To Whom it May Concern,
This, my friends, is a letter that I have been mulling over for the last week or so. Instead of writing an immediate response to the election results last Tuesday, I have decided to instead give myself some time for prayer, reflection, and rumination on the issues at play. [Not to mention that last week was absolute bananas at work so I really haven’t had much time to write anyway] So, after having a week of reading articles, watching videos, reading responses online, listening and conversing with those close to me, and listening to my favorite spiritual guru, Rob Bell (Who has seriously brought so much inspiration to me over the past couple of weeks Check out Robcast…like right now), the following is what I have pinpointed as aspects of the past week that need discussed.
First off, take this as you may. I feel as though God has given me a voice and I must use it to benefit myself as well as those around me. I lean on the inspiring words of a friend and colleague of mine that said something along these lines in a recent personal video statement, “When my future kids and students ask me what I did when Donald Trump was elected president, I cannot bear the thought of saying that I did nothing. I have a voice and I must use it.” I feel as though I am in a similar situation. While I am not a member of the LGBTQ community, or some other minority group, I stand with them, fighting for the equality that they deserve. It is absolutely absurd that it has taken this long for these kinds of conversations to surface fully, but now that they have, I cannot sit down and watch it pass me by. This is a time for standing firm in the knowledge that God has given me a voice and has given me the passion to stand for equality, and that is just what I shall do. if you disagree, then this whole blog in the first place probably isn’t for you, though I’m alright if you want to continue to read and rage at the words that I write. That, my friend, is your right.
Secondly, To those who celebrate the victory of Donald J. Trump.
It is fine that you voted for him. I agree that not every single one of you is a misogynist racist xenophobe. I concur that there were other reasons than that to elect Donald Trump to office. However, the fact is, there is quantifiable evidence that racism played a HUGE role in Donald Trump even coming into the field of play in the first place, as well as the global rise of the “Far-Right”. (check out this article if you don’t believe me) Like I said, I know that not every single one of you is a racist, however, we must come to terms with the fact that this is one of the factors that surrounds Donald Trump’s election. I hope and pray that you oppose racism just as fiercely as I do. I hope and pray that you are willing to fight for Women’s rights as much as I am. However, not every single one of you does. The harsh reality is, within the republican party, but also within our country as a whole, there are racist sentiments. So, as you take this time to celebrate your candidate’s victory, as you celebrate the prospect of change, I challenge you to begin thinking about how you are going to deal with the atrocities of sever racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, etc, that plague almost half of the voters that supported Trump. What are you going to do in your own day-to-day life to combat these issues and actually live out a life of love and unity, because no matter if you are a democrat or a republican, or a non-voter, this country needs unity and healing more then ever. Therefore I ask, what are you going to do?
As far as the “Hilary whiners” that people are claiming as simply “sore losers” is far from the truth. I encourage you to remember the words of Ecclesiastes, which tells us that there is a time and a season for everything, often at the same time. Just as it is a time of celebration for you, for Hillary Supporters, it is a time of mourning. (Please read this article to understand why we grieve and are NOT being sore losers). Begin trying to open your eyes to see what the other side is experiencing, because life is complex and intricate. There are rarely, if ever, black and white situations within this place we call the world. I also encourage you to think about the other side, put yourself into their shoes, and understand them. Have conversations, read articles, listen to podcasts, pray, do what you have to, but there is another side of the coin that needs to be understood.
