I am so sick and saddened by the entire Trump Travesty. Seriously, it is so dignity stripping–that he is even a contender. That multiple Christian leaders have endorsed him. That the Republican party got behind him. That people are wrestling with their “hard choice” (#itsnotahardchoice). That we’d have a debate like that.
I am glad things are tipping in a new direction and finally so many people are waking up, speaking out louder, withdrawing their support.
However, please remember that up until this point many of them were willing to live with this.
A leader who demeans women.
A leader who speaks vitrol.
A leader who stirs division.
A leader who talks about himself all the time.
A leader who gains power by cutting down others.
A leader who incites fear.
A leader who rails against the establishment by benefitting it for decades.
People were (and many still are) willing to live with this.
It feels crazy to me, but I know it’s not (oh, we need to keep redefining what’s crazy).
It might feel like a bad dream to a lot of us, but really, it’s human nature and the force of group dynamics. We’re in one big sociological experiment right now and the results are wild and telling (and scary).
We are addicted to kings and charisma and power and might.
We thrive on making narcissists our leaders because they tell us what to do and say all the right things that defend our position and help us feel superior, too.
I’d like to think it’s just part of politics and not part of Christianity, but the reality is many of the issues we are facing right now in our political system are the same ones that are tangled up in our faith structures, too.
And people have been willing to live with them.
To live in churches that never, ever, ever have women in the front (or if they do, it’s once a quarter at best) or in the circle of true decision making.
To follow charismatic leaders who tell us what to believe, what to think, how to act, what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do, what God thinks of us, and what God wants to say to us (and then when they fall, follow them to their new place of business and repeat the same cycle).
To sit week after week after week facing forward listening to someone talk and sing a few songs and then go home lonely.
To accept that because someone up front with a microphone says “but the Bible says…” to think it must be 100% right.
To participate in systems where only the powerful and pretty get to play.
To stay silent on major issues like LGBQT equality and race and a whole host of other things we care about out of fear of rocking the boat or being judged or scripturized or losing our roles or positions or respect from others.
Yeah, one of the biggest parts of my faith shift has been honoring that I am no longer willing to give myself to this. Others can and still do, but I can’t. I did. God knows I did. It had its place in my story and I want to honor the parts that formed me into who I am today. But I also want to say this out loud–I’m no longer willing to live with these things.
And when it comes to the president of our country, I’m not going to let him off the hook as “being a flawed human being” or “misguided” or “just tapping into the reality of what real Americans think” or “boys will be boys” or “people are just afraid.”
No, I’m not willing to live with this, either.
We have more agency than we think.
We do not have to give ourselves over to things that harm us, harm others.
We can say, “I’m not willing to live with this. You might be, but I’m not.”
My hope is that a piece of what is happening right now in culture, both in the political landscape and also in the next chapter of post-modern Christianity, is that we are being rattled to wake up.
We have to wake up and build an immunity to fairy dust.
We have to wake up and open our eyes to the ravages of misogyny and rape culture and what women deal with day after day after day.
We have to wake up and follow leaders who are humble and kind and vulnerable and give their power away instead of amassing it for themselves.
We have to wake up to our incredible privilege and the responsibilities we have to use it for good.
We have to wake up to the reality that Christ has no body here but ours and it’s not supposed to be fat and lazy and comfortable and self-centered.
We have to wake up to recognizing that a shame-based theology is bad for our souls.
We have to wake up and remember that the kingdom is not going to drop out of the sky.
Yeah, this post isn’t for everyone; it’s for those of us who just aren’t willing to live with certain things anymore.
Today I just felt like reminding me, reminding you, we don’t have to.