I was talking with the barista in a coffee shop I was in the other week. He had recently moved to the Midwest (9 months ago maybe) from the west coast and we discussed the differences in culture and way of life between the Pacific Northwest and North Dakota.
“What is one thing you’ve experienced or learned since moving to Bismarck that you never want to forget?” I asked him.
“Easy,” he responded quickly. “Conservatives are Christians, but liberals are kind.”
His words hit me like a brick. “Can you elaborate on that please?” I asked.
He went on to explain to me that in his experience, very rarely do you find a conservative who does not identify as a Christian, but those who consider themselves to be liberal often are the people who are first to help another. These are the first to give to the poor; the first to volunteer their time; the first to love the minority, the marginalized, the hurting, and the broken.
“That’s not how a Christian should be,” he finished.
And this man does not claim to be Christian at all.
I’ve been mulling over his words for days now. Where have we gone wrong?
And then Donald Trump was elected to be the next President of the United States.
81% of evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump in Tuesday’s election. The majority of the Christian vote went to that man.
The man who:
- Called Mexicans rapists.
- Was accused by 12 women of sexual assault, and then defended himself by saying some of those women were not attractive enough to be assaulted by him.
- Proposed to ban an entire religion from the United States.
- Mocked a disabled reporter.
- Bragged about committing sexual assault.
- Said a judge was biased because his parents were Mexican.
But that’s all okay, because he’s pro-life, right?
Where is the love in all of this?
The only thing that man seems to stand for is hate.
And we elected him.
Christians, I am brokenhearted to be one of you today.
I’m one of the 19%, but I used to identify as you.
But this condoning of locker room talk teaches your girls that she can do nothing about the men who touch her inappropriately, that she has no choice in the matter, that that’s all she’s worth.
Teach her that she’s worth more.
Accepting his talk about the immigrants and those who identify as a minority says to your son that he is better than the man next to him, because “he’s probably illegal.”
Teach him that every man deserves kindness, grace, and love, no matter their skin color, race, or family heritage.
Be exemplary of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the true image of love and kindness and grace.
Teach your kids to walk in hope and joy, to treat others as Jesus would have treated them. Teach them to break the chains of injustice, to get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. Teach them to share your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Teach them to love.
And finally, to those of you who have been hurt by President-Elect Trump’s words and actions throughout the last year of his campaign, and even prior: I am deeply sorry. I am sorry you are marginalized by the greatest of these, and I’m sorry we as Christians are not doing our best at standing for you.
But you must hear these words: You are important, you are desired, you are sought after, you are loved.
Anyone else’s opinion of your situation does not make your feelings any less valid.
You are deeply loved and adored. You are precious, you are cared for, you are seen. I am with you, I am beside you, and I am for you.
Friends, it is time we reach out to the hurting, the broken, and the crushed. Show love to the marginalized. Be exemplary of the Gospel of Christ. Show grace. There is love here.