Lady Ruby and the Two Christianities

Lady Ruby and the Two Christianities December 15, 2023

an American flag with a white cross in the blue portion
image via Pixabay

 

I wanted to speak again about Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss– not about what Giuliani did to them this time, but about them personally, and especially about Ruby Freeman.

Today, in Washington, Freeman and Moss were awarded a whopping $148 million, about half of it in punitive damages, for their suffering when Giuliani falsely accused them of passing around USB drives to try to rig the presidential election in 2020. The two were actually just election workers counting votes; the object Freeman was recorded passing to Moss was a piece of candy. There’s little hope that Freeman and Moss will see very much of this money– Rudy is already in trouble with the IRS and owes a great deal in legal fees. But this goes a ways toward clearing their names. As for Giuliani, he will go down in history as a liar and con artist and will never again have any financial stability. He goes to trial for the criminal portion of his dealings in Georgia next year, though Lord knows how he’ll afford his lawyer.

I’ve already spoken a bit about Moss and Freeman and the horrendous abuse they suffered because of Giuliani and Donald Trump repeatedly defaming them. Their ordeal was horrendous and inexcusable, and it also calls to mind how often Black people just trying to do their jobs have found themselves the victims of an angry mob in America.

After the jury delivered their verdict, Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman briefly addressed the reporters outside.

I would like to draw your attention to the entire speech by Freeman– or, as she calls herself, Lady Ruby. Some of the news outlets I’ve seen have cut the latter half of the speech off, and the latter half is the part that especially touched me.  I  haven’t seen a transcript of the speech yet, so I’ll try to copy down that part of what she said:

“My friends say that God knew who to give this assignment to because if it had been them, they wouldn’t have been able to go through this. God chose me to go through this, because he knows I would tell everyone whose path I cross about Jesus. I’m strong and my faith shall never waver. From day one, I said “now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” If you remember one thing I say today, remember this: Faith is what carried us through the most difficult years of my life, and faith will carry you through hardships that you face in life. Understand that the devil is a liar. He is defeated, and no weapon formed against you shall prosper. Trust that God will keep and protect you. Believe that right makes might, because it does. I thank God I’m not intimidated by no one on their lies. Give thanks that injustice always surrender in the glorious kingdom of God, and that he will always lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you!” 

Lady Ruby took this nightmare ordeal and used it as an opportunity to preach the Gospel.

I have written so many times about American Christianity— not the Christianity that is practiced by any individual Americans, but the Christianity that dominates the conversation in the United States in this era. Other names for this Christianity are “Christian Nationalism,” “white Christian Nationalism,” “Dominionism” and “Christofascism.” This is a religious movement which hijacks the Holy Bible, usually by taking a verse or two out of context, as an excuse to seize worldly power and impose their will on others. It’s a movement that centers privilege and wealth and claims that Christ will do the same. It’s a movement that believes that might makes right instead of holding, as Lady Ruby does, that right makes might and injustice will surrender. American Christianity, Christofascism, is a faith that worships guns, masculinity, whiteness and, above all, money. White Christian Nationalism doesn’t say, with Christ, “My kingdom is not of this world,” but with Satan, “All of these I will give you if you bow down and worship me.”

Lady Ruby is a different kind of Christian.

Lady Ruby’s brand of Christianity existed since the beginning of the United States of America. It’s as worthy of the title “American” as the other Christianity. In America we’ve always had victims of oppression, holding fast to the teachings of Christ in the face of the most terrible persecution and suffering.

White Christian Nationalism stands in direct opposition to that other kind. It strives to wipe out any other voices of Christianity so that nobody will notice how little White Christian Nationalists act like Christ. But the other Christians have always endured.

In my own time, White Christian Nationalism sought to take control of the United States Government, crowning Donald Trump their messiah and his cronies prophets, and for awhile they did. They’re doing their best to seize control again. One of the things the movement did to try to hold onto power was to destroy the lives of Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman. No doubt, most of the people who harassed and abused them considered themselves to be Christians, and to be serving Christ by doing so. But Freeman and Moss endured. Lady Ruby Freeman used her persecution as an opportunity to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I admire her immensely, and I wish them both all the best.

 

 

Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross, The Sorrows and Joys of Mary, and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy.

 

 

 

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