View Full Version : Trump: an open letter, from one Christian

David G
08-05-2016, 07:10 PM

Dear Evangelical Republicans,

I grew up one of you. I was raised to think conservativelyĖto support the troops, to protest gay marriage, to fight against the great injustice of higher taxes for the wealthy. But as Iíve pursued a theological education over the last seven years, weíve grown apart. Much that I once held as self-evident truth from the very hand of God, I now disagree withĖand the convictions that do we still share, I hold from a much more nuanced perspective. Iíve learned to live with the disconnect from my youth, and I do my best to respect our differences and look for points of unity rather than conflict.

But this election season, the rift between us has turned into a deep and impassible chasm. I think you know that. Itís hard to miss. But Iím not so sure you know why, and Iím not sure you understand the significance of our dissonance. So I want to explain. See, there are a lot of us, just like me. We grew up with you, but now find ourselves on a different path.

We hate partisan politics. We lean a little bit to the left, but not as much as you probably think. We donít own guns. Weíre drawn to the idea of socialized healthcare. We feel a little bit squirmy singing the national anthem. We donít think itís our job to force people to conform to a Christian lifestyle and worldview. Weíre always talking about the dark side of American history, and we insist that it matters to the present.

You donít get it. You think weíve just been influenced by the liberal media, and that weíre not facing the realities of life. Until this election season, weíve learned to deal with each other. We normally donít talk politics, because itís easier to avoid conflict when we donít. But this election cycle, your allegiance to your partyís nominee has driven a wedge between us that might be a death knell for any meaningful connection. Itís not a matter of petty political preference or social sensibilities anymore. Itís now a matter of life and death conviction for us, because we are appalled and, frankly, terrified by the prospect of a Republican presidential victory in 2016.

We are appalled and alarmed by the candidate, but we are equally disgusted and terrified by the fact that youíre supporting him. Not simply because weíre economically left-leaning, but because you have thrown in the towel on everything that you told us we should care about. Donít forget, we grew up with you. We remember where we came from, which is why we feel compelled to call you out on your hypocrisy. See, we still remember a lot of things that you taught us, and we try to live by them. In a very meaningful way, you made us.

For example, you taught us to believe the Bible. You taught us that it was infallible, inerrant, and the only source of absolute, literal truth. Well, because you taught us to hold it so highly, we decided to actually read it. We did some research, and it turns out that the Word of God is not the Word of America. It turns out that what we read there, in the Scriptures that you claim to believe and that you taught us to consider an absolute authority over our lives, doesnít look like your candidate, your rhetoric, or your politics at all.

We read those Scriptures, and we found out that God isnít really interested in maintaining the status quo for the politically and economically privileged. In fact, heís about quite the opposite. We read the Scriptures and found Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Creator, commanding his followers to care for the poor, to love others as we love ourselves. We found out that the God-man laid down his life nonviolently for the sake of others and commanded his followers to do the same. And we thought, ďHey, maybe he meant that.Ē So we try to structure our lives, and our politics, accordingly. We became social workers. We went to seminary. We work for non-profits. Those of us who make a lot of money give away unreasonable amounts. We live and work in neighborhoods that make you nervous. We put ourselves in harmís way and it doesnít make any sense to you.......