Thought for the Day:
We aren’t called to be like other Christians, we are called to be like Christ.
Stacy L. Sanchez
Question for the Day:
What does being a “Christian” mean to you?
I have worked really hard over the last year and a half to draw attention to this blog. For someone who is not technically savvy, I’m really proud of what I’ve done with it so far. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that this post will probably undo a lot of the progress I’ve made in terms of accumulating followers. When you’re blogging, it’s all about numbers. You want as many people as possible to read, follow, like, comment, and share your posts and I’ve fought tooth and nail for the little bit of attention I’ve gotten thus far. Yet, even though it is important for me to grow my support, it is much more important that I remain honest. If Get Lifted Girl! is my own little slice of the world wide web, then I won’t waste the opportunity to use my voice by simply saying what I think most people want to hear. I tend to have unpopular opinions in general but the older I get, the more I respect that quality in myself. I have no desire to compromise my views for the sake of gaining more recognition quickly. That may mean that I continue on as the author of a struggle blog, but I have to write from an authentic place. I’m committed to sharing my perspective in spirit and in truth, even if that means offending some folks. Inconvenient truths are always unpleasant to hear, but if they can be received and accepted, they can transform and elevate. Nevertheless, I’m preparing myself for a mass exodus of followers and multiple Facebook unlikes because I’m about to go in.
Like half of America, I am still reeling over the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the land. I knew there were people who would overlook his lack of experience and race-baiting rhetoric but I honestly thought those people would be in the minority. (Well, I guess they were if you’re considering the popular vote totals.) I figured, surely a man who was caught on tape boasting of grabbing womens’ genitals and making aggressive sexual advances towards a married woman by “moving on her like a bitch” wouldn’t stand a chance. I assumed that a man who called Mexicans rapists, suggested a return to unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policing practices, advocated the profiling of Muslim Americans, and faced litigation for not renting to Black tenants would be deemed an obvious racist and therefore, unfit to lead our diverse nation.
I naively reasoned that Trump’s indecency was evident considering how he frequently called women fat and ugly and made fun of a handicapped man. Surely people would find nothing noble about a man who’s been repeatedly accused of sexual assault, filed bankruptcy multiple times, constantly engaged in petty beefs on social media, not paid taxes in years, been slapped with multiple lawsuits for unscrupulous business practices, or who’s made inappropriate comments towards under-aged girls. And I don’t know what to think of a father who would comment on how he would date his own daughter if she weren’t his child. With all of this evidence, most of which was documented on video, I was fairly positive that this would surely disturb the moral sensibilities of most Americans, especially us “good Christians.” Call me crazy, I guess.
Now before you start the “Hillary was no better” spiel, you should know that she was never my first choice for President. I preferred Bernie Sanders out the gate and took issue with Hillary Clinton’s contributions to supporting the notorious Crime Bill of the 1990s and welfare reform initiatives during her husband’s presidency that had a significantly adverse impact on poor and minority communities. And yes, the email situation was shady as heck, but with Bernie out of the picture, we Democrats had to do the next right thing. Though not a staunch Clinton supporter, I could recognize that she shouldn’t be completely faulted for her husband’s policies whether she supported them or not. She also had a lot of humanitarian work on her resume including her work with the Children’s Defense Fund, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, health care and family leave for military families, and has been an international advocate for womens’ and LGBT rights. When I compared overall intentions, experience, temperament, and basic decorum, to me, the choice was obvious. Though not blind to the fact that she’s no saint, it’s not like she was caught on tape being an outright horrible human being like her opponent. It was basic common sense to me. But alas, November 8th proved once again, that common sense is not that common.
I’m not going to lie, I was and am still quite angry. As an African American woman who has never had an issue with the law, never been on pubic assistance, is married to a veteran, works full time and pays taxes faithfully (unlike Trump) and raising responsible children who will undoubtedly contribute positively to society, I guess I expected more. I expected my country to have my back and reject intolerance, ignorance, misogyny and bigotry. Had I been lulled into a false sense of security with President Obama in the White House? Apparently so, because I actually anticipated that a country who most recently elected the first Black president was indeed changing and would never stand behind a man who was enthusiastically endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan. Yet, such was not the case. In fact, for millions of people, Trump’s lack of basic dignity and respect for women and minorities apparently didn’t matter at all.
Consequently, I am deeply concerned and, at times, downright afraid for my childrens’ futures like never before. Knowing that they are growing up in a society comprised of so many people who could easily disregard bigotry and chauvinism if it means their interests will be served first, is alarming to say the least. As a current resident of Mississippi, (yes, I know, of all places to live right now) I’m not surprised that there are bold-faced bigots in the world who make no bones about getting behind anybody who gives them permission to hate. But what I am surprised about and find completely unacceptable as a Christian woman is how many people say they voted for Donald Trump because he was the “Christian candidate.” (Insert screeching tire sound, black skid marks on asphalt and the pungent aroma of burning rubber)
Hold up, wayment…….
