By now, we know that roughly 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump and his administration, and according to Pew Research 78% still support him, especially those who attend church regularly. While these statistics represent a major segment of American Christianity, progressive faith leaders such as John Pavlovitz, Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Daniel José Camacho, Rev. Dr. William Barber, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Broderick Greer, just to name a few, and organizations such as Sojourners have increasingly mounted resistance against accepting the current administration as being “God’s chosen leaders" of America.
I admire the work that so many are doing to combat the damage done by the white evangelicals who believe that Trump/Pence will help turn America back to some form of a Godly nation (which I would argue never existed). However, Trump and his administration continue to hit all the right notes with the evangelical community by forecasting a victory with ISIS and stopping illegal immigration, by promising more jobs and Western dominance—all with God’s blessing. This past Monday evangelical leaders, including Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice president at Liberty University, were invited to the White House to pray over the president, according to CNN. Trump was also interviewed by Pat Robertson for the 700 Club. You see, the evangelicals are getting stronger and mounting more resistance themselves. They have one goal: to promote the idea that Trump and Pence are going to save our nation from sin.
We progressive Christians need a stronger visual to combat the message that other white evangelicals keep pumping into the media. We need a visual that will capture the nation’s attention instead of offering up yet another essay, article, video, tweet, or cliche answer about prayer. We need an action that will shake Trump and Pence’s faith in their religious fanbase. We need to have a Sunday Without Church, when progressive Christians across the nation from multiple denominations—Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, non-denominational, Lutheran, Catholic, etc.—march in the streets to show Trump that he and his administration do not represent God’s gospel of love, mercy, and justice. Or create a march on Washington D. C. and use the National Cathedral for a sit in. We need to show America that the church is not a homogenous entity composed of white middle class Christians lead by white men, but rather that there is a gloriously diverse body of believers who love Jesus and social justice.
Such a demonstration could do the following:
- Force more discussion among evangelicals as opposed to a political left that it has already damned. Here, the Church will be holding itself accountable, holding up a mirror to others who also believe in Jesus and the Bible.
- Give strength to some evangelicals who haven't had the courage to voice opposition because they feel isolated
- Let non-believers know that not all Christ followers are followers of Trump and Pence
- Show a sign of solidarity that Christians will more visibly support other movements such as Black Lives Matters, women’s rights, and protection of the LGBTQ community, just to name a few.
Most importantly, it could signal a shift to the nation and the world at large that Christians will no longer stand silently by when injustice is being propagated in the name of God.