I want to say this with as much grace as I can. I’ve spent all day with it. I’ve tried to find the good. I’ve tried to love those whom I know are afraid or hurting. I’ve tried to resist angry Facebook posts or angry comments on statuses that show no sympathy to people in pain.
I don’t like how I feel. There’s plenty of ugly swimming in my head and I want to believe I’m so much better than some of the thoughts I held today.
Last night I went to bed earlier than I had planned. I couldn’t watch the results come in. My heart genuinely broke for America. Not because a Republican is now our President. Not because Hillary Clinton lost. Not because the establishment was defeated. But because it genuinely feels like Americans sold their soul.
I know that there are people who are mourning who have not been using the kindest of words. There are people who are afraid who have criticized you harshly for who you voted for and supported. I’m sorry that pain has given birth to this. But also numerous people have told these people they shouldn’t be upset. That their fear is in vain. They shouldn’t be worried or they’re being ridiculous. This is it. THAT. That’s the ignorance. And that’s the problem. It has to stop.
Many inside of this blind company are my brothers and sisters in Christ.
The election results prove it, but I honestly thought once he won people would feel like they could be honest now. Now I see the honesty still isn’t coming and that people genuinely do not see it.
The grief and fear that many people in our nation feel today is not about merely seeing things from a different political lens. It’s not about seeing things differently, it’s that for many of us today, it feels as though half the country doesn’t see at all. That people in America would be so desensitized to lewd talk and behavior, racism, and misogyny. That they would think the pain of people and the anger of people is not grounded.
A vote for Trump in the eyes of so many was not a vote of love for our neighbors who were victimized throughout the campaign for our highest office. And there were victims. Please don’t shy away from this.
It’s all so confusing. Our parents raised us better than they voted for us. They taught us not to bully. To treat women with respect. To be tolerant of other religions. To be the friend we wanted to have. To reach out to the lonely kid. Many of us feel like friends and family and pastors and teachers betrayed the very values we were raised to stand for. They act like this betrayal of hope and goodness is no big deal, that we should celebrate a defeat of the establishment. But the cost of such a defeat is a grand statement that we allow such hateful and oppressive speech as long as well…I’ll be blunt, As long as White Christians can continue to thrive. As long as we can say Merry Christmas again. We’d rather protect those kinds of words than people. This is violent religion. And we need to wake up from it.
We look at the Middle East in anger and shame that nations could rally behind demagogues. That if Muslims really opposed such hateful words and deeds wouldn’t they rise up?
Well do we understand now? How easy and quick it is to be swept up in such a thing?
In the height of so much revealed black oppression in our nation, 4 out of 5 White Evangelicals voted for the candidate who throughout his campaign silences their voices. And even told his supporters to “knock the crap out of them.” In a fight for tearing down our rape culture we appointed a man who rates women, and boasts about sexually abusing them (whether joking or not). It doesn’t matter how many women he’s employed or how well he pays them or if he even listens to them. It doesn’t change the culture he’s promoted throughout his entire life and into these last weeks of the election. Just today two of my female friends who have been sexually abused said they genuinely fear that their voices have lost validity. That the culture of men that steal innocence from women are now validated because of Trumps election. It doesn’t matter what you think of that. Victims don’t feel comforted or fought for by their president. They feel as though someone just like their abuser was elected. Just today KKK members paraded on bridges in North Carolina. Imagine being a young black child and thinking that your next President brought that out in people.
I don’t fear for me. I hurt for us.
It’s not that we believe you are racist or that you hate women, but I do however believe that a vote for Trump without rebuke is turning a blind eye to it. I know if those words were said to women or people of color standing in front of you you would stand up. So why on the national level did we not? To not see that such an irresponsible campaign brought this out in people is blindness. And even still many seem to not understand. They seem to think these issues are secondary rather than primary. They seem to not hear the cries of those who hurt. They seem to not weep with those who weep.
They seem to favor their privileges.
This vote was an allowance of evil to achieve the ends you so desired. As I said, it feels like we sold our soul so that those with benefit already could continue to benefit. That we could raise the ego of our nation.
We’re Christians dammit!
This is not who we are.
This is not who we are.
This is not who we are.
We are the bridge builders. We are the violence enders. We are the immigrant lovers. We are the widow-comforters. We are the poor feeders. We are the reconcilers. We are the advocates. We fight for the justice of the WORLD. God needed a body and he appointed US.
We are not the proud. We are not the oppressors. We are not the war hungry. We are not the rich craving.
