Sunday, November 13, 2016

As White U.S. Christians Go to Church Today . . . .

Lauren Markoe at Religion News Service 

Another scrapbook item (above) to show the next generation when they ask (and they will ask: they have a right and obligation to do so), "Where were you and what did you do when Donald Trump rose to power?" and "Why did white Christians choose a man so eminently unqualified for the presidency, whose election released a torrent of hateful incidents directed at minorities?"

Since Leonard Cohen's death, I've been playing his songs, and have found inspiration, all over again, in this powerful rendition of his "Hallelujah" by Canadian singer (and out lesbian) kd lang: 

As I listen to lang sing this Cohen song, I remind myself that those who want to kill our spirits (and, let's be honest, our bodies, too, since that's what they do when they take away our social support systems including medical benefits in old age and deny rights to us) cannot stop us from singing, dancing, loving — not even if they kill us. Because the song, the dance, the love, belong to us, too — far more, I suspect, than to them.

I think of all the white Christians who voted Donald Trump into office and who will go to church today to celebrate their "victory" even as members of minority communities are now being assaulted around the country. And I am clear about this: I repudiate the "God" and the "love" about which many white Christians will be singing in their churches this Sunday. Because, if I believe in God, I have no choice except to repudiate what the scriptures call an idol, and an exceptionally bloody one in this case, whose blood sacrifices are, astonishingly, brought to him in the name of a "pro-life" ethic . . . .

Many of those white Christians will claim that they voted for Donald Trump out of their devotion to that "pro-life" ethic. Cardinal Raymond Burke is applauding the election of Trump because he's "pro-life" — or so the cardinal wishes to believe.

Think about this a moment: Donald Trump's election immediately elicited a wave of hate speech and hateful attacks on members of minority communities throughout the U.S. Those attacked verbally or by physical assault have included African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, women, people with disabilities, women, LGBTQ folks, you name it.

This is a fact. It is being documented at websites all over the internet and by the media. In my state of Arkansas, a lesbian woman shopping in northwest Arkansas after the election returned to her car to find a hate note pinned to it; a boarded window at a building near the library in our university town of Fayetteville was defaced with the N- word; in several high schools in south Arkansas, African-American and Latino students have been verbally assaulted, told to catch the "Trump train" out of town, and threatened and insulted online as Confederate flags have been waved in their faces. 

But a Catholic official, Cardinal Raymond Burke, tells us Donald Trump represents respect for life?! Does the cardinal live on the same planet in which these acts of hate against real, live, post-birth human beings are now taking place due to the election of Donald Trump?

Or is he simply admitting that for Catholic officials, those lives do not count? I find his praise for Donald Trump and his non-existent ethic of respect for life sickening in the extreme, and I repudiate the "God" on whose behalf he claims to speak. I have to do so, since my own Christian faith calls on me to repudiate false gods, bloody idols ravenous for the blood of innocent people.

No comments: