Loving your enemy: Fourth of July 2023

Loving your enemy: Fourth of July 2023 July 4, 2023

It’s the Fourth of July in a country deeply divided. Inflation rises, Twitter is a mess, people make fun of each other on the internet and in person over things like gender identity and gender roles. Hatred rises, and people lash out at each other in pain and fear. Laws are being made that restrict trans people’s rights. Christians are complicit and even encourage the state to use its heavy hand on other groups of people. 

I hate to see the division between Christians and queer people, as someone who identifies with both. I hate to see the harm that so many Christians have wrought on other people for varying reasons, historically and in the present. Many don’t feel safe in churches, and increasingly people are fleeing their states and potentially the country if someone like DeSantis wins the presidency in 2024. 

Some people are fleeing, and other people complain about having to see them in public because “the children.” It’s such a disparity between the two groups of people.

I myself struggle to see where God is in this country. Where is God in this world? Where is God in the evil, in the terror, in those who hurt others? Why does God let that stuff exist? Perhaps someday we all will understand that question, but like myself, many don’t understand the problem of evil. 

I wonder if we have been abandoned by God. I saw someone say that in a group chat the other day, and honestly, I feel the same sentiment. It’s all so mental, possibly even demonic, but I wonder: what if God isn’t actually there? This mess, this pain – what if this is all there is? It’s intolerable, and yet the question remains. 

I see failure to make the world a better place left and right, even within myself. I hear the Beautitudes, and they give me a lot of comfort though I wonder if they’re true. Those of us who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for justice, for a better world, those of us who mourn, those who suffer persecution and discrimination – will we see God? Even those beyond me, those who are persecuted for race, or for not fitting into gender norms like transgender people – we all have to see the kingdom of God. 

About a month ago, former president Donald J Trump was indicted for espionage. This is Trump’s second indictment after an indictment in April for a sexual assault. What does justice look like for Donald Trump’s victims? 

This is so clearly not an individual who should ever be anywhere close to political power. I genuinely hope he doesn’t get back into the presidency. No one who can’t keep a secret or worse, actively sells them, should ever be in possession of secrets. That’s just common sense. If a person can’t handle classified information without spilling it, don’t give them secret classified information!

What does it look like to be a Christian who is progressive? How does a progressive Christian love our enemies whilst working to reduce the harm they do to ourselves and other people and groups? 

I don’t have all the answers. But I would like to invite my more readers into loving their enemies, even as we continue work to lessen their harm. 

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