?  Can you tell me how I explain to my eight year old daughter that, no, even if Donald Trump insisted he would build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the country, he will not be doing that?

When you see your LGBT neighbor, how will you look into their eye?  How much fear and dread will you see there?  How will you help to maintain the rights of the afflicted?

When you see a POW, or a disabled person, do you think the things that our future President said to and about them is kind and loving?

I just don’t understand what politics you, Christian Donald Trump voter, put before the well-being and safety of these, your neighbors, sisters, and brothers.  Please, explain it to me, because I want to understand. 

Do you really think that God is more concerned with fiscal policy and Supreme Court justices than how we treat our fellow citizens on Earth?

We Christians have work to do.  We need to repent and turn back to the God who loves everyone.  He doesn’t just love everyone in a general sense of the world, he loves every. individual. person.  He loves them right now, in who they are today.  He loves them even if they’re brown.  Even if they’re Muslim.  Even if they are unsure of their sexual or gender identity.  Even if they have hearts full of hate and vitriol.  God even loves you, Christian Donald Trump voter (and maybe I need to do better at remembering that myself, in my anger and hurt and confusion).

We Christians need to remember that the way out of the evil we see on earth isn’t through government mandates or political opinions.  It isn’t through legislating sexuality or women’s reproductive issues.  It isn’t through condemning people with different viewpoints than us.  We overcome the evil on earth by loving first.  By loving people in a radical, crazy way that Jesus loves us.

So, to my black, brown, LGBT, Muslim friends—I love you.  And I am here for you and I am sorry that hatred and fear of difference seems to have won out over justice.  Our home will always be safe for you, and we will do everything in our power to stand beside you and keep you safe.

To my Trump-voting friends—I love you.  And I am sorry for the anger in my heart towards you.  I hope to have conversations and understand and help work towards the change and the life that Jesus called us to.

So, please-contact me! Christian Donald Trump voters—please help me understand why and how you could have voted this way.  Because I can’t get there myself, and my heart is so sad today.  But I will listen and I will hear you and I will try to understand.  And if I can’t understand, I will love you anyway.

Christians, let’s love harder and better and more completely.  The only way, going forward, that I can see right now is to pray and to love and to love some more.  Every single person.

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2 responses to “The Morning After

  1. Most will tell you stopping abortion is the top priority and nothing else even compares. Never mind caring for these children after they are born. I am not a christian, I don’t even know if I believe in God. But I believe in kindness for humanity and those who are suffering. I believe in not using religion for violence, whether it is fundamentalist violence or just an excuse to persecute others. I have no standing to judge or harp at christians, in my opinion, because I am not religious. But you have every right because you are, and you live the principles of an actual godly life. Proud of you.

  2. I know that you are looking for Trump supporters, of which I am not, but I think I have some inkling as I pay attention to perspectives and pundits of both the “left” and the “right.”

    To Trump supporters, Hillary Clinton represents the corruption of government that we all despise. Pay to play politics. Political favors through donations to the Clinton Foundation and the campaign. Trump supporters believe that Bill Clinton was just as bad in terms of sexual misconduct as Donald Trump, and that Hillary may have been, or was actively, complicit in covering up incidents or getting victims to keep quiet.

    To Trump supporters, Clinton represents trade and military policies that favor bettering people around the world ahead of the American people.

    While unemployment numbers are good, the wage gap has increased. Factory jobs are gone and have been replaced by lower paying jobs with fewer benefits. Meanwhile, wages for management and white collar jobs have increased.

    On top of that, while Obama has high approval ratings, things like the Affordable Care Act are painful to many people. The ACA is not behaving as it was billed – better coverage at better prices. Premiums are up for everyone except the very bottom of the economic scale. While that’s good for some, it’s a hard pill to swallow for people with a household making $50-100k whose premiums have gone up, sometimes by 100%, over the last few years.

    The divide over right to life vs women’s rights / abortion rights is growing. The education system is deeply divided over how to teach values (or what values to teach) while in the realm of a public education system.

    The skepticism and cynicism over the wealthy’s ability to game the system in terms of paying taxes and other advantages.

    So, what kind of Christian would vote for Donald Trump? One who is hoping for policies that make abortion more difficult, if not outlaw it altogether. One who thinks that heathcare is unaffordable. One who thinks that the tax code should be much simpler. One who thinks that international trade should favor their sector of the economy. One who thinks that the military has been misused and those who have served have been underserved. One who thinks that people immigrating from non-European countries pose a threat to security. One who thinks that their tax dollars are working to support those who have come to the US illegally. One who thinks that their tax dollars are working to support those who are unwilling to work.

    There’s something going on in the world right now, maybe for the last 100 years, and it’s not slowing down.

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