THE GOSPEL IS BEAUTIFUL. IT IS PROFOUND. IT IS WORTH LIVING FOR.
And it is meeting every ounce of pain felt today with the warmest comfort and embrace.
We love the least of these. But today we voted against their pain and fear.
This is why people are hurting. This is why people are afraid.
It feels like a wall was built to keep compassion out.
People will know we belong to Christ by the way that we love one another.
When I read that 81% of White Christians voted for a candidate of such qualities and promotion, my heart breaks. It reveals a dark truth I had hoped wasn’t there.
It’s not about who our president is. We all know that at the end of the day that’s something we can move on from. It’s about who we are. It’s about the heart of this nation. It’s about the hearts of those who promote Christ, those who seem to favor one group of people at the expense of every other. It’s that this has been fed rather than murdered. Rather than be advocates for the marginalized we raised up ourselves. It’s about the things people believe could happen to them. That they’d be persecuted for their faith in the land of the free. That they’d be silenced for speaking up for their race. That women’s voices could be silenced when coming forward about abuse. Imagine being a Mexican or Muslim today. Really. Meditate on it. Let that break your heart.
This is not about you electing Donald Trump. This is about your silence. And your ignorance.It’s violent. It’s dangerous.
And people are genuinely afraid because of it.
A nation of compassion would not have elected Donald Trump. I’m not trying to point an angry finger here. I’m not trying to piss you off. I’m trying to break your heart for the least of these. Hurt people need convincing that America feels their pain. That America sees their wounds. And that something will be done about it.
The people who are sad. Those are the people who love one another. Who hope for one another. They’re not sissies as I’ve seen people say. Their not absurd. They’re heartbroken that a country wouldn’t stand for them. That so many wouldn’t speak for them. That people preferred winning to humanity.
But there’s a way to move forward. Stand for them. Speak for them. Decency calls you to. Love calls you to. Hope calls you to. And Christ calls you to.
Start listening to them instead of ignoring them. Let them speak. Let them cry. Let them mourn. And join them there.
That’s what Christian nations would do. This is what compassion does.
I wish President-elect Trump a truly successful presidency. I pray that he does listen to those who did not vote for him. The issues they mourn are important. I pray that he is the candidate to unite us. I wish him complete love and life. I want to see him be the leader people want him to be. But I want that to be a leader for everybody. I pray that he is a great leader who champions the heart of Christ to the broken. Who cares and provides in ways that benefit the least of these. That longs for the goodness and health of the earth.
I’ll end with this sentiment from Tallahassee native Science Mike,
To my Trump voting friends and family,
Congratulations. You won, and Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. You’ve upset the establishment, confounded the experts, and taken all three branches of the Federal Government–along with an increase in your already impressive control of state and local governments.
I confess I opposed your candidate vigorously. I find myself in a profound state of fear, shock, and grief. I can honestly say I have never been so afraid for America and the world, including those dark hours on September 11, 2001. I’ve been reflecting on the profound failure of BOTH parties to respond to the economic needs of working-class white people in this country–the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans on that front.
You know what? I sincerely hope that I am wrong and you are right. No kidding. I hope that President Trump presides over an era of economic empowerment, equality, justice, and international peace. I hope you are right about him and I am wrong. Noting would bring me more joy than eating my words about President Trump in the election season.
But, for a moment, I’d like you to look at the rest of the country. This is an easy thing to do right now: you won, and you are in charge.
Trump won with white people, but not any other racial group. Don’t mishear me: I am not calling you a racist. I am stating a fact: white people elected Trump.
I’d ask you to reflect on that, and the fact that many, arguably most, people of color are afraid today.
The same is true for LGBTQ people. And immigrants (including documented immigrants).
Based on the campaign rhetoric, huge swaths of America are scared of our President. They fear for their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Here’s what I’d ask you to reflect on: why do they feel afraid? Why did every non-white population in the country vote against Trump?
And how can you, a Trump voter, be an agent of peace? Especially those of you who follow Christ–how are you going to “do unto the least of these” in the age of Trump.
I will reflect alongside you.
I love you guys. I really do. All of you. My anger and sadness will fade but my love for you I do believe will burn even brighter. I feel the warmth of this love as I write this. I have hope for all of us to see the good and to be known by our love. I want to be known for this, and I want you to be known for this. We can make these changes. We love each other. I know we do. I know it’s in there. I don’t believe it was hatred that elected Trump, so let’s heal the wounds that people have from this. Let’s remind them we stand with them. Let’s let them know we hear them. That we cherish the image of God in everyone.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philipians 4: 8,9