To my friends who are relieved today

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.

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ChristianityToday.com

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.

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91 thoughts on “To my friends who are relieved today

  1. Pingback: Church, We've Got Some Explaining to Do - Phil Vischer - Official Blog of VeggieTales Creator

  2. I am a white evangelical who voted for Trump. I still believe he was a better choice than the only other candidate who had a chance to win, Hillary Clinton. I am sorry that so many people feel afraid of the future under Trump. But I hope they will be patient with America. Trump has surrounded himself with some very good advisers, including Dr. Ben Carson (an African American) and Mike Pence who has taken a strong Christian stand. I think many of the fears are based on media stories that were put out to support Clinton. Yes, Trump talked about a wall. But most countries do make efforts to secure their borders. Whether a wall is built or not, I think people of all colors and ethnicity should follow the laws of the land unless they call you to go against God. I am sorry that so many people are feeling afraid. I would counsel them, and all the white Evangelicals who were afraid that America was heading in the wrong direction, to find their peace and security in Jesus Christ and to have hope for the future based on giving their life to Him. I never put my hope in political solutions to the world’s problems. I do strive for justice and mercy and peace for all people, but I realize that all those things are found only in following God through faith in Christ. So tell all your friends–regardless of their color or race or immigration status–that the only path to peace is found in Christ. “Perfect love casts out fear.” Trust your future to God, and He will make your way clear.

    • The Jesus you say you love and follow would not have been allowed at a Trump rally and would be on his list to be expelled from the US. Truth!

      • Know that the Jesus we love was represented NO WHERE in this election. Put very simply…to vote for Hillary was certainly not a vote for Jesus. A vote for trump was also certainly not a vote for Jesus.

        I am not a fan of trump. I am not a fan of Hillary. I am a lover of Jesus. my faith is in Him. He is Lord.

        The apostle John says that “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬. I’ve heard it said that if you perfect your fear, you will cast out all love. In America, no matter what color or group we are, we are well trained and very good at perfecting our fear. If we are followers of Christ, then let’s perfect our love and cast out the fear.

    • Thanks for your comment! I’m praying that Trump is a good president- good for everyone in America- and I really hope he does get good advisors and support! And I know that for many of my Christian friends, they felt forced to pick between “the lesser of two evils” knowing there’s not a perfect candidate. But the thing I’m troubled about is that there really *has* been a lot of negative things said by trump about minority groups, and he *has* attracted a following from very fearful, hateful people (please note, I’m in no way including you in this, I’m just saying, that’s the crowd that’s around him). I live in a small town in TX and people were literally chanting “Build the wall! Build the wall!” the night he was elected. What I want is for my proTrump friends to imagine how that feels to the hispanic members of the body of Christ, knowing that their friends and pastors voted for someone who encouraged this kind of talk. An African American friend on Facebook who lives in a very white part of the DFW area was yelled at and called a n** and told that now Trump is president maybe she’ll get out of the neighborhood. I want my proTrump friends to realise whether they want to be or not, they are now associated with that & with those kinds of people. And it’s going to take a TON of work to make up for the hurt, anger, and sense of betrayal that many feel within the body of Christ. I think when we felt forced in a corner in a tough election, the evangelical church showed which issues it cares the most about: abortion, economy, supreme court– and not refugees, immigration, minority rights, etc. And so I think evangelicals need to recognize that hurt and get active to prove that we DO care for the poor, the stranger, and the marginalized. Hope that made sense!

      • I don’t believe in building a wall, nor do I expect a wall to be built. I think that the talk if building a wall is an embarrassment and a joke. But let’s be real here, you are being very one- sided in your analysis. You say Trump has attracted support from ‘very fearful, very hateful” people. We can very clearly see from the resulting hysteria once actual votes were counted that Hillary Clinton attracted mass numbers of voters who were at least as fearful and hateful as any Trump supporters out there. Any illusion of the “love” high ground has been obliterated. Plenty of shameful fear and hate to be called out on both sides.

      • You know what? I really do not like the sorry state of American politics today, which leaves us all angry and painting fingers at one another. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. All apologies for any of my own sinful nature which came out in that previous comment. I need to stick to my rule of “don’t get drawn into silly political discussions online”.

