Here are some responses to the election outcome that I thought were exceptional, and which reflect my heart in the midst of the situation.
I’ve seen several people I know and love comment that there are “checks and balances in place” with regards to the amount of damage our future president could do. The overall sentiment is, “It won’t be that bad” or “I’m not worried.”
I can’t speak for everyone, but personally, I know there are “checks and balances” in place. I also know we will soon have a president whose campaign promises include building walls to keep our neighbors out, deporting image bearers, and stopping and frisking my children and friends. Will checks and balances prevent those things? We’ll find out.
What’s important for the majority of us to understand is that the people who are legitimately fearful, are so because of the CULTURE Donald Trump incites. A culture that promotes racism, grabbing women by the you know what, degrading the physically handicapped… Essentially a culture of hate.
So when you see someone saying they are scared, you should know they are likely not referring to your “checks and balances” mentality, although those are legitimate concerns, BUT scared of living in a culture that hates them. Hates their very flesh, the color of it, the makeup of it, and the differences of it. They are afraid because the imago dei in them is being assaulted by the future president and the CULTURE he has fanned the flames of.
I say this out of love for us all and a deep desire for understanding. If your skin hasn’t been the target of hate, perhaps it’s time for ears to listen to others whose skin God wrapped on differently than yours. We could all use a little understanding.
Friends, as we think about this election, I want to remind you that one of our candidates ran on a platform of removal and exclusion – “we’ll build a wall” – being the notable claim.
Problem was, he attracted folks to him who had much broader ideas of exclusion, and Trump was endorsed by KKK and neo-nazis with hopes of “making America great again,” or as they interpreted it, regain white power.
I am well aware that is NOT why most Americans voted Donald Trump into the office of President. No one wants that to be the reason why he’s in the White House. (I am not at all calling you a neo-nazi if you voted for Trump – I know there are always many complex reasons that go into supporting one candidate over another.)
BUT I know as a white woman, it can be hard for me to put myself in the place of minorities in this country. What does it feel like to have dark skin? White privilege can feel like it doesn’t exist anymore – surely we’re in a post-racial age, we rationalize. After all, wasn’t our last president black?
In this election, here’s what white privilege looks like: it is the privilege of not caring who won, not being concerned about the ramifications for you and your family, not wondering if you’re welcome in this country.
I pray and hope that Donald Trump’s is a normal presidency like any other. But what I hope MORE than that is that the church of Jesus acts like Jesus, who spent his days with whores, dropouts, criminals, and Samaritans, the most hated minority in the region. He spent his time with those on the outskirts, the marginalized. And who did he condemn? The rich, the powerful, the hypocritical – like me.
I hope we actively look out for those whose voices are not as powerful, and that we say we’re sorry early and often. We all have things to #confess
Let’s start by noticing and listening to those who are hurting…
From personal interactions, I’ve already encountered minority students and women who are suffering a lot right now and wondering how so many people can overlook and even support a man who has said blatantly misogynist and racist things. Let’s listen to one another, be present with those who are feeling afraid and care for one another without having to argue our point. We can listen. We can care.
Let’s notice and listen to those who might be feeling shamed…
In all likelihood there are people in our congregation who felt the weight of a difficult choice and voted for Trump. That act alone doesn’t make them a bigoted or hateful person. In fact, some may be feeling a burden of shame or fear given the post-results fall-out on campus and around the country. Can we notice and listen to them without judgment? Can we be present with them and even hear the heart behind their choice? Can we care? We can.
Let’s be wise and a light to those who are openly prideful/hateful…
It is not the nature of our Savior nor of us as His followers to overcome hostility by force of hostility. Darkness cannot dispel darkness. Only light can do that.. Light looks like loving those who are hating as well as those who are hated. But we must be wise in the face of pride. Let us not become mired in heated arguments online or anywhere else when love is our point. If we would prove our point, we must ask the God Who is Love “Father, what does love look like right here and right now with this person?”. And then we must obey.
Let’s rely on the truth of the gospel…
We have One King in the person of Jesus Christ. This truth is not meant to short-circuit any grieving we or those we love may be experiencing. It is simply true that neither we nor this election has escaped Jesus’ watch. And we may take comfort in the fact that God, at any time, can raise up a leader, guide a leader or remove a leader according to His will.
-Kyle, a friend and campus pastor
For a seed to come fully into its own, it must become wholly undone. The shell must break open, its inside must come out, and everything must change. If you didn’t understand what life looks like, you might mistake it for complete destruction.
-Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way
Whose words have ministered to you during this time? Whose words have challenged you or your perspectives?