In the wee hours of November 9th, Donald J. Trump became the presumed winner of the Presidential Election. This is an effort that many worked hard to prevent. Many volunteered, canvassed, and even prayed to stop him from making it to the Oval Office. These people understood that the world would be a far more difficult place to live in if Trump obtained that much power.
Unfortunately, there were other people volunteering, canvassing, and yes, praying for a different result.
They prayed for Trump to win. When the exit polls came out, it was clear that many of those who stood as opposition considered themselves evangelicals. Eighty one percent of the evangelical vote went to Donald Trump. Yes, the same person who bragged about assaulting women, who said that Black people lived in hell, who called Mexicans rapists, and a whole litany of dangerous and troubling events. That person and his administration of people who have problematic personal and political histories has been endorsed by people who call on the name of Christ.
Of course, not all Christians agree. Yet the sheer number of people who decided that racism and sexism were a trivial matter still makes this a momentous tragedy.
Not only is this is a crisis of country; it is also a crisis of faith. Not only are many of the gains that have been made in the area of LGBTQ justice under threat, but the work done in the Church is at risk as well. The ideas that many of us have fought for are also endangered. Just as Trump’s campaign roused the flames of racism, he also stoked the flames of queerphobia that so many have labored against for years. The discussion of women clergy becomes crucial again after so many are fine with their president endorsing sexual assault.
The flames of bigotry rage together, as there is no separating them.
Which that said, it is important to know that it is okay to question your faith. Some believe that in moments like these that you’re supposed to hunker down on your faith even more. That may be the right option for some, but it’s not that easy for others. To see so many people who claim to love Jesus vote for bigotry should rock your faith. It should make you question the institutions that the church has erected. It should make you wonder if it’s all worth it. That means you’re paying attention.
You owe it to yourself to follow the questions wherever they may lead you. In these times, it will be more important than ever to have an authentic faith. An authentic faith—one that allows questions, anger, fear, and compassion—is what is necessary to combat the injustices that will surely come from a Trump Administration. Only an authentic faith will give us the courage to stand boldly with those who need it, and against those who would do harm.
Frequent readers of Believe Out Loud have an idea what that faith is. It’s the same type of faith that allows us to imagine a world where all of God’s creation can live in harmony. It’s the same type of faith that moved us to cause #holytrouble for LGBTQ justice. We have the ability to do it. Don’t let the questions scare you.
Embrace them, and see where they lead.
Let the questions lead you to justice for all people. We’ve done this before. We can do it again.
Photo by flickr user Ken Shin