      • Thank you for taking the time to read my post, John. And also for your apology. I also think politics can bring out our worst selves, and i’m guilty of this as well. 🙂 I truly appreciate your humility and civility in a time when our world encourages us not to be so! I hear you when you say there’s fear and even hatred in the hillary camp. Even though I’ve not witnessed a high level of hatred personally, I’m sure that’s out there. However, I strongly feel that as followers of Jesus, we’re called to side with the widow, foreigner, immigrant, stranger, the powerless, and the poor. That’s not to say other people are not important– Jesus clearly calls us all to follow him, and loves us all (even if we’re rich or powerful). But I think there is something qualitatively different between people being afraid the supreme court & political arena will not represent their interests and issues, and people being afraid they will be physically hurt or their family will be torn apart. The US church has an unfortunate history of not listening to minority voices, and I’m worried what this election has done for our Christian witness to those groups, and to our brothers & sisters in Christ who are a part of those groups. That is why my post is “one sided” in the way that it is. https://bridginghope.wordpress.com/2016/10/01/what-christian-politics-looks-like/

      • I have been in such a down and depressed mood since the election. Your words today, along with Phil Vischer’s blog and podcast gave me the hope I needed. I am so thankful there are true Christians who care about how hurt many of us are feeling right now. As a mom, I fear for my daughter. As a child of immigrants, I fear for my family. As neighbor to African Americans and Muslims, I fear for them. I fear that those of us who speak out (on the internet, etc.) will one day be punished for taking full advantage of our 1st amendment right. But the worst part of all is I fear that our Christian witness has been so severely damaged by associating with such hate. Thank you for giving a voice to those Christians who understand the severity of this situation. It gives me hope, it gives me hope. Praise the Lord for your kind and courageous spirit. May the Lord bless and keep you.

      • Thank you Lorraine for your encouraging words. I hope you have been able to witness other sparks of encouragement- I had one last week: a friend went to sign up to tutor refugees at the public library. She’d been meaning to do it for ages, but never got around to it. The election spurred her to action. The librarian said they’d had an influx of volunteers since the election, lots of people realizing they needed to step up and do something for the vulnerable. I pray God continues to use this to “wake us up”.

    • Easy for you to say when you are not the one in danger. For you to say that to those suffering reeks of a lack of compassion and is patronizing. What about your fears that motivated you to vote for Trump? Shall we say that you are not putting your trust in God?

    • very well written. When one questions the faith of another Christian who doesn’t vote the way they do, they use a different measuring stick than God does. Christian love should always trump politics (no pun intended) and that should apply to All Parties. The Lord is our strength and our salvation.

    • “And the Lord said: ‘Always obey my laws, unless the good candidate doesn’t have a chance, then go ahead and forget all that stuff I said about loving your neighbor.'”

    • You say “perfect love casts out fear.” I’ll tell you, I’m NOT seeing love, perfect or not, since Trump was elected. What I am seeing is story after story after story from Black, Muslim, Latina, and other minority peoples in this country dealing directly with the hateful bigotry Trump stirred up and legitimized to win. I’m seeing swastikas defacing public property. I’m seeing white men pulling up to a gas station in New Jersey, threatening a black woman there, calling her a nigger, showing that they were armed and saying they’d shoot her if there weren’t so many people around. I’m seeing a Muslim woman who went to Walmart and had a white woman physically rip her hijab from her head telling her, “Trump says this isn’t allowed any more! Don’t wear it on your head, go hang it around your neck.” I’m seeing police men being murdered by white men in one of the deadliest weeks in recent law enforcement history. I’m seeing a student whose teacher told him “Don’t make me get Trump to send you back to Africa.” Stories upon stories upon stories (this is only the tiniest sampling pouring in from around the country) of real people in our country who are being harassed and terrorized ever since the election results were announced. You know what, if we have political differences, that’s perfectly fine. But when you disregard the blatant hatred a man used to his benefit to win an election and now is completely silent about when American citizens are being terrorized as they go about their daily lives, then you are complicit in all those acts of violence and racism. Because it was clear as day right in front of our eyes what was happening, and people didn’t care.

      And for all of you saying “it’s going to be fine, just wait and see what he does in office,” I’m telling you that it’s already not fine. It’s not fine and people are justifiably terrified because a silent war has been declared on everyone in our country who isn’t straight and white. So while all of you are here, comfortable and “waiting to see what’s going to happen,” the rest of us are learning how to navigate a world where very suddenly we could be killed or harassed just for going to the grocery store.

      We don’t need to build any walls for awfull things to happen. Trump has made weaponized hate his wall. It’s already here. Stop waiting and sering. Start protecting the people your vote has suddenly made terrifyingly vulnerable. Start screaming for your candidate to speak up and denounce the violence happening every day in his name.

    • Have you ever lived in fear of your life. Afraid for your sins and grandson’s every time they leave home. I am Christian I believe and pray every single day. It’s just a question?

