The Election of 2016. I don’t think there will ever be too much said or written about it. There are so many reasons why we ended up with the results that we did. The Russians. The “white working class” (why doesn’t anyone ever talk about the black working class). Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Xenophobia. Islamophobia. James Comey. And even the candidates themselves.
I’m not here to talk about any of those things though. To me, there’s a much scarier reason why we ended up with 45. The state of American Christianity.
Here are the facts:
-80% of white evangelicals voted for
-Trump beat Dubya (2004), McCain (2008), AND Romney (2012) in this category
-people who go to church weekly were more likely to vote for Trump
Before I go further, this is not about what Hillary did or did not do. There were PLENTY of other candidates to choose from in the primaries. The only reason why 45 got as far as he did was because he had the full support of the Christian church at large. Full stop.
So the people who love Jesus and cherish “family values” voted for a man who’s been married three times. A man who bragged about grabbing women by their private parts. And now these same people are trying to take over the government.
Huh? How did we get here? Seriously.
Okay, so we’re worried about restrictions on religious liberty. But do we really believe that being held accountable for discrimination is a violation of our religious freedom? Are you telling me this persecution complex allowed Christians to ignore the complete lack of respect, decency, and straight up bigotry that came out of the campaign?
Now we’ve officially declared some type of culture war (I’m still not quite sure what the end goal is) and created this new type of alt-right Christianity. A form of Christianity that white supremacists literally celebrate and hope will advance their cause.
Yes, I know Christianity has deep roots in racism that go all the way back to slavery. But don’t be fooled. It wasn’t just “white evangelicals”. Plenty of other Christians including Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons- white, hispanic, black, or otherwise- have embraced this administration too. Oh y’all forgot about those videos of 45 swaying and clapping during praise and worship (off beat might I add) at a black church in Detroit?
Again, how did we get here?
What happened to fighting injustice and oppression? Feeding the hungry? Caring for the sick? Welcoming foreigners? Sheltering the homeless? Clothing the naked?
But never mind those things. Repealing the Johnson Amendment is way more important, right?
I do not understand how one can claim to be a Christian and simultaneously belittle and dehumanize others. This complete lack of compassion is why Christianity has left such a bad taste in people’s mouths. It’s why we’re no longer the fastest growing religion. It’s why our churches are dying. It’s why despite this current “victory”, we’re actually losing the culture war that we started.
We’ve completely lost our credibility and we’ll be lucky if that stain on our character doesn’t last for generations to come. Watching the faith I love morph into a symbol of hate and become emboldened and empowered is scary. It was even scarier when I realized people I knew personally were leading the charge.
I spent three years of my life closely interacting with the “Christian Right”. Nicest group of people. Until they started revealing what they truly believe and how they really feel. Then I had to wonder if we loved the same Jesus.
I woke up on November 9th deeply disturbed, sad, scared, and slightly infuriated. Cliche Christian sentiments of “God is in control” only made me even more annoyed because in that moment people had every right to be sad, scared, and yes even angry. What was supposed to be “comforting” only made those of us who didn’t vote for 45 look irrelevant.
I’m not sure where the Trump Era will lead us but I do know where I stand. I refuse to turn blind eyes and deaf ears to what is going on around me. I reject this hijacked version of Christianity. Islamophobia, misogyny, and homophobia are not welcomed in my faith. I stand firm in the faith that practices compassion and inclusion, fights for justice, and changes communities. Maybe if enough people stand firm in this faith, that stain which has become a such a large part of the fabric our society will slowly begin to fade.