I have three confessions, and I hope you will have the grace to continue reading after I’ve shared them with you. You see, a few things have weighed heavy on my heart this year, and on their account, I’ve felt deeply conflicted. In this culture of political train wreckage, I know that this confession won’t make me popular, and sadly, I understand why.
But here goes nothing.
I am a Christian and I am — well, I was — a registered Republican.
Whew, that feels good to get off my chest. Are you still with me? I don’t blame you for being hesitant, but please stay. I have so much more I need to say. (And that third confession is forthcoming.)
Let me start by saying that as a person of faith, my vote is often informed by my beliefs. I try my best to navigate complex social issues with grace and kindness. I want to vote my conscience on these issues, but I no longer believe that is possible, especially in the Republican Party.
Here I am, watching the these politicians, and I can’t help but wonder: Are we all talking about the same Jesus?
You see, the Jesus I know would require that we work hard for what we have, but He would also protect the poor, and “the least of these.” The Jesus I know would support law and order, but He would never build a wall to keep foreigners out of His country.
On the contrary, the Jesus I know has an affinity for tearing down walls.
The GOP touts “one nation under God,” but believe me, Jesus Christ would have nothing to do with the state of their politics. His message centered around three simple pillars: Faith, Hope, and Love.
That being the case…
Donald Trump has said that he owes nothing to God, that there is nothing in his life to forgive. That is not faith.
Donald Trump has spoken of making America “great again,” gleefully beckoning an era when people who protested were carried out on stretchers. That is not hope.
Donald Trump has demonized entire people groups, summarily referring to them as “evil” or “criminal.” That is not love.
So, since you are still here, it’s time for my third and final confession.
I am done with the Republican Party.
These politicians have hijacked my faith, politicized it, and declared in God’s name that Democrats are “The Enemy.” They claim the world is sick, and I tend to agree. But their medicine so divisive, so hateful, that when it is consumed by the masses, violence is a common side effect.
They have taken the banner of Christ and run it up a flag pole, claiming “Christian domain” over all of their politics. This exclusive posturing is a bastardization of my values and an affront to the inclusive nature of the gospel of Christ.
No, this is not faith. This is not hope. This is not love.
This is a horrible miscarriage of a beautiful gospel, and I will no longer endorse it with my silence.
As a Christian, a mother, and a citizen, I feel a civic responsibility to vote. And vote I will. But I shudder at the notion that Christ is all up in this election, endorsing one particular candidate.
I’m pretty sure He would be heartbroken by all of this.
If the GOP wants to champion the Christian voter, they need to champion the Christian cause. And that means love for all people. Not just those who look like us. Not just those who act like us.
You can’t speak hate and stand for love. That’s not how things work. Donald Trump’s candor reveals what is truly at the heart of the GOP. Until their rhetoric starts to illustrate the actual principles of our faith, I will take the love of Christ — and my vote — beyond the walls they hope to build.