    • Thank you for this reply. Whoever the anonymous author of this piece was has greatly over simplified these issues and I’m not sure so they think they are speaking for . I have black and brown friends who voted for Trump and I worship with them ( they are Jesus followers also) . You think you understand “us” but you are way off.

      • Hi Susan.
        The author of this blog is not anonymous. Her name is Steph. Says so right at the top of the page.
        .
        Just because there are Black and Brown people that are willing to support the oppressors, doesn’t make it justified. That’s nothing new. There were many Blacks that were spies during the civil rights movement that infiltrated groups fighting for justice and racial equality. They reported back to the government. There were Africans that sold their fellow countrymen into slavery.
        There were Black slaves that worked and lived in the mansions on plantations who wanted nothing more than to stay in the good graces of their masters, at the expense of their fellow Blacks out in the fields. We have a name for them. They’re called “house negroes.”
        If we were to drop your Brown and Black church friends into areas of the country where we are hearing these stories of what basically amounts to domestic terrorism against fellow Americans, I pray for their safety.

      • Hi Susan, I wrote this post in sincerity for my friends (real friends that i know and love, and was praying with before the election, which is what the opening paragraph is based on- my personal experience with people I know who voted the way they did). These are kind, loving people, but who couldn’t seem to understand how their vote would look to black & brown friends. You may have black and brown church friends who voted for trump for any number of reasons. I know this wasn’t an easy election for anyone. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that the president elect has said some very hurtful, racist things towards minority groups during the campaign, and that some extremist groups have associated themselves with him. The black and brown friends I’ve spoken with are afraid this kind of racism is being excused and normalized instead of being called out, and some of them have experienced personal attacks in the name of the president elect. Now is the time not to justify our actions (whatever they were during the election) but instead to stand with the vulnerable, and apologize for the hurt that has been caused.

  3. Love and peace to you. He has not given us a Spirit of fear…thank you for your compassion. He – the Christ – spirited – trusts you to fearlessly love as He demonstrated. ♡♡♡

  4. Thanks, Brooke, I know I’ve experienced a whole realm of emotions, that’s why I’m thankful for the psalms at times like these. And I’ve been convicted about my own complicity in this- I wonder if I’ve engaged enough, talked enough, been open enough to people in my life who think differently than me. I remember one time encountering pretty blatant racism from someone in South Africa, and being super shocked and talking about it with a black friend. I was like, “I’m never going back there, those people were crazy.” And she said, “don’t distance yourself. Engage. Go make friends with those people. How are people ever going to change their minds unless they meet people who love them but think differently.” So even though part of me wants to flee– the other part realizes there’s lots of work to be done. Courage to you. Here’s a post that saddened but motivated me from a black Jesus-follower: https://esaudmccaulley.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/longer-still-post-election-reflections-of-a-black-man-amongst-the-evangelicals/

    • Thank you, Stephanie! I have read his beautiful post and added it to the bottom of the one I wrote today (I had already put in a link to yours). Many blessings to you. It is an encouragement and blessing to know there are many of us in this together.

  5. Reblogged this on Fat Beggars School of Prophets and commented:
    Thank you to BrookeM at Compassion is a Journey blog for tipping me off to this blog post. As a foster parent, I must say that my kids are white, black, and brown (so far), and I love each one as if they were Jesus himself! I am very concerned for my church and the role it has both played and NOT played in this election, and I think a post like this just might open the imagination to possibilities we need to explore.

    Please read it!

      • Steph E,

        First time reader here. Glad to share this with others. I think your post is very important. I hope it provokes thought, and even more, I hope it provokes caring actions.

        I recall a sermon I heard by preacher in Seattle, WA back on July 4th 1999, where he talked about how he and a few young college ministers back in the early 80’s were watching the Iran Hostage thing unfold each night on the TV news and were praying about it wondering what they could possibly do to address the issue for Jesus. Then one of them had a bright idea: What if there were Iranian students at UW? If there were, then they probably did not feel like they had a friend in the world.

        Sure enough, they found two young ladies hiding in their apartment afraid to go to class, the laundry mat or the grocery store. It took a lot of coaxing, but these young men befriended the ladies and escorted them everywhere they needed to go and/or ran errands for them. This went on for weeks and months and then one of the ladies gave her life to Christ. But the moment she did, they suddenly realized she had embraced a death sentence the moment she returned home to Iran. Suddenly, this lady did not have a safe place in all the world except at the church these young men served from.