Say what now? I’m not sure what Bible the owner of this T-shirt is reading, but the Bible I read pretty much confirms that Trump is a walking embodiment of the seven deadly sins particularly in the categories of greed, lust, wrath, envy, and pride. I know most evangelical Republicans consider themselves conservatives, but the harsh reality is, Jesus Christ lived a lot more like a bleeding heart liberal. If you are a Christian, you are saying that you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and are following his example. Yet if Jesus embraced those who society rejected, why do Christians support the building of a wall to keep immigrants out? If Jesus defended the accused, why do Christians support the idea of an illegal “stop and frisk” and resent the Black Lives Matter movement in the face of increasing police brutality? If Jesus mandates that the wealthy share with the poor, why are Christians so opposed to public assistance and why is it okay for Trump to not pay taxes? If Jesus concerned himself with the sick and diseased, why are Christians so eager to repeal Obamacare and leave so many of our nation’s poor without health insurance? If Jesus commanded that above all else, we love Him wholly and love our neighbor as ourselves, then why are Christians not outraged that the KKK endorsed Trump? Why is he tapping known White supremacists and anti-LGBT officials for appointments to positions at the highest levels of government? Why are Christians agreeing that Muslims and immigrants are rapists and terrorists, and cheering as Donald Trump threatens to rid the country of all the “bad hombres?”
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount stated clearly that we are not to commit adultery and that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed it in his heart. Yet, Christians voted for a married man who bragged about trying to bribe a married woman with furniture to get her into bed. He also proudly admitted to getting away with manhandling women’s vaginas because he’s rich. Jesus teaches us to have special respect for the crippled and the lame, yet Christians overlooked Trump mocking a disabled reporter. Jesus teaches us that those who harbor anger will be judged, but Christians voted for a man who rages on Twitter at the slightest offense. I could go on, but I’ll settle for my short list today. When you honestly weigh the words and actions of Donald Trump against the life of Jesus Christ, how on earth could he EVER be considered the “Christian candidate?” Oh right, because he’s “pro-life,” got it. I never understood how abortion conveniently seems to overshadow every other sin during an election season, especially when there is no indication of such a distinction in the Bible. But I’ll let one of my November 9th Facebook rants tell you how I feel about the pro-life argument.
I honestly believe that if Jesus Christ himself ran a political campaign, his ideals probably wouldn’t line up too much with a traditional conservative agenda. Jesus Christ instructed us to sell what we own, give money to the poor and follow him. (Luke 18:22) Jesus instructed us to invite the crippled, lame and blind to sit at our table and offer hospitality to those who cannot repay you. (Luke 14:12-14) Jesus teaches us to be meek and lowly in heart. (Matthew 11:29-30) He teaches us to be humble in spirit (Matthew 18: 1,4) Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) He also taught us to repent for our sins and ask for forgiveness when we have offended someone. (Luke 11:4) Now be straight with me, does any of that sound like Donald Trump?
So, if you intentionally and eagerly voted for Donald Trump and firmly assert that you are not in any way prejudiced, here’s where it gets awkward. If you had to look me or any other minority in the eyeball and tell the truth, what would you say? You might say, ‘Hey CC, sorry that Trump is a racist and everything but I simply want to make sure that life is better for me and because any bigotry or misogyny he might affirm is less likely to personally affect me, I was able to overlook it.’ If we’re keeping it one hundred, that’s the only thing any “non-prejudiced” Trump supporter could truthfully say because there is no denying the vile things he’s said and done. If you were to speak the truth to me, I wouldn’t like it and I probably wouldn’t respect your choice, but I could at least respect you for your honesty. But for the love of God, please don’t blame Jesus for your vote and justify it by claiming it was the “Christian” thing to do. (See: Don’t Blame Jesus )
The Jesus Christ I know and love would never choose privilege over principal. He is not intolerant, divisive, unforgiving, hateful, prideful, greedy, lustful, rageful, or undisciplined. The Jesus I serve is slow to anger, patient, kind, merciful, forgiving, inclusive, selfless, and ever concerned with the needs of the least of these. He offers the same love to all and is partial to none. Therefore, if you voted for a man like Donald Trump in Jesus’ name, you might be a hypocrite, plain and simple. I suppose I can’t fault anyone for voting in support of their own personal interests, but don’t say it was because God told you to do it. Pinning Donald Trump on Jesus ain’t cute, and frankly, God don’t like ugly.
“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
1 John 4:20