Thirdly, to my fellow Hilary supporters,
I have grieved alongside you this week, and I will continue to stand with you as we face the uncertainty of a Donald Trump Presidency. As I said in the previous statement to Trump Supporters, there is a time and space for everything. Right now, it is a time for grieving, but not grieving for grief’s sake. I encourage you to take the time that you need to embrace the fact that you don’t understand what is going on. Take the time you need to embrace your emotions, your fears, your tears, and the space that you reside in now. But as you are taking this time, begin thinking forward as well. Begin plotting out your next steps. I would wager that, as we take this time to embrace what is happening, we should also be paying attention to the world around us as well. As we grieve, let us also pay attention to what is going on in Washington. Early signs show that Donald Trump may not be as bad as his campaign stated, given the amount of things that he has backed up on already. We really have no idea what the future may hold in terms of the social equality of our country. At the moment, there is hurt, there is fracturing, there is pain, there is celebration, and there is loss, and that absolutely must be dealt with. We must embrace the present, we must pursue unity, and we must stay informed of what is going on. We have not lost our voice. As I said, we do not know what will happen in the next 4 years. It is doubtful that Trump will be able to do everything that he set out in his primary campaign. However, for the things that you should be standing up to, Racism, Misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, etc, you must remember also that your voice is not lost. If our government begins passing policies that go against what is basic human rights, then we must raise our voice. We must “righteously rage against the machine” As Rob Bell states it. There very well may come a time for marching, for protesting, for screaming out against injustice, and we must prepare for that. However, do not lose hope. Be ready to defend yourself, but do not lose complete faith in a system that has survived worse things (ya know, like the civil war n’ stuff). It is because of this system that we are able to have a voice if things turn sour. Be ready in case they do, but also be ready how to deal with the world around you if they don’t. We will not know what the future holds, but we can grieve, embrace our present situation, remain hopeful, and prepare ourselves for the next steps as they come our way. I will remain strong, and I hope that you will remain strong with me.
Fourthly, to Christians,
Let us do what the Church is supposed to do. Be advocates of grace, love, and change. Let us raise the prophetic voice of harmony, love and reconciliation. Let us follow the steps of people like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, who in the face of extreme conflict, found a way to build bridges and begin healing their torn country. Within the Church resides people from all sides of the election. We, most of all, should be giving the example of what it means to work together in community. We should be the example of what it means to build bridges and love others, especially THE other. We should stand against racism and inequality. Jesus certainly did not go around and hang out with other rabbi’s who had it all together. He spent time with Samritans, prostitutes, lepers, tax collectors, and pretty much anyone considered THE other. Those who were on the outside of the norm. You could think of it as a republican congressman going around and hanging out with a bunch of “corrupt” democrats, or a democratic senator spending all their time with the “racist” or “homophobic” republicans. THAT is what we are supposed to stand for. Not only that, we come from a tradition that is steeped in calling out for social change. We come from a steep and ancient tradition of prophetic voices, calling out in the wilderness to effect Social, political, and religious change in their world. Let us continue on in that tradition of Isaiah, Daniel, Gandhi (Yes I know, a Hindu, but no less a prophet that we can look up to), and Martin Luther King Jr. Let us stand for unity, for love, for reconciliation, and, should the situation call for it, social and political change, so as to further God’s Kingdom, bringing heaven, in as big or small a slice as it is, to earth today.I am sure there will be more blog posts from me on the kingdom of heaven and what it means to partner with Christ in the continuing work of redeeming the world unto Himself, but this is getting long so I will save that for another time.
To Donald Trump. I will keep this brief. As you can see, there are a lot of different issues facing the country that you are about to take leadership of. I will tell you honestly, I am cautiously optimistic that you might actually not be that bad as our nation’s commander-in-chief. However, I hope that you honestly listen to the voices of the nation should you begin passing policies that go against our countries very values of all men being created equal. Know that I will sit and pay attention. I will keep a close eye on everything that you do. It is not just me either, but the entire nation. I along with many other people are going to stand against injustices. If you decide to deport and conscript Muslims, we will cry out against this. We will march for Gay rights. We will continue to stand with Black Lives Matter. We will continue to work tirelessly for leaving a greener planet for our children, and no matter what, you will not smother our indomitable spirit that leads us to fight for what we believe is right and true and beautiful. I hope and pray that you do not try to rip this country back into the past where gays were shunned, women had to stay at home, and where blacks had to ride in the back of the bus, because if you do, you will fail. Our country is not going back, we refuse to go back. And we will do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening.
This is a personal blog and does not necessarily represent the views of Community Church or any groups mentioned here