        They went to work securing her asylum in the USA, but at that time it was nearly impossible to get that for Iranian citizens. They had to lawyer up and still it was very risky. But eventually they were successful. And it so happened that on that Sunday, the preacher introduced the congregation to that young lady who by then was middle aged and had become a US citizen and a Ph.D instructor at UW!!!

        That is how we celebrated July 4th that year!

        I think most of that story applies to now too and fits with your post and a few others I have seen in the last day or two.

        Thanx for posting this. I think your questions really frame the agenda for the church just now, and I hope the insiders are listening and heeding the call.

        Agent X
        Fat Beggars School of Prophets
        Lubbock, Texas (USA)

      • Thanks Agent X for that super inspiring story of the church stepping up to “be the church” at a time when it is needed! I pray we can all follow the example of those college ministers. God be with you in your justice work, and thank you for your encouragement.

  6. Thank you for summing up my own thoughts with such grace and understanding. I don’t think enough people understand that marginalized people may indeed be trusting in Jesus to cast out fear, yet the reality is that they are still facing harassment, violence, racism, and xenophobia. God cares about the political realities of oppression that His people suffer from, and I think empathy and an intentional effort to draw near these peoples is vital right now. The credibility of the church in America has been compromised further by this election, and there is much work to do. Shared this at https://graceriot.wordpress.com/

  7. Thank you so much for writing this. I am from Alabama and there are so many well meaning white evangelicals who are perplexed as to why people are afraid. It is sad and sickening to me. Also, the women who voted for Trump fail to see why women are afraid and so discouraged. I am thankful that we have a greater hope, and that Jesus is on his throne, but Jesus left that throne to love people not like him. May we continue to defend those who feel like they have no voice under a Trump presidency.

    • Thanks Katherine- I’m in a similar position. I have friends I deeply love who are just completely confused about why people are afraid and upset. I really hope they are able to listen to these voices. Thank you for your encouragement.

  8. What do you mean by “Asian American?” Do you mean Indian/Pakistanis? Because, despite what the liberal media says, a good amount of descendants of East Asians are not scared. Honestly, as an immigrant myself I’m not scared, why? Because I came in the right way, I’m legal.

    I’m also a woman. And non-white.

    • I’m glad you feel safe. Friends who are of Indian or Pakistani descent are worried about the anti-muslim talk, and others are worried about the anti-immigrant talk. Others are worried that the former KKK leader is backing trump and are worried about what that means for anyone who is non-white- that this kind of racism will start to be tolerated. Those are the fears I have been hearing.

      • I don’t want to make anyone feel badly for their fears, however I just wish we could all give him a chance to lead before judging, that’s all. 🙂

        Blessings on your day!

      • Didn’t Hillary call Robert Byrd, who, btw, was in Congress, her “friend and mentor”?

        How is it she and other Democrats can have close, friendly ties to the KKK, but it’s an issue if some piddly KKKer likes Trump?

        As for immigration, please be aware there is a legal way to become a US citizen. What Trump is referring to is our unchecked, dysfunctional, unsustainable flow of illegal immigrants into the US. No other country has such widely disrespected immigration laws, nor such open borders. Even Mexico has tough immigration laws. Try having a baby in a Mexican hospital. Listen to Trumps FULL speech on immigration, not just what the MSM wants you to hear.

    • Glad you feel safe ashlynt90.
      Not everyone is able to come in the ‘right way’. Some are running for their lives. Many are children.
      Many are actually lured here by corporations for work.
      You being legal and following all the rules is no guarantee of safety.
      I would like you to meet Asma Jama. She’s a legal citizen from Kenya who’s lived in Minnesota for 16 YEARS. The woman who attacked her didn’t care if she came here the right way like you or illegally.
      What would you say to her?
      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/minnesota-woman-pleads-guilty-assault-applebee-customer-article-1.2834083

      • Hi BJ! First, as far as I’m aware, Duke has not apologized for his racist actions, and is still active in alt-right and white supremacy activities, while Robert Byrd apologized for his former racist beliefs and through policy tried to create a safer America for everyone (to such an extent that the NAACP praised him at his death). Second, I can see immigration is an important issue for you, have you ever read “Welcoming the Stranger” by Matt Sorenson? He works with the evangelical, non-partisan group that is trying to create more just immigration laws. It has some really interesting information about the way our current immigration system is set up that clarified a lot of issues for me.

