I should have seen it much sooner. The realities of politically-fueled racism are now glaringly-obvious in my own community, in my own Archdiocese, and in my own Cathedral right here in San Antonio, TX. My husband and I attend the historic downtown San Fernando Cathedral in our local community regularly which is mostly Latino. Five years ago, our local clergy started speaking more against racism of migrants and immigration injustice. Here is an article from 2019. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller accuses Trump of racism that led to mass shootings – The Washington Post This was on both the local and national news. You can also read more about Archbishop Gustavo’s words on immigration injustice here. https://www.expressnews.com/news/border-mexico/article/Archbishop-new-slavery-San-Antonio-17280259.php
Directly after the Uvalde shooting on May 24th, 2022, our same local Archbishop publicly called for reasonable gun restrictions as he returned from ministering to these Uvalde families who reside in our Archdiocese which covers nearly 28,000 square miles and serves nearly 800,000 Catholics. From the Uvalde shooting article here, “The archbishop said he has a message for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. We don’t need to show power at this time. Power, at this time, and it will be for a while, diminishes people. We need you to accompany them. To walk with them,” he said. “If mistakes were made, walk with them to resolve them. Don’t bring all that power and all those arms and all that control.” Archbishop shares special language with Uvalde survivors – ABC News (go.com)
I’ve written a good deal about Texas anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in my previous articles, so I will repeat and renew some of it here. Most of you know that my journey of understanding as a Christian parent and practitioner was lagging significantly behind until I faced the LGBTQ+ experience head-on at a serious level. From the article. “Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made it a Senate priority to pass measures that limit school lessons about LGBTQ people, the college teams transgender students can join, and medical treatments that can be provided to transgender youth. Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to ban schools’ “woke agendas.” LGBTQ+ activists and many Democratic lawmakers waged a fight against the bills. Many say the proposed measures amounted to attempts to minimize queer expression and restrict people’s rights. According to a January report from the Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ youth suicide-prevention organization, 71% of LGBTQ youth said debates over bills affecting how they live negatively impact their mental health — and 86% of transgender youth reported negative mental health repercussions from such legislation.” In my own words, anti-LGBTQ+ bills endanger the health, lives, and human dignity of LGBTQ+ people, particularly LGBTQ+ youth. This means the LGBTQ+ issue is a life issue just as immigration injustice is a life issue.
As I mentioned above, my husband and I attend the downtown San Fernando Cathedral, and they are MUCH more inclusive, accepting, and accommodating of all people, including LGBTQ+ people. I am finally viewing the big picture. Although most LGBTQ+ people I personally know are either white or Latino, I think white supremacy and White Christian Nationalism (white, far-right conservative Republican, straight, etc….) are at the heart of the sufferings of minority populations because it seeks to control, abuse, dominate, and even destroy them. This is antithetical to Jesus’ message through the Gospel which is about radical love, inclusion, and reaching those on the margins. I think white Christians bear a special responsibility to speak and stand against this ideology, particularly in the United States. It’s a similar ideology that fueled Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust.
White Christian Nationalism is historically-rooted in our nation’s history and seeks superiority over all other Christians and people through political force and power.
Real Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves, regardless of who they are. If we read Matthew 25, a part of Jesus’ message, we will see this message.
To close, let’s review a current table from Pew Research and see how different groups actually voted in 2020 which is historically how they vote every election. This is also evidence that American White Christian Nationalism does not represent most American Christians and certainly not most Christians globally.