(Photo credit: Common Dreams)
After the election, I have been accused of being intolerant. Text messages have poured in and conversations have ensued about my vehement reaction to the results and implications of a Donald Trump presidency. To be completely candid, my comments cost me my job at an evangelical church. Several "worried" family members have accused me of pouting and being a sore loser.
Please allow me to clear to the air.
No, I am not being a sore loser because Hillary Clinton lost the election. Yes, however, I am lamenting that Trump will be the next president of the United States. This is because the inflammatory rhetoric that Trump has peddled and openly courted has and will continue to divide this nation and cause us to harm ourselves.
Consider the consequences of Trump's language and, now, of his victory. Just one day after his victory, racists across the country, such as the KKK, now further emboldened, have uninhibitedly appeared into the public. Muslims and immigrants alike have been harassed. Stories have flooded social media of Muslim women's hijabs being pulled off of their heads, black people assaulted or having their property vandalized, hispanic children harassed by their classmates (told that they are being kicked out of the country etc.), LGBTQ people insulted and shamed, and young girls grabbed by their genitals. Read some of the reports for yourself.
The irony is, whether it was the issue of abortion, an insatiable hunger for power and desire for control, or something else altogether, 81% of evangelicals voted for a candidate that violates the core tenets of the Christian faith. Another way to look at it, 19% of evangelicals refused to vote for someone that contaminates what is considered sacred to so many.
Whereas Jesus calls us to love our enemies, Trump is for killing the entire families of terrorists (regardless of the accused's guilt or innocence).
Jesus implores us to love all of our neighbors (not conditional), while Trump wants to profile some of them based on their religion and expel others from the country.
Jesus calls the merciful blessed, but Trump is for brutal torture such as waterboarding, establishing "law and order" (which is dog-whistle language for squelching protestors and harshly treating people of color), and the death penalty, which reveals that he does not value all lives in his pro-life platform.
The list could go on, including his stances on healthcare, taxes, etc. Instead of lingering on all the various ways that Trump is un-Christlike (perhaps even anti-), remember that the well-known "Fruits of the Spirit" passage in Galatians 5 is a litmus test of what Christians' lives should look like: "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things." (NRSV) Measured by these characteristics, Trump is the very opposite of these marks of spirit-filled or spirited Christianity.
So let me be perfectly clear: I am intolerant. I refuse to tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism. If I hear it, I will call it out. If I see it, I will report it. If I hear about it, I will make it known. I say all of this unapologetically. In the same way that Jesus intolerably wrecked the Temple and drove out those that were causing others harm and taking advantage them, I am prepared to resist - by any means necessary - such treatment of the people of this nation.
This is my pledge of allegiance.
Now the time has come for me to walk away from the evangelical church. It is not an act of malice, but one of love. It is not disrespect, but it is an intolerance to that which distorts and perverts Christianity in America. To be clear: while I believe in some of the Christian church's "mission," I cringe at the thought of what evangelical Christianity will look like after four years of courting their messianic candidate, Donald J. Trump. The next four years will be trying, for people of faith and those that are not religious.
In my intolerance, I am committed to fight and pray for love, for hope, for justice, for peace, for equality, for education, for inclusion, and for the restoration of the evangelical church with Jesus' instructions and invitation.
I long for the day when all evangelicals fully embrace God's diverse love and purpose for all of creation. Until then, good riddance.
Intolerant with love,