  9. As a Brit still reeling from Brexit thank you for this piece. We love America, you are already great and this article gives me great hope for the young activists coming through to be agents of change. We have to change and poliitcs has to change – Lord help us

  10. Thank you for such a well reasoned explanation of why the evangelical vote for Trump is so disappointing. I live in Australia and have been following the election closely, because a Trump presidency will have far reaching ramifications, but far more importantly, as a Christian I have watched with confused fascination as Trump gained the Christian vote. You have expressed so beautifully, compassionately and graciously why this vote for Trump has let down those who most need a voice and a sense of safe inclusion in the American community. Your genuine concern for those who now have reason to feel afraid or voiceless is such an encouragement and a wonderful example of the radical, counter- cultural love of Jesus.

  11. This article, like so many media responses, is based on false memes.

    Go look at the exit polls… Trump won because of major voting pattern changes, but White Evangelicals were not the big change. The big changes:
    – Black and Hispanic voters shifted more than white… almost 10 % each
    – Hispanic Catholics shifted by more than 10%
    – Non Christian faiths more than 10%

    Even more telling: if you examine race, gender and religion, the Democrats lost ground in all but two demographics: Jews and Mormons. Yes even women.

    • Yes, and we know how accurate those exit polls are. There is NO way anyone can know who voted for Trump or Clinton in this race. It can be blamed on any group, but it will be blamed on white Christians, because we are the easiest target of the MSM.

  12. First off, if their parents are here illegally then they shouldn’t have been here to begin with. Secondly, Trump may not have the best moral standards, but if we are going to make this country better than it was then we definitely did not want HRC to become president and destroy our nation. The only people that Trump has never talked about making leave that are Hispanic are the illegal immigrants.

    • Dear Marpen1980, I must confess to you that I used Stephanie’s post as an opportunity to vent some of the frustration I was feeling toward the white evangelical church–and, to be brutally honest, toward virtually my entire family–on Wed. I had no idea her post would go viral. If I’d known, I imagine I would have been silent. However, to explain myself, I have been very vocal about why Jesus-followers should have more consideration for the poor in our world-which is what the vast majority of undocumented, Hispanic immigrants in our country are. Here is a post I wrote almost a year and half ago, explaining why I believe it is a grave sin to uniformly turn away those who’ve entered our country without permission, as well as to refuse to open our arms to more refugees: https://choosingcompassion.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/refugees-illegal-immigrants-and-the-christian/

      If you are not a Christ-follower, I have no argument to present to you. Please support whoever you want for whatever reason you want. My angst is toward my own church. As a Christian, I am much more concerned that our church be “good” than that our country be “great”–to adapt a quote from Les Miserable–and I fear we’ve greatly damaged our integrity. My apology for this breach of integrity can be found here–https://choosingcompassion.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/killer-clowns-deportation-and-an-apology-on-behalf-of-the-american-church/

  13. I think you are overthinking much of this – proper borders don’t mean you don’t care about people – it means that immigration between countries should be monitored – and figured out as too how much immigration can be handled, screening for health threats to the general public, available housing, national security etc – to not so is just plain foolish.

    • Hi Dennis, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I understand that people had multiple reasons for voting for the Republican candidate, and a lot of them do really care about people. That’s why I wrote this post– to help thoughtful, caring people realise that voting the way they did has repercussions they perhaps did not consider when they voted, and has caused real hurt, and we need to do something to start working to rectify that quickly. If immigration is an issue you are concerned about, I suggest reading “Welcoming the Stranger”by Matthew Sorens. It is a very thoughtful look at how to reform our immigration policies in a way that will keep Americans safe, but also keep our values of caring/hospitality.

  14. Just a question, I’m not trying to be a jerk. I sincerely want to know.
    Had HRC won, would you be writing a similar post to those who supported Trump? A post for those who would have been fearing liberal, progressive Supreme Court appointments; for those who are opposed abortion, gay marriage, unvetted refugees and everything else that HRC stands for?

    • Thanks for your kind tone, Ana, and for asking a legitimate question rather than lobbing thoughtless insults. From my perspective, the reaction over Trump’s win is separate from political ideology. If it were just about political ideology, I don’t think we’d see this level of lament and anger among Christians. Trump’s character is completely reprehensible, and it makes no sense to me that evangelicals – the very people who have been so focused on ‘character’ for the past 30 years – suddenly didn’t care at all about it when Trump started denigrating women, minorities, the disabled, and the refugee. It’s not nearly so much what he stands for as WHO HE IS and what he models for our children, the nation, and the world that’s the problem. Even though I don’t believe Hillary to have been a great candidate, I don’t feel that she possessed these flaws.

