A few months ago, Charles and I were walking Pickles, when we ran into an elderly brown woman. She had connections to Kerala (our Indian state of origin) and was also a Christian. This woman was so overwhelmed with joy that we were moving into her neighborhood, that we exchanged numbers and went on our way.
A few hours later, she texted to beg me to watch the Prayer March 2020 with Franklin Graham, and other renowned Evangelical leaders. When I didn’t respond to her text, she called and told me this Christian event was going to bring a prophetic word to America. She told me that she and her family supported Mr. Trump because he reflected Christian values and was going to protect believers, missionaries, and people of God in America.
If you know anything about me, I have always been progressive.
In my younger days, I did most of my socializing in the ethnocentric Indian church. I had many conversations with Indian men and women who belittled my liberal beliefs, claiming they were not reflective of the faith. I often felt out of place with the hot button topics many Christians hang their hats on — power, abortion, LGBTQ+, and racial equity.
I’m not a debater and honestly am/was super insecure about appearing to be a ‘bad’ Christian as a result of being under-informed. It felt like my beliefs lived outside of my faith during my entire life.
The tragic murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the backlash of those who protested against their deaths, coupled with the complacency of power against Trump supporters’ attempt to stop Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, have me in such a mood that I simply cannot be silent.
If you can watch Mr. Trump and certain members of the Republican party inflame their base to violence against the lawmakers of our nation — to watch him blatantly praise the domestic terrorists who showed up that day — and still support him, I truly question the basis of your faith.
If you are a Christian and choose to blatantly ignore gaslighting, violence, and the fundamental indecency of his character, I question what you know about my Jesus.
The faith community is reckoning with what our political affiliations represent. In the past, it may have seemed easy to align with the GOP because our Christian values aligned with what we believe God cares about.
More and more Christians are starting to see that the last four years have inflicted so much polarization, hatred, and division in America.
I believe that God is asking us to think outside of the walls of what we’ve been spoon-fed to believe as Christians. He’s asking us to see the world the way he sees it — to have righteous indignation, anger, and the courage to step out of our comfort zone to respond, act, and call out those who use His name for their own politician gain.
Evangelical Christians were not always involved in political dialogue, and they weren’t always Republican. In an interview with NPR, Thomas Kidd, a professor of history at Baylor University, talks about the history of the relationship between evangelicals and political power.
History shows us that the late 1970s and the ’80s created a moment of true fear for many white folks who wanted to maintain the status quo. Political change was happening and conservatives (i.e., white men) were at risk of having to share power with marginalized groups like the Black community and women.
White Evangelicals were called on with their captive audiences to push the agenda of the status quo. I believe God is constantly flipping the script and rewriting our story. He is pushing for us to have bigger hearts for the marginalized, to build a world of equity, and fight for the fruit of the spirit to be manifested in both our personal lives and in our communities.
Our political differences fundamentally come down to the issue of power — who has it, who doesn’t, and who wants it. And whoever has power wants to keep it, because they get to remain in control.
Many Christians have hitched their wagon to Trump despite the many anti-Christian values he has displayed. Power will lead you to believe that those values are better as words than they are as actions.
Trump is a perpetrator of infidelity, sexual harassment, has a terrible track record with his business endeavors, and has berated women publicly. He is the face of white nationalism, and praises and ignites domestic terrorists to hurt those who are against him.
If you’re choosing to vote for Trump, you’re ultimately saying you don’t care about women, people of color, and, quite frankly, anyone who doesn’t live or believe in your bubble.
If you choose to overlook morality for policy, you are complacent in showing our world that God doesn’t care about character. That is simply untrue and not reflective of the gospel.
If you don’t like what I’m saying, if you’re feeling uncomfortable, I want you to. I want you to question how you can defend a man who represents so many things most of the world doesn’t uphold as moral.
I’m not here to tell you God doesn’t love these people. Trust me, as much as it may be hard for me to say so, God loves them. He sees their sin and makes them blemish-free.
But as Christians, it is our job to forgive sin but not put it on a pedestal because it glorifies our Christian political agenda.
Christian Trump supporters are destroying our witness and testimony. They are destroying our credibility.
Our ultimate goal as Christians is to reflect the heart and love of Jesus. If you are a Trump supporter, you are not showing the world who Jesus really is.
In fact, you are pushing more people away from the cross than ever before. You are showing the world that loving your neighbor and defending the brokenhearted take a back seat to the pursuit of power.
What matters now
Many Christians need to wake up and step out of their bubbles. Many Christians don’t interact with others who have lived different experiences than they have. They assume that those who end up in difficult or ugly narratives are there because they chose to make that happen.
We need to know that Jesus is on the throne. I don’t need a white man to protect my faith. Jesus and His Church will live long after Trump.