I write tonight as a Christian. I write tonight as a Christian sad, a Christian angry and as a Christian more than a little confused.
I don’t often write about my faith. It is strong but for me a personal thing. Few people know how strong it is or the degree to which it informs my life. I never have hidden it but never have I proclaimed it to the degree I now wish I had. I need to share that faith now for reasons explained below. It is a sharing long overdue.
I think my reasons for not sharing were probably never really very good. I think I doubted my ability to explain it or defend it well. For many people I did not want it to be a door closer and I feared it would be. And if I am really honest I think I was a little bit afraid. The word Christian for some is as much a stigma laden word as any. In some people’s eyes it means that I am smug and self righteous, condemning, preachy, hypocritical, and ignorant. I am none of those things precisely because of my faith.
I do think fear was part of my reason. I think part of me found some truth in some of the stereotypes. I knew people like that. I went to Church with some of them and I didn’t want to be limited by the label or defined by people whose faith seemed so confusing and alien to me.
I think it is long past time to leave fear behind and speak out.
Donald Trump is counting on the votes of Christians to put him in the White House and I can think of few things more disturbing or simply outrageous. Unchallenged it leaves the Christian faith as little more than an apologist for hatred, bigotry and racism. And I cannot just stand by and leave it unchallenged.
You know if Jesus had lived his life in our culture there would be no story of the Good Samaritan. It would be the story of the good Muslim, or the story of the good Mexican, or the good homosexual. Jesus knew no people unworthy of his love. If I want people to know his love how can mine be limited by easy hate or prejudice? The Jesus I know knew what it meant for people to hate each other and he found the notion that any group of people were somehow better than or more deserving of God’s favor than another obscene. Jesus knew the Pharisees were universal characters. He knew that cruelty was our judgment on each other and not of God or for God.
The Bible talks all throughout about mercy and justice. It talks about the centrality of the human heart and how what we care about defines our worship. It talks about caring people in an uncaring world a lot. It is a narrative of community and not of violence to community. I remember the old story I heard about the little girl who prayed for God to help bad people to be good and above all else for good people to be nicer. I know the sentiment.
I don’t think Jesus would ever understand how pro life could ever not be pro-living also and I don’t think he would find a faith that is assaultive of the poor and dismissive and attacking as having much to do with his faith. I don’t think he is a single issue God and I don’t believe he would consider who is on the Supreme Court as the greatest protection of those who place their faith in him.
Donald Trump is the greatest threat this country has known in my lifetime and I find the notion that he is the ultimate protector of my faith as ridiculous and a lie of the worst sort. He is not the best deal I can muster. I already have that. He does not know what I believe or what I care about. If he did he would be no Donald Trump.
This is a time for people of faith to witness not just to those who disagree with that faith but to those who say they share that faith. It is time to say our lives are not about the vanity and self promotion of those who only worship themselves. It is not in narrow or self righteous words. It is not about our position or power.. It is about the love of a God who commands us to love our neighbors if we really love him. It is about a God who asks us to be merciful and care. It is about a God who does not exalt in the injustice of the world but who asks us to help him redeem it.
Donald Trump does not carry the redemption of my faith on his shoulders. My faith is not a political trophy and I find the notion that anyone thinks it should be as demeaning and dishonest. I already have a God and whatever I am sure of I am sure that his name is not Donald Trump.
Please vote in the coming election. Please share your opinions and yes share your faith. My hope is that this can become a more loving, more compassionate, more justice driven country because of us and not in spite of us.
Donald Trump will never be my choice for President. Neither will he be my choice for God.
Thank you for listening. May God bless you and keep you.