There is a stubborn part of me that wishes I’d kept count. But this week, for the xxxxxxth time in my adult life, I am shaking my head in sorrow and anger at the Christians making the headlines: the Christian pastor who has advised Trump that God is OK with our taking out the leader of North Korea or the Christians who marched last night at the University of Virginia in defense of white nationalism.
“They are not the only Christians at work in the world,” I tell myself and anyone within hearing distance.
If you are someone who thinks this way or has heard other Christians say what I have said, here are the words of two Christian pastors who speak more eloquently than I ever have. I encourage you to read this piece by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis. If you’re in a hurry, here are two highlights:
“America’s spiritual sickness goes much deeper than our clearly troubled president. For decades, the backlash against this nation’s civil rights movement has been de-racialized and woven into the fabric of some white (and some non-white) evangelicals’ value system. Trusting pastors who have been carefully cultivated by political operatives, millions of everyday Christians have “voted their values” on abortion, marriage, and prayer in schools, only to elect people who promote policies that serve the rich and harm those Jesus called ‘the least of these.’”
“Even if we cannot convince the Trumpvangelicals that they are wrong, we are determined to let the world know that there is a better gospel. It is a gospel of justice, of inclusion, of love, of breaking every chain that oppresses and subjugates God’s children. Even if it is silenced, it will rise again like its Founder in the power of love.”
It’s not enough for those of us who are Christians who distance ourselves from those with more politicized motives. We have to do more than shake our heads, mutter to ourselves and talk to our friends. We need to find ways to say it publicly, as these two pastors have. Or as the pastors who have vowed to confront the white nationalists in Charlottesville and followed through.