We have to say that this is not okay
Almost every pastor I know right now is struggling with criticisms of being “too political” in the age of Trump, but he’s really left us no choice. Because while we, as Christians, can and will disagree on policy, we must stand against the mistreatment of people.
Wherever you are on the political spectrum, there’s no denying that our presidnet continues to make statements and take actions that are harmful (not just hurtful, but harmful) to our citizens, to people of all religions and (on a more personal level) to members of my own church. That is not okay. And for me to remain silent in the face of such harm would not be okay either.
The least religious president of my lifetime has managed to form a bizarre alliance with the religious right, and in doing so, has warped those beliefs into something truly sinister. The rights of LGBTQ people are being eroded as I write. Old white men are making laws that affect women’s control over their own reproductive health while removing healthcare subsidies from those same woman and the children they are having. Protests against the treatment of African-Americans in this country have been twisted into an attack on the flag–and by extension, America.
And now, the leader of our country is making flippant jokes about his second-in-command’s views of gay people. “Don’t ask that guy [about gays]–he wants to hang ’em all!”
Jokes about death threats? Seriously?
And before anyone goes there, I have an excellent sense of humor. In fact, I often laugh at things that weren’t even intended to be funny, but this is not funny…not even a little bit.
Just substitute another group for “gays” in this scenario.
Women preachers? Don’t ask that guy–he wants to hang ’em all!
Bi-racial couples? Don’t ask that guy–he wants to hang ’em all!
Social Workers? Don’t ask that guy–he wants to hang ’em all!
History teachers? Don’t ask that guy–he wants to hang ’em all!
See? It’s not funny. It’s freakin’ scary. And it’s not okay.
As Christians, we can and will have different opinions on policies, but we must stand up and speak out against attacks on people. If we are serious about loving our neighbor (and Jesus was pretty clear that we should be), we cannot allow attacks on our neighbors to go unchecked. That’s not okay…and we won’t be okay if we simply stand by and watch it happen.
May God grant us the wisdom and the courage to love one another fiercely enough to stand up to those who would have us turn on our neighbors rather than embrace them.