A Political Ramble
Have I really not posted in 6 days? How is time going so quickly? I think this impeachment thing during the holiday season with this extended migraine has me all confused.
Then, last night, shock of shocks, some evangelical Christians took a stand against President Trump! I thought I was going to fall out of my chair when I saw the Christianity Today editorial! I'm sure that you are aware that 81% of evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump in the last presidential election. I hoped that most of them were voting against Hillary Clinton and doing it as a last ditch effort. Apparently not. Evangelicalism loves them some Donald Trump.
Trump has a group of evangelical leaders around him that historian John Fea calls the "court evangelicals". Indeed, these Christian leaders act like you would expect courtiers to do and less like you would expect politically active Christians whose job it is to speak truth to power to act. These court evangelicals support the actions of President Trump and seem to have done little critiquing of his policy decisions.
The Christianity Today editorial has brought down the wrath of the court evangelicals. Even Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, one of the founders of Christianity Today, had nothing good to say about the article.
What it's important to understand about Christianity Today, though, is that it does not represent all of evangelical Christianity. It is not "left wing" as some would say. Generally, it's not very political. But, it's more academic than your average evangelical. A person sitting in the pews is more likely to be in touch with a publication like Charisma or Relevant. So, while it's an important piece, it's not something that most evangelicals are going to read. More likely, they'll come across the reaction of Franklin Graham or Jerry Falwell, Jr. on Facebook or Twitter.
This editorial shows a crack in evangelicalism. It's small. Most Trump supporters aren't going to be affected directly by this one article. But, it's weakening the wall a little bit. Maybe someone else can write something that can widen that crack a bit more. Or an influential tweet. Or newspaper story. Or a TV bit. Whatever it takes.
We need to recognize, though, that changing people's minds is going to be hard. I left evangelicalism after Trump was elected. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. But things had been building for years. My daughter came out as bisexual and non-binary. I had already been deconstructing many of my beliefs and this just made me dig deeper and deeper. I learned that I needed a faith that could handle my questions and that evangelicalism wasn't it. But, it was not an overnight transition. And I had to admit I had been wrong about a lot of things for a lot of years.
For people to admit that they have been wrong about Donald Trump is going to be hard. Those of us who believe that Trump was a mistake need to be easy on those who are just coming to that realization. We can't shame them. We need to convince them of the truth with reasoned argument, not raised voices and then welcome them with open arms when they see it and accept it.
Here is a challenge for all of us. For those who still support the President, please read the articles of impeachment with an open mind. Please read either The Washington Post or New York Times summaries of the impeachment hearings. And read the Christianity Today editorial. And then think and pray. For those of us who don't support the President and who support impeachment, pray for justice to be done and for unity in our country. Pray for peace whatever the outcome.