I have not written a post since the US Presidential election. I haven’t been able to.
I had serious concerns about Hilary Clinton, particularly her stance on war and her preference for companies over people.* I did not vote for her (although I would have thought about that harder if I’d have been voting in a swing state rather than NY).
But when the news broke that the vast majority of white Christians voted for Donald Trump, something in me withered away.
If Christians are willing to vote for a man who (by his own confession, by the video evidence of him speaking about women throughout his life and by the testimonies of more than a dozen women) treats women so appallingly… why am I bothering with this blog at all?
It seems superfluous to write a blog to fight for the freedom of women to live in full equality in our homes and churches when Christians LITERALLY are not willing to protect women’s actual physical safety. If we are still trying to get to a point where protecting women from assault and rape is not a given among Christians… why am I worried about women’s freedom to preach and make decisions with our husbands?
I know that most people voted for Trump IN SPITE of his misogyny and racism. But. Our women and girls (and other vulnerable groups, but I’ll get to that in a minute) were considered negotiable. White evangelicals were willing to trade the safety of vulnerable people for, essentially, political power. We traded the safety of women for nebulous half promises of the safety of unborn babies (even though Trump was all for partial birth abortion until right about the time he decided to run for office). We traded the safety of women for the chance that maybe he will appoint Supreme Court justices we like.
This is… I am appalled. I have been sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
I have been watching. I have been seeing the abuse against minorities in our country skyrocket. I have seen an associate of Trump’s senior adviser lead a neo-Nazi conference, complete with the Nazi salute and “Hail Trump!” I have watched as Trump appoints people to his cabinet and each one of them is like a slap in the face to some vulnerable group of people or other. They are (as a group, not necessarily individually) racist, misogynistic warmongers who are afraid of immigrants and religious people (some of them hate Christians as much as Muslims, just in case anyone was feeling safe because they’re in the “right” religion).
And the Religious Right is SILENT!!! When they speak at all, it’s to try to justify him, support him, ask us to “wait and see,” or deny the incredible increase in hate acts against minorities!
I haven’t seen one single person say that they realize that they made a mistake and apologize for having voted for Trump.
If so many Christians care so little about the basic safety of vulnerable people, why in the WORLD do I think that they care if women have complete freedom?
This blog focuses narrowly on women in the Christian church. But I care about other vulnerable people, too – black people, Hispanic people (even the ones in the country illegally – they still have human rights), Native Americans, LGBT+ people, unborn people, criminals, Muslim people, refugees, children, poor people, and so on. Everyone marginalized, everyone vulnerable, everyone with less power than the people surrounding them — these are the people that I believe God tells Christians to lift up and set free.
I have decided to continue writing this blog, because my primary purpose is not to persuade people to change their thinking about women in the Church (although that has happened, too, which brings me great joy). The primary purpose of this blog is to encourage people who are are moving or have already moved out of complementarianism (gender hierarchy) into egalitarianism (gender equality). And so I will continue to do that.
But something’s going to change. I don’t know what. But I don’t think I can continue to be silent about the other groups of people that have suddenly become much more acceptable targets for hatred in my home country.
We Christians are praying that God’s kingdom might come, that His will might be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I think all groups of people are involved in that.
Please pray for me and stay tuned.
The Lord God’s spirit is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me
to bring good news to the poor,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim release for captives,
and liberation for prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and a day of vindication for our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for Zion’s mourners,
to give them a crown in place of ashes,
oil of joy in place of mourning,
a mantle of praise in place of discouragement.
They will be called Oaks of Righteousness,
planted by the Lord to glorify himself.
*I am extremely pro-life. I do not believe any of the candidates would have prioritized the lives of the unborn and because of things like comprehensive sex education, easily available birth control, and social programs for young mothers and babies and children, abortion rates continue the downward trend during democratic presidencies (abortion continued to fall sharply during Obama’s presidency). In 2013, the last year I can find data on, the abortion rate was half what it was in 1980.