  15. Pingback: When white evangelicals gained the world but lost their soul | between worlds

  16. I’ll skip your condescension and simply say that your total lack of discernment boggles my mind. You truly are part of the problem.

  17. I’m a “sort of former Evangelical” who wound up voting for Johnson. I never considered voting for either of the major party candidates once the primaries were over. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were horrible candidates in my opinion. Though I have to say that I was relieved that Trump won.

    Why? It was the safe spaces. Hillary Clinton believes in overthrowing Assad in Syria and confronting Russia to do so if they won’t back down, and I very much doubt that they will back down. I realize that a Clinton presidency did not guarantee a nuclear war, but it would have brought us closer. She is and probably will remain an unapologetic and unrepentant believer in the ability of our military to do good. It is bad when such “benevolence” is bestowed upon places like Iraq. It would be suicidal to attempt that on Russia. Of course, such a war would disproportionately harm the poor here whether or not it was nuclear. War is always worst on the poor and the bigger the war the worse it is.

    Maybe you think I’m crazy for fearing this. I suppose you’re entitled to your opinion, but I ask you to consider this. A mere 100 years ago, what was by far the most destructive war ever fought to that point began when a Serbian nationalist shot a member of the Austrian royal family. The dominoes fell fast once Gavrilo Princip fired a few bullets. Those who would in a matter of weeks become mortal enemies were exchanging letters trying to calm their counterparts. Eventually, the governments of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia all crumbled. Eastern France was in shambles and an entire generation of European men died in clouds of gas, explosions of artillery and a constant hail of machinegun and rifle fire. Almost all of them were poor. Individual days of that war killed more people than we’ve lost in 15 years of meddling in the middle east.

    I hate to think that it could happen again, but Hillary Clinton openly advocated policies that could very likely have lead to it. Only the weapons with which the first world war was fought are all primitive by today’s standards. A new ‘Great War’ would mean destruction on a scale that we can’t imagine. It might even mean the end of life on earth, or something so close to it that the living would envy the dead for generations to come.

    Trump’s victory doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods in this regard. He’s been all over the map on foreign policy. All I can say is that all over the map beats the part of the map Hillary Clinton spent most of her time in the national spotlight on. She helped set the stage for our involvement in Syria. She, more than any other person in the world besides the president himself, bears responsibility for the destruction of Libya. She voted for our invasion of Iraq. She supported our invasion of Afghanistan. She is a woman who, on the world stage, would rather be “caught acting” to borrow a phrase from one of her supporters at the New York Times. This is not the time to be caught acting. We may have dodged an ICBM with Trump. I can’t help but feel relief at that.

    • Hi George,
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I definitely agree that no platform is perfect, and we would have faced major problems had any of the candidates won! In this post, though, I’m trying to help my friends understand the real pain and hurt caused by a “proTrump vote” because of the hurtful and racist things he said during the campaign, and the way extremist groups have associated themselves with him. Since the election, several minority friends have experienced harm, and I what I want to see is the church standing with the vulnerable in this moment, no matter which way they voted.

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been so grieved for my nation and for the church the last few days. You have expressed my concerns so beautifully. I pray that people will read your post, repent, and take action. I am grateful for your suggestions at the end of your post too. Thank you.

  19. There are legitimate fears on both sides that I think you are not acknowledging. Since we’re doing labels here, white conservative Catholic working at an evangelical school. I voted for a third party candidate for President, though I was relieved to find Hillary hadn’t won. I didn’t vote based on abortion I doubt Trump will do anything about that) or the other issues you mentioned. My relief was because a woman who has shown in her emails and past conduct has made clear that she would have continued the policies of Obama in bringing the full, crushing weight of government coercion onto the church and Christians until they change their views on anything she thinks unacceptable ideas. Religious freedom was at stake, and that affects all Christians, regardless of the color of their skin or their nation of origin.

    So yes, I hated Trump’s rhetoric about immigration, women, etc. It’s why I didn’t vote for him. But I do think we are better off under Trump (with a Republican Congress that doesn’t much like him to rein in the crazy) than we would have been under HIllary, and I will continue to oppose many of the things he promised on the campaign trail.

    There is enough crazy to go around that blanket generalizations do little good. Many evangelicals who voted for Trump are already working with refugees and immigrants, etc. and were long before this election.

    • Hi Matthew! I understand there were many issues in this election, and many reasons to vote one way or another. What my post is attempting to do is to help people understand the real fear and pain that our minority brothers and sisters are feeling in the wake of this, and to urge us to actively work towards reconciliation and actions that will show we stand in solidarity with them and want to work for their good.

