I'm very pleased that evangelical leaders such as Beth Moore have spoken out forcefully against the racist violence this past weekend perpetuated by the Proud Boys and others who joined supporters of President Trump as they marched on Saturday, Dec. 12, in Washington DC.
Moore tweeted, "I do not believe these are days for mincing words. I'm 63 1/2 years old & I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive & dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism. This Christian nationalism is not of God. Move back from it."
But while Moore, Joel Hunter, and other evangelical leaders have been speaking out against Trumpism and the dangerous curve of Christian Nationalism on which a segment of the American Church is driving, I agree with Anthea Butler that it's time for Christian pastors and leaders to step it up beyond just speaking out. Yes--speaking up is important, and is a first-step. Many Christians have not even taken that step.
Even though over 80% of white evangelicals voted for and have been supporting Trump since 2016 there are still millions of Christians in America who do not subscribe to that line of thinking. Even though I believe that this segment of the Church in the U.S. has severely damaged the credibility and reputation of the Christian faith in the eyes of many Americans, that's no excuse to throw in the towel, or to stop exercising the heart and power of our faith. As Joe Biden has said, we're in a struggle for the soul of our nation. Who's going to bring a moral voice to the Public Square, if not Christians? Others will too, of course, but how much more discreditable for Church if we fail to bring even our voice?
We can start by bringing a Deafening Voice, spoken out by many millions of Christians "out there," who want to stand up for their African American brothers and sisters, who are often on the cusp of the most violent and racist actions of hate groups and right-wing Trump supporters. How can we stand by silently (i.e., "complicitly") and watch as the Proud Boys damage, deface and denigrate the property of the oldest African American Church structure in DC--the Metropolitan AME Church, out of which such distinguished Americans such as Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, and others have spoken? That's like watching someone assault your cousin's house. Is that really okay with us?
It's not enough to "like" someone else's post, or a news article. How about we start by each taking the time to make a post on social media? How about if we each write to our elected state and national leaders, denouncing this kind of action? Remember how many people in the Twin Cities were "outraged" with the property damage after the George Floyd murder? Now would be a good time to speak up again, when the shoe is on the other foot. And--how about asking your pastor to speak up—to include it in their sermon and other communication--and to even lobby their denominational leader to do the same. I'm wondering these days... where are the voices of our spiritual leaders? Why so silent?
We might even open some conversations with others in our family and circle of friends, starting, of course, by listening to them.