This morning, millions of evangelicals who voted for the current president, and continue to not only support but defend him, went to church.
They sang hymns about holiness, while defending a man who has had multiple affairs and paid hush money to a porn star.
They sang about grace and mercy, while supporting an administration that’s deporting innocent kids to dangerous countries.
They sang, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight,” while doing nothing to oppose racial profiling, economic inequality, police brutality and a criminal justice system that incarcerates an overwhelmingly disproportionate percentage of black men.
They prayed for God to use them to make Jesus’ “on earth as it is in heaven” prayer a reality. Yes, they prayed for earth to look like heaven, where people of all nations gather together as brothers and sisters and equals, while at the same time supporting a bombastic bully who wants to build walls and close borders to innocent refugees who are dying in droves.
They praised truth and honesty while, at the very same time, the lawyer of the president they voted for was on ABC telling George Stephanopoulos that the president’s lies were “political not criminal,” and therefore it didn’t matter whether he told the truth or not.
They prayed for their lives to be filled with the Fruits of the Spirit, which include gentleness and kindness, while praising a president who’s called others fat and ugly and dogs — and mocked the disabled. A president who said that Mexicans commit high percentages of murder and rape in the U.S., a claim which has been documented to be absolutely untrue. (Didn’t God say something somewhere about not bearing false witness….?)
Southern Baptists went to churches and read sacred words of Jesus, who considered women valuable, and equal and precious. And yet, their convention is led by Paige Patterson, a 75-year-old misogynist who has preached on several occasions that women who are domestically abused by their husbands shouldn’t take their husbands to court to seek justice, and shouldn’t divorce their violent and vindictive spouses. Instead, he said, they should suffer the abuse gladly, like Jesus suffered on the cross. Women with black eyes and broken ribs should view the continual beatings from their husbands as the price of admission to sharing more deeply in the sufferings of Christ.I’m sorry, what?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the most segregated hour in America is the hour in which blacks and whites went to separate churches to worship the God who asked us all to become one.
Sunday morning has also become the most cognitively dissonant — maybe even hypocritical — hour in Evangelical America.
80% of Evangelical Christians voted for a man who’s nothing like the God they claim to follow. And, in the name of that same God, they continue to support and defend him.
I don’t care about politics. It doesn’t matter to me if people vote for different candidates out of differing economic or foreign policy or political part views. But I do care deeply about what people do in the name of God.
To do something in the name of God that is the antithesis of what God asked us to do…..and to support a person in the name of God who has spent 71 years of his life acting nothing like God — and making no apologies or amends for it…..what is that?
And why is that?
What will it take for us to unite our actions with the words we repeat on Sunday?
What will it take for us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, even if that leads us out of the limelight? Even if it puts us in a slice of American society that’s no longer pandered to by politicians? Even if it requires us to give up the popularity and power and political leverage the Religious Right spent the past four decades accruing?
What will it take for Sunday mornings to become the most cognitively unified, the most heart-and-body-and-mind-and-soul aligned hour of our week?
“…if you’re abused…it’s okay. You can trust it to