      • And plenty of evangelicals are doing that and have been for a long time. There were a ton of evangelicals who spoke out against Trump, even if they might have voted for him (if they did. We don’t know).

        It seems to me we’re really in a no-win situation here. Those who say, “They hate because they voted for Trump” aren’t going to listen to us. They’re listening to the media campaigns that consistently denigrate Christians. They’re listening to the radical activists and illiberal academics. They’re often not in contact or conversation with real, actual evangelicals.

        Not sure why the “hate” and “tolerance” is considered a one way street here.

  20. I believe that when people begin to see the reality of what we actually were voting for come about then they will no longer be afraid. I am sad for all those who have been convinced of how evil we are, but I really believe that time will show, that we really do love all people. We really are caring and kind. I know that’s hard to believe. But now we have a chance to show that we have been mischaracterized and we should try to prove it – as you have suggested is needed. We already knew. It’s hard for us to see ourselves so misunderstood. Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.

    • Hi Georgia, thank you for your comment, and for understanding the heart of what I was trying to say. I TOTALLY agree with you that there are kind, loving people who voted for Trump, and that is why I wrote this post. I wanted to help people understand now is the time to really show the world our love in a tangible way, to help bridge the fear and pain vulnerable groups are feeling right now, that was unintentionally caused by some of our actions.

  21. Thanks for this article, Steph. Well done! I think you perfectly expressed the apprehensions of so many while yet with insightful sensitivity to the fears of Trump supporters. And fear was behind his win..
    One line gave me pause. I mean quite literally, i stopped to ponder. Here it is – “I don’t think you realize how badly you’ve wounded the body of Christ in this election.”
    If, as many Christians think, there was no good choice, that line might easily have been part of commentary on a Clinton win. I’m nowhere near done pondering that line. I hope you’re wrong. I fear you may be right.
    I’m horrified at Trump—-voted for Clinton. But my world is not a tidy us/them, white/people-of-color one. My church is about half people of color. Most of them voted for Trump! I have no idea how to process that. You can imagine how patronizing i sound when i speak up for “people of color” …..so i rarely do so, in my church context anyway.
    I’m an old white guy. I have Trumper friends who fear the loss of majority status. this election moves me to welcome it. Maybe this election represents the death throes of an entitled class blind to its ruthlessness by overly sanitized ideas of “christian” decency.

  22. Steph E

    I have been watching this conversation unfold for a couple days now. And I find a handful of us, like me, very enthused about your post. In my view, and I think those who are enthused for the most part, don’t see your post as continuing the political struggle against Trump, but as the struggle of ministry (which involves politics at other levels) in spite of Trump’s win which seems to threaten and harm ministry whether he means it to or not. Point being, I don’t see your post as “Partisan” but as a matter of ministry, which involves those other levels. But I did not get the sense that you were trashing Trump.

    I see many responders reacting as if you were trashing Trump. If that is there, it escaped me, but not them. Of those respondents, I don’t sense they are nearly as concerned for the ministry (if at all) as for the perceived slight they find in your post against their champion.

    This discussion is caustic on this blog and violent out in the streets of some cities. Plenty of Hillary supporters are just as politically upset that they lost, and worried about political impact etc. They mirror the other side of the coin from those who appear to feel slighted by your post.

    I think your post has gone in a different direction from all that. No. I don’t sense that you like Trump or wanted him. Nor do I have the idea you championed Hillary – though I think it was a fair question to ask if you would have posted this topic if she had won – for certainly it would present challenges to Christian ministry if she had.

    But here’s where I think I see your heart. And if I am right, it is why I like your post so much. Many people are hurting based on the outcome of this election, whether real or perceived. While you did not note it, I will here, I am grateful that thus far since the election, Trumps rhetoric has cooled a lot and seeks reconciliation, has tempered his agenda(s) a bit, and seems to hold out an olive branch where before there was none – at least not from him. I HOPE that continues, it is a pleasant surprise. Nevertheless, much damage is done already that his newfound charitable attitude has yet to aid in the slightest. And in that mix, your questions are most pertinent.

    I am thinking you care for those hurting more than you care for those who won. I am guessing you would do that even if the outcome had been different. I saw no disrespect in your poignant questions to the Evangelicals who supported the cause of so much pain on the one hand, and who might be expected to address that same pain self-sacrificially on the other.

    That is where I stand. I think I saw it in your post.

    With that, I am done here. But I want to add clarification to the discussion at least from my viewpoint. I hope my words do that. In this whirlwind, that is hard to do.

