On the whole, I stay away from political stuff around here. Once in a while I write something, but the divisiveness is just too crazy and I’d much rather talk about other things. At the same time, over the past several years I have become more clear about how important it is to participate in the political process. Legislation does matter, and we can contribute to change that way. I recently had the privilege of testifying at a Colorado house commitee meeting, speaking against a horrid bill related to religious freedom (thankfully, it didn’t move forward). My very short time there was eye opening, inspiring, and exhausting & painful, too, and helped me see some things I probably needed to see.
I know so many of us have lost hope in the political system and want to throw in the towel and say that the whole kit and kaboodle is corrupt, but I will still hold to our responsibilities as citizens to make our voices known and participate in change this way. It’s a way for us to be advocates.
Like so many others, I am a bit confused on who is actually voting for Trump. Even the most conservative folks I know, who I staunchly disagree with on a whole host of issues, are as embarrassed and dumbfounded by the whole Trump train as so many other Americans.
But the reality is this: He is winning.
By a lot.
People all over this country are actually voting for him.
They are actually resonating with the things he’s saying, actually believing he should be the next president of the United States of America, actually taking steps that could put him into the White House.
I recently read an article about the Trump phenomenon that some of you may have seen as well. It focused on the one quality that is the driving factor that all Trump supporters share that isn’t about income, education or age–it’s about a desire for authoritarianism.
The desire to have someone who will kick ass and take names.
Someone who will make what-appear-to-be-strong decisions.
Someone who will keep us separate–and protected–from others who might do us harm.
Someone who will tell us what to do.
Someone who can have authority over us and lead us.
Oh, people love to have kings.
And we feed the cycle of narcissism like no other. We like charisma and power and leadership from above not below.
It’s part of the crazy human story that’s weaved throughout all of history.
As we travel the Lenten road toward Easter, it is always illuminated even more brightly. People wanted an authoritative king and thought that was who Jesus was going to be when he rode into Jerusalem on that donkey. Instead, he hung on a cross just a few days later.
Yeah, Jesus messed the whole thing up, and all these generations later his ways are great to talk about and much harder to practice. I mean who likes to die for others?
People now are just like people then, and this current election is revealing something horridly painful:
As a culture, we are terribly racist.
We are painfully sexist.
We are deeply fear-based.
We are tragically self-centered.
We will do anything to protect ourselves.
Watching Trump’s margins continue to grow is beyond bizarre.
Watching narcissistic-abusive-pastors slithering through the wreckage they created and somehow still building a following and new churches and big platforms is beyond me.
Watching prominent conservative Christian leaders get away with saying the most disturbing things on Facebook and get thousands and thousands of likes and shares is far-more-than-disturbing.
Watching this all play out before our very eyes is telling.
It’s a travesty, really.
I’ll say it again–a travesty.
And if any of us think it’s not possible he could get elected, let us never forget the history of the world and the leaders who people will blindly follow to stay protected.
Plus, because human beings make human patterns, let us never forget that so many churches are packed with leaders who exhibit many of these same qualities.
We are addicted to this sh*t in more ways than we’d probably like to believe.
That’s what this election is revealing, and as painful as it is, I am sort of glad it’s happening.
It helps us see it’s this insidious. It’s ugly. It’s worse than we know.
So where is the hope? There’s got to be some hope, right? Please tell me there’s hope. God, there’s got to be hope.
Oh, there’s hope.
I am so grateful for the countless number of men and women and young people I know who are dedicated to change. Who are listening to the Spirit’s call to something deeper. Who are done with kings. Who are done with perpetuating the same old systems of power and fear. Who take Jesus’ words seriously not just in theory but in practice, too. Who aren’t just sitting on the sidelines waiting for others to make decisions for them. Who refuse to let authoritarianism guide them.
Our numbers are growing.
And we’re not lost, broken, godless, without-family-values, or stupid.
We’re just willing to believe that there’s got to be a better way.
Please, oh please, let there be more of us in November.