I promised that in the wake of my hiatus from novel writing that I’d be keeping up the blog with shorter, variety pieces. To kick things off, I’m going to speak at a high level to a state of politics in America, derived from one simple statistic:
80% of White Evangelical Christians who voted in last year’s presidential election voted for Donald Trump.
As a Christian, who attends church alongside many such Christians, let me explain the logic puzzle that causes this, and that persists in their still sustaining faith in Trump:
- You can’t possibly vote Democrat, because they support abortion and other evils of liberalism. Full stop.
- Even if Trump isn’t a great guy, he’s at least on the side of the good guys, so he’s the instrument of our ethical and moral platform.
So what then when Trump and the GOP’s party platforms and actions directly conflict with the heart of Christianity?
- Taking away healthcare or welfare for those in need? That’s not the government’s job (even though it is the government’s job to represent their other morals).
- Deporting dreamers? Not their problem to help, they should come here legally. Never mind aid and compassion for aliens and foreigners being explicitly called out throughout the Bible.
- Banning Muslims from entering the US? Using fear and safety despite overwhelming evidence that statistically there are greater dangers being homegrown thanks to lake of sensible gun control whose perpetrators don’t look as “foreign” as those seeking refuge. Never mind also that offering aid to those different than us, and having the opportunity to show grace and charity is paramount duty of Christianity.
I could go on, but what we have above is the vast majority of American Christians voting and espousing beliefs in direct opposition and in complete dissonance with the heart of the religion they claim to follow.
One of the more common excuses I hear about this is the “we’re in the world, but not of it,” or some form of that. It’s basically a “Christian Get Out of Jail Free Card” on concerning yourself with politics or “secular” cultural and political movements. Christians are saved and concerned with the life hereafter, everything going on here is just white noise. Wash your hands of it, because what matters is believing in Jesus and what comes when we all die.
That’s a complete load of BS, of course. We’re called, as Christians, to demonstrate true faith by our compassion and care for others. Sure, we know it doesn’t affect us in the long run, but it affects everyone we’re sharing community, country and life with. We’re called on to show the love of our creator through our own compassion. Ergo, no Christians: we do not get to sit out politics.
The big problem my title of this post is alluding to is this:
Politics are how we come together to share and reach accord based on our values and experience. Christians are supposed to share and exemplify the love of God in their actions and, through compassion and the holy spirit, win and help more people find salvation.
However, “Christians,” 80% of them in the US, showed not compassion, but prejudice, fear and selfishness in how they voted in 2016. Their lack of denunciation of this ongoing mess of an administration is what they’re showing their so-called Christianity to be.
There’s a backlash to this, for sure. It’s that everyone they might have won over by listening, showing concern and compassion for? Those people now see Christianity in America as a defense of greed, as a bolster for discrimination and argument of convenience.
There’s a reckoning coming for those “Christians.” It may be in the next election, it may be in the elections for years after. I know that apart from politics, it’ll be in the hereafter regardless.