    Thanx

    X

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  24. I think the people who are afraid haven’t done their homework. They’ve listened to news clips, video clips, social media and Soros-funded groups.

    There is SO much that needs to be fixed in our country. Hillary wouldn’t have fixed anything, but she would have made many things worse for a long time. The press, the FBI, and liberals have given her a free pass. She knows NO boundaries.

    Seriously, look at everything Trump advocates. Don’t read portions of his speeches, don’t even look at media reports or videos. Go to the source and get the entire story.

    There is no need for anyone except criminals to fear Trump. I think we are all tired of criminals.

    And stop, please, blaming Christians for everything wrong in our country. We are the ones trying to steer it in the right direction. The few haters, who get all the attention, are not part of ‘us’ and, quite frankly, I resent them being lumped in with us.

    • Hi bj,
      I definitely agree with you that a Clinton win would have caused major challenges for the work and witness of the church. However, this post is trying to point out that regardless of whose policy is better, in the church, Christians are called to care for the vulnerable members of the body, and in the wake of this election, the vulnerable members of our body are hurting. Now is the time to listen to their pain, to stand with them, and to strongly voice that we disagree with the racist rhetoric that was associated with the trump campaign no matter which way we voted.

    • “The few haters, who get all the attention, are not part of ‘us’ and, quite frankly, I resent them being lumped in with us.”

      Exactly. That’s how Muslims feel..

  25. Pingback: I get it. So now what? | bridginghope

  26. Thank you for writing this. My mom is “brown” and I am afraid for her. That makes me 1/2 brown, although no one would guess by looking at me since my skin happened to be white like my dad when I was born. My mom is an American citizen who has served the children of our country for most of her life. She told me of a woman on facebook who used four letter words against her, questioning her right to be in the U.S. I am glad that she chose not to answer their questioning, because legal or not, the problem here is the racism (hate) that has been incited. The racism that has been made to appear “okay.” All that people in history have fought for in this country to end racism, and now this. I am so shocked that this could happen now. But it does show the truth about humanity. We need our savior. We desperately need him, each and every one of us sinners. We need to humble ourselves and repent before the only one who is righteous. And then do our very best to follow his greatest commands–to love him and to love each other.

    I don’t think it’s right for people to break the law and come into the country illegally. But we are called to LOVE them, not to abuse them. We are sinners just like they are. We need to take the boulder out of our own eye before taking the speck out of theirs. Many of them have come for reasons that we white Americans have NO IDEA about. We don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a one room shack with dirt floors and sleeping on a board with a hungry belly. No, we have full bellies and thick mattresses and heating systems. My mom knows what it’s like though, along with SO MANY people in this world.

    If you claim to be a Christian, please consider Jesus own words from Matthew 25, as follows, and think about WHY Jesus would have said this. Think about whether you really, truly want to follow a God that would tell you this. Christianity is not a “me first” religion. It is all about putting others above our own needs. That is not easy, but that is what is right. It is the narrow road. Search the scriptures and see for yourself. It’s all over the scriptures because God IS love.

    ——-
    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

    • **LIKE**

      There. I had to create a “LIKE” button to hit one.

      Thanx for that comment, Monica! I am a white man who has on occasion passed for brown. But I am firmly white.

      More importantly, I am Christian, and I care! It looks like the next four years will be a new kind of test for our faith. I think of how St. Paul wrote a letter to Rome right around the time the emperor expelled all the Jews from the city. That may have caused hardship to surface in the church then too.

      Neither you or your mother (or any illegals for that matter) are second-class citizens! (Yes citizens) Our citizenship is from Heaven (Phil. 3:20)! Trump might be president of this very temporal, ungracious, parasite of a culture living so ungraciously off of God’s good creation, but Jesus is LORD here! And he LOVES you and welcomes you. And arrogant, little, despotic narcissists cannot change that. (Let us pray FOR him! Maybe, just maybe, God will either change him or use him in spite of himself. He can and has done both with greater men before.)

      I will lend my voice, my ministry, my heart to the cause of celebrating you here among us in service to Lord Jesus.

      • Thank you Agent X! I need a *LIKE* button for your post too. 🙂
        I think you’re right about this being a new kind of test for the church. It seems that when hardship comes it really brings out people’s true colors. It makes it easier to see humanity’s sin vs. the fruit of the Spirit. So, that can be a good thing. After all “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:2-3)
        Yes, wouldn’t it be amazing if trump was humbled and found Jesus? It would be a beautiful thing to see that transformation. I will be praying for his salvation (among other things).

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