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February 19, 2017

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Rules of engagement

February 19, 2017

The best way to engage Republicans around the Trump issue is through a conversation of morality. Trump enthusiasts are best left alone or confronted with power. If they are still excited about the bonfire this sociopath is making of our democracy, they are arsonists. 


The quiet Republicans are the ones that fascinate me. They are often the most frustrating too. 

Comprised of white Christians, they tend to support politicians that represent the antithesis of Christian thought. They provided the thrust and spiritual cover for the Iraq war, joining the administration in an immoral confabulation which has resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths. They now support a man who lies about his resistance to that war, the one they called people unAmerican for resisting. There has been no reckoning. They provided fertile ground for the resistance to Obama's healthcare agenda, which seems fly in the face of the whole "take care of the sick" thing. They voted overwhelmingly to elect a vehicle for white nationalism, a prideful villain of biblical proportions. They have returned to the shadows, with no accountability for their tacit support for - and complicity with - white supremacy, idolatry, war and division of the children of God. So, we need to talk. 


I am sick of hearing the appeals to moderation or kindness, as if these moderate, kind conversations weren't happening nationally for the past couple decades without progress. If a reasoned appeal, based on facts and kindness made change, we wouldn't have needed a civil rights movement. If this election had anything to do with policy, Trump would not have been competitive in the primary or general elections. This conversation is about sunlight and an honest reckoning of what it means to support a moral agenda in our country. And this is the conversation that needs to occur now. 


For so long the conversation about religion in politics has revolved around abortion and same-sex marriage. Other issues of politics were somehow exempt from any religious input, serving to further increase the church's complicity with and irrelevance within American society. So, the Christian voting bloc continues to show up for vicious capitalists, warmongers, racists, philanderers, liars, sociopaths and hypocrites of all stripes while appealing to a redacted book of Leviticus. Meanwhile, these "people of God" dismantle what remains of a safety net, disseminate lies about climate change, enrich themselves and their associates to the detriment of America, start wars fought by other people's children, and get away with all of it because the silent majority leans on their whiteness and privilege hard enough that they don't ever have to reconcile these policies with their stated beliefs. 


This conversation needs to be brought to them. How does your church reconcile support of this administration with the Sermon on the Mount? Does the ban on refugees conflict with your interpretation of scripture? Are nationalism and Christianity compatible? Are Muslims children of God? Is worship of wealth a moral issue? Do you support or condone Milo, Breitbart, Steven Miller, and other white supremacists aligned with the administration? Is being anti-choice all that is required to be pro-life? Heck, is being anti-choice actually anti-abortion or does it simply provide cover for your judgmental, privileged self for refusing to actually allocate resources to help mothers rather than punish them? Do the teachings of Jesus conflict with the ideas of capitalism? Are gay people loved by God? What does mercy look like? 


It is time that we actually talk about this. It is time for accountability among the silent. 

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