Saturday, November 5, 2016

"What Did You Do as Trump Rose to Power?" Items for Your Scrapbook, When Subsequent Generations Ask About Race, Gender, and Christian Blindness

Psst — you know those little matters called race and gender that you won't be hearing anything of in your churches tomorrow as you're instructed about forming your consciences before you cast your vote? You know, those picayune little matters you won't be hearing about in sermons because your pastors are too preoccupied with real sins like women falling in love and marrying each other, or spirit-cooking horrors involving blood, semen, and urine, and mythical "partial-birth" abortions to pay attention to piddling little moral nothings like racism and misogyny.

Well, despite the blackout on sermons decrying the sins of misogyny, racism, or heterosexism in most Christian churches across the U.S. right now, it appears that misogyny and racism happen to be very much front and center in the news right now. And front and center in the current U.S. election cycle. Whereas the moral advice you're going to encounter at most of your churches, especially if they're white ones, is going to be absolutely beside the point in helping you form your conscience adequately as you make your voting choices next week . . . .

Imagine the headline at the head of the posting, from Huffington Post's main page this morning, as an item to clip and put into the scrapbook you're keeping for the next generation, so that when the children of that generation ask you, "What did you do as Donald Trump rose to power?," you can pull your scrapbook out and explain. You can explain that you were either oblivious to the maleficent racism and misogyny that he represented — your church said nothing about it to you, after all, and you are a good God-fearing, church-going Christian — and so, like many Germans as Hitler seized power in Germany, you did nothing at all to work against  Trump and what he represented. Or you supported him. Or you chose to go against the tide of maleficent male entitlement and woman-bashing and toxic racism, and you swam against that tide that was so powerfully represented in your church community.

Another item for this scrapbook: Sinyangwe tweets,

And here's another screenshot for the scrapbook, from Politico yesterday — Josh Gerstein pointing out how the FBI mirror's Trump's base: white males added to white males added to white males.

As Nick Bauman writes in the HuffPo article entitled "White Guys Run Amok" in the screenshot at the top of this posting,

The FBI is "Trumplandia," The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman reported this week following a series of leaks from the law enforcement agency regarding alleged investigations into Hillary Clinton and her family's foundation. "Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI," he added. 
That makes sense. White men are overwhelmingly likely to support Donald Trump, and the FBI is a culturally conservative law enforcement agency that is overwhelmingly white and male.

As my friend Rev. Wendell Griffin notes at his Justice Is a Verb blog yesterday

Donald John Trump personifies the privilege associated with white and male supremacy.  His history of abusive, boorish, bullying behavior is dismissed by journalists, politicians, and by people who claim to be "evangelical Christian conservatives." That history was not hidden or unknown.  It is excused, dismissed, and tolerated because the political, commercial, religious, social, and moral character of the United States has always been defined by and for the benefit of white males. 

Brent Staples in today's New York Times:

This election has made clear that racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and xenophobia still have broad constituencies in America. The first step toward keeping them at bay is to insist on calling them by their rightful names. 

(Except don't expect this calling them by their rightful names, or naming them as the heinous, socially corrosive sins they are, to take place in your churches this Sunday — not if your church is a largely white one.) 

In these final days of this campaign, we're seeing the lengths to which powerful white males, who have seen power slipping from their hands with the election of an African-American president, will go to see that their power over, oh, everything in the universe, remains intact, unchecked — especially as a woman campaigns for the presidency of the United States. But don't expect to hear anything about this in church this weekend, about how God really did not set the world up so that people who happen to have been born with penises (and with a heterosexual inclination) should have an unchallenged right to lord it over those born with other biological equipment. Or about how God did not set the world up so that those with lighter complexions have a right to rule over those who happen to have been born with darker complexions . . . .

Don't expect to hear anything about any of this in your churches as Donald Trump vaults to power, any more than German Christians heard sermons about the murderous anti-semitism that impelled Adolph Hitler as he took the reins of power in Germany in the 20th century. So that the question now has to be asked of older Germans — and is persistently asked by the generations that came after them — "But what did you do as Hitler came to power? And how did you reconcile your Christian faith with support for Adolph Hitler? And why did the churches remain silent or even promote Hitler?

Please explain."

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