On November 9 of last year at about 2:00 AM I remember getting a text from one of my best friends saying they love me and we're going to be okay. I'd sat up unable to sleep watching Facebook posts and tweets go by showing friends feeling the same way...and some people I know feeling the opposite. I listened to others try to say that's how it feels to lose and that's what it was like for them when Obama won. I'm really not convinced it's the same. Losing and fear don't feel like the same thing. If all I felt was that kind of loss, I don't think I'd feel it anymore, but I do... a lot of people do.
This isn't about one man. Donald Trump is only one person and I know he can't actually just do whatever he wants. It's not about republicans either. I'm tired of people just disregarding any opinion like these saying "Well, you're just liberal." Yeah, I am but sometimes it's not left vs. right. Sometimes it's just right vs. wrong. This isn't about about Trump. This is about the movement that put him where he is, as the republican nominee and then president. It's a movement that made me turn bitter towards the overall evangelical community and want to avoid using the term "christian" to describe myself.
This isn't a "well Trump was the lesser evil compared to Hilary" debate. NBC News reported 40% of "white evangelicals" voted for Trump in the primaries so this goes further than that. Now, I grew up in church and it was pretty embedded in me that you should treat everyone with respect, love your neighbor as yourself, everyone is equal to each other, etc. Here, however, we have a man who has insulted his opponents looks (Carly Fiorina) , said McCain wasn't a real war hero because he was captured, mocked a disabled reporter, has encouraged violence at his rallies, declined to disavow racists, said he'd bring back "a hell of a lot worse" than waterboarding when it comes to interrogation techniques, has had several instances of sexists comments towards/about women, and actually bragged about sexual assault.
Now I'm just saying... I was taught in church that all of those things would be wrong. It doesn't take going to church to even know those things are wrong. So how is it I've spent the last year and a half or so consistently watching "christians" defend this man and make excuses? I've even been in an argument where someone tried to use the actual Bible to defend the waterboarding technique. I'm sorry, but if you want to take a vague verse that's up for debate on translation to tell me the bible is clear about homosexuality.... You can't try to defend waterboarding (aka. violence which is definitely not up for interpretation and is clearly wrong). Violence is wrong. Racism is wrong. Disrespecting women is wrong. Sexual assault is wrong. There shouldn't be a "political stance" to have on these issues.
It's not about politics anymore. I watched the majority of christian people I follow on Facebook stay silent about the white supremacy rallies in Virginia while they were anything but silent about the NFL and players kneeling during the anthem. Can you see the irony there? That's the problem. Silence speaks louder than words sometimes. I watched the same people be nearly silent about the Pulse shooting. I just saw the same people now try to defend guns after 59 people were killed and more than 500 people were injured in Las Vegas. I've seen some of the same people make jokes and make light of sexual assault claims. I see the same people on occasion post about "religious liberty" which basically is a fight against the LGBTQ community, one I am part of with some of my friends. The same people constantly post about banning Muslims when if I'm alone, I'm more nervous about a white man on any given day. These same people voted for Trump. They also voted for a man (Pence) who believes the LGBTQ community shouldn't be protected from discrimination. They're people I'm related to and friends with and I admit I sometimes struggle seeing them same way. It's a constant battle to "agree to disagree" and take the high road because it's not worth sacrificing relationships. Sometimes I've failed and I have sacrificed them and I'm not proud of it. On the other hand, I can't just sit and be quiet because that's how we got here in the first place.
I don't think the church is "under attack" quite like people want to claim. Every generation also tries to say God's coming back really soon and it's the end times so let's stop that narrative too. Honestly, I think the "it's inevitable because it's the end times" view is just an excuse to be passive and not do anything about issues. There's a quote that says, "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression." I think that's what's really going on here. Trump's not going to save the church from whatever danger it thinks it's in. I hate to break the news but God and politics can't even go in the same hand. Political sides can't be "christian". I think it's become more important for some christians to be republican than it is to be actually christian. I don't think Jesus would've been a republican anymore than I think he would've been a democrat. I think he'd just be a humanitarian and we should all be picking up that fight.
I've found a church where I'm comfortable and that has shown me another side to christianity. However, outside of it I've found that since the election shenanigans began, I've felt uncomfortable in my old church community and in any church I've visited. This shouldn't be so. I'm surely not the only one feeling this way either. I still believe in God. I still believe in love. However, my opinion is I think the church or "evangelical community" as a whole has now become its own worst enemy because it won't stand up. If I'm honest, I was already walking on some thin ice here. Things keep happening to make me think, "This is it. This is when the church community will have to say something's wrong." Instead I just see more excuses or silence. In these instances, silence is a knife you hold to your own throat. I encourage everyone to stop being silent when they see things are wrong because they don't want to rock the boat. Let's throw our political stances out the window. Sometimes they're nothing more than an illusion that we're different from one another. I'm not asking anyone to really even vote differently. Just admit things are wrong that are wrong and stand up against them regardless of who's responsible. We have to hold people accountable and do better at protecting each other. They say "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." In my retaliation I admit I've tried to rip some eyes out as well, but I still believe we can fix this before we let politics blind us all...at least I'm trying.