Evangelicals: Do Better.

I was dedicated to the Lord as a baby at a Baptist church in Utah. I was raised in the Assemblies of God, competing in Junior Bible Quiz (although I wasn’t very good at it) in elementary school and Fine Arts all throughout high school. I loved attending church as a child, so much so that if my family’s car broke down or the road conditions were too dangerous to drive to church, it would ruin my entire Sunday.

But I no longer feel that way.

It is not that I don’t believe in God. I am a believer in the God of the Bible, and of everything that I have learned about Jesus. I pray and read my Bible every day. My Bible app has to send me reminders, but the important thing here is that I do read it.

And it’s not even that I don’t like church. I want to join the Cru worship team when I start at CSU this fall, and there is nothing quite as powerful as sitting in awe at the stained glass windows in a sanctuary.

But ever since November 9, 2016, I can no longer feel at peace among many of the Christians I had known for the majority of my life. And before you groan and call me a snowflake, know that I respect political differences. Not everyone can support the pro-choice or LGBTQ movements, and I understand why.

But here is what I cannot understand.

For the longest time, I believed that Christians were required to vote Republican, and that I would be writing myself a ticket to Hell if I admitted that perhaps I believed my LGBT brothers and sisters deserved the right to marry, or that maybe the state of Israel is not blameless. Even now, it makes me feel strange to tell my peers that I am a registered Democrat. But I refuse to be shamed or silenced on this, and boy do I have a lot to say.

First of all, how did we get here in the first place? I’m a black woman, so obviously I was never surprised that social injustice was still a thing, but… at what point did any of you think that it was a good idea to elect someone with no political experience who ran his entire campaign on hate? *sighs and adjusts glasses* I don’t understand how anyone could have thought that he was a better alternative to Clinton. But we’re beyond that now.

Everything that I feared about this administration has come true. I love the USA, and I respect those who have worked to protect it (e.g. my literal dad), but I do not respect Donald Trump or anyone who supports his agenda. And I don’t believe that I should. And I am gradually losing my respect for Evangelicals.

The Church should be fighting against this. And yet, it has not only let all of this happen, but most of the people in it are supporters.

With no due respect (because at this point, you don’t deserve it), how can you be a Christian and support the detainment of immigrants seeking Asylum? How can you be a Christian and believe that we should not house refugees? How can you support the separation of children from their caregivers?

You should not forget that unless you’re Native American (and I’m not talking about the “I’m 1/46th Cherokee” crowd), your ancestors were immigrants. Not all of us came here willingly, but most of us are originally foreign to this land. Don’t forget that.

And let’s not forget what our Holy Book says on this topic.

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against… those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:5)

There are many other verses, but I have to get to my point sooner or later.

My point is that it is obvious what God’s stance on this is. It is obvious what the Church’s stance on this should be. But what went wrong?

What went wrong is the main thing keeping me out of church these days. The vast majority of middle-upper class American churches have been running on turning away from other cultures. They send people to countries in Africa that they didn’t even know existed six months ago to take pictures with little brown children, but they probably wouldn’t have wanted Cameroonian refugees to come here. They sing the same two David Crowder Band songs in worship, but they act like they don’t how how to praise when a gospel choir sings a Mary Mary song. They talk about reaching out to their communities, but they try to raise money to move the church to a more suburban location in a “better” part of town. When asked to talk about race, they say that everyone is a shade of brown and that they don’t “see” color. But they never fix the problem. They ignore it at best, and support it at worst.

Fellow Christians, our nation is in crisis. Yes, we should be praying for our government. Yes, we can send our thoughts and prayers.

But we have to take action. We have to actively stand with our brothers and sisters who are being attacked by this administration. We have to exercise our right to vote in the midterms. And even if you did vote for Trump, it is not too late to do something. We can do better, and we have to be best do better.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)