I love you guys. I know you were afraid. You were afraid that the America you knew was falling apart. Maybe you were really worried about our national debt. Maybe you were worried about the lives of unborn babies. Maybe you were worried that your church would lose its tax-exempt status because it understands marriage as being between one man and one woman. You care about your kids, and you were worried about what liberal Supreme Court justices would do. Maybe you were worried about terrorism. You were scared for your families and your children and the potential influx of Muslim refugees. You were worried about getting and keeping a job, and providing for your family because of immigration. Or maybe you were just worried about having Hillary for president because of those emails.
And I’m guessing right now you’re thanking God and breathing a big sigh of relief. Right now it probably feels like America was saved from disaster. There’s safety.
I’m glad you’re not afraid right now, I guess.
But I want to introduce you to some other friends of mine. And right now, these friends feel really afraid. See, the people who are keeping our Jesus movement going, the ones who are keeping our churches from dwindling and dying out in America are black and brown. Not us white folk. And my black and brown and Asian and Middle-eastern Jesus following friends feel really scared right now.
They heard talk of a wall. In my town, they heard people chanting it last night. My brown friends heard talk of the deportation of immigrants, and are scared to drive to the grocery store in case their family gets torn apart. They woke up this morning in fear, praying for protection. They saw a bunch of us white-folk voted for the guy who wanted to build walls and deport people, and they feel like that was us saying, “We don’t care about you.”
My black Jesus following friends are worried that the criminal justice reform they’ve been pushing for, that would make our country safer for everyone, is going to be halted. They’re worried that their white-folk friends voted in a guy thoroughly endorsed by the KKK. They’ve seen the lynching t-shirt jokes, and they don’t find those funny. They’re scared for their lives, but they’re also hurt and angry at the white evangelicals whose vote showed those things don’t matter to them.
My Asian American and Middle Eastern Jesus- following friends woke up today worried that someone would think they’re a terrorist.
Many of my female friends woke up feeling like “locker-room talk” and sexual assault has just been given a free pass. They feel like you cared more about the Supreme Court, or your economic models, than you did about their respect and dignity and safety.
There’s a lot of people, Jesus-following people, who didn’t wake up relieved and feeling safe today. My LGBT friends, my disabled friends, my Jewish friends. Not to mention all the vulnerable who don’t know Jesus— the refugees fleeing from ISIS, the Muslims who are now being targeted by right-wing extremist groups. The FBI stopped one Mosque bombing that was planned for today. But every Muslim in America must feel afraid about what is to come.
I don’t think you realized what was at stake here. I think you thought you could vote in the abstract, for one aspect of a platform, and that was totally separate from the person standing on that platform.
You 80% white evangelicals who voted for Trump, who thought it was because of your faith that you had to— you need to get talking with your black and brown evangelical friends who voted the complete opposite and find out what’s going on with their faith. Because somehow their faith told them it wasn’t okay.
I give you the benefit of the doubt because I love you and I don’t want to think the worst of you. I want to think you didn’t realize what you were doing.
I don’t think you realize how badly you’ve wounded the body of Christ in this election. I don’t think you realize how heart-sore, disillusioned, and embittered you’ve made people. And maybe you think— “Those fears are unfounded. There’s not really going to be a wall, or deportations, or any of those crazy things.” Maybe you voted because you felt like it was the lesser of two evils.
But those are real fears. And so if you want to be reconciled to your black and brown brothers and sisters, it’s going to take a lot of work to make up that lost ground. A lot. If you thought we could just sing and pray together and it would be okay before, that opportunity has completely passed us by. There is no chance of that kind of “reconciliation” any more.
So go listen. Go learn. Recognize there is real hurt and real anger because of you. Then get busy. Go pray for the protection of your local Mosque. Go write them a letter and tell them you love them. Go teach ESL classes. Go sign up to host a refugee family. Go join a #BLM protest. Start going to a black church. You’re going to really have to do something this time to prove yourself.
If you still don’t get it, if you can’t see what the fuss is all about,
then Christ have mercy.