Dear 81% of White Evangelical Christians,

What has church been like for you lately? What have your pastors been teaching?

For the past few weeks, the discussion in my home church – made up of mostly non-White Christians – has centered on the topics of justice, and love (for the foreigner, and oppressed). My pastor, and other ministers who have spoken (at my church) have criticized the campaign, and recent election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. Sometimes, they repeat a quote from one of the many public sermons given by the evangelical Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But, most times, they share some arrestingly profound, and original testimonies. Like this that one of the ministers said he told a Trump supporter in his seminary class:

“You and I – we share a love for Christ. Yet, you voted for my oppressor.”

I am not the voice of Black America, nor Black Christians; but, naturally, I am part of both. And, I must challenge you, White Evangelicals who voted for Trump: why?

How?

To draw from the thoughts of Minister Gregory Millings (New York Covenant Church – New Rochelle, New York), I ask: How can we read the same book, and from that book, be further convinced of the same God who clearly outlines his love of love, and for the foreigner, and justice, and forgiveness, and yet still (during, and after the campaign and election) be so polarized about the wrongness of Donald Trump.

Assuming that your moral compass is based on your religious belief in God and His word, and then, that your political ideas are based, at least in part, on your moral compass, what is the basis upon which you placed your vote for a man who appears to mock your faith?

I know judgement is a touchy subject when it comes to church folks. It’s popular for Christians to plead judgement when we would rather not be told that something we’re doing, or have done is wrong. We say, “Only God can judge me.”

And that is true.

But, in his first (divinely ordained) letter to the Corinthian church, Paul the Apostle writes:

“(5:12-13 NIV) What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside…”

And in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says:

“(18:15-17 ESV) If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Thus, 81 percent of White Evangelicals, you are my brothers and sisters. Others of us – not only those who are Black – have told you for at least a year –  privately, publically, individually, and in groups –  that Donald Trump offends us. He causes many of us – Black, Brown, women, foreign-born – to question our legitimacy, at least, as Americans.

You knew this, and somehow, with Christ (supposedly) somewhere in your heart, you gathered in your churches and held meetings; you attended his rallies screaming your support; you lifted him up on your shoulders to help him spew hate further than he could on his own; and then of course, in record numbers (considering the previous four elections), you voted for him.

Presidential vote by religious affiliation and race
(Pew Research Center) More White Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump than for Mitt Romney, John McCain, or George W. Bush.

To be clear: More of you voted for Donald Trump than you did Mitt Romney, John McCain, or George W. Bush.

And now, just like during the campaign, when President-elect Trump, attempting to win the vote of our[1] Black community asked Black people, “What do you have to lose?” I am hurt.

It’s my Christian responsibility to tell you so.

I believe that you have made the illegalization of sin, more important than the realization of love, peace, justice, safety.

At first, I asked what church has been like for you lately? What have your pastors been teaching?

Now I say: if they have not been discussing this, then they have gravely misled you.

 


[1] By “our” I’m referring to all of us, as Americans.

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