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Christian Millennials say: "Donald Trump is Not Who We Are"
I invite all Christian millennials to stand together against the racial, sexist, religious and other intolerance that Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric promotes. It is putting our Latino, Muslim-American, African-American, women, those with disabilities, and other neighbors directly at risk.
There is no place for this kind of discrimination in America.
We affirm the values that make us who we are: diversity, openness and compassion.
Join me in saying: Donald Trump is not who America is, and he is not who we are.
Why is this important?
I am a Christian millennial and a political independent. I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the past, and I have never felt a devotion to a political party. I am devoted to my faith and have always viewed my actions in the voting booth (and political action beyond) as a chance to put my faith in action. I’ve always approached voting and political advocacy as a chance to express my most dearly held values--justice, peace, love, and solidarity.
Do I believe that the government is the answer to injustice, violence, and inequality? Absolutely not, but I know that the decisions made in the White House affect everyone's house...even beyond our borders. In my view, a Christian’s role is to ensure that government does the least harm to people and our planet and does the most to promote and protect the flourishing of all, particularly our vulnerable brothers and sisters.
There is no political party based on these values, which is why I’ve always felt discomfort with the partisanship of the evangelicals of the generation before me. In fact, the current extreme partisanship of pastors and Christian leaders has turned off so many of my peers from politics. The marriage of evangelical Christians and conservative politics is inconsistent, not about Christian values, and most importantly not so compatible with Biblical values. Thus, many millennials have turned our away from politics. Even before this particularly unappetizing election cycle, it was common to hear things like:
“My hope is in Jesus, not the government”
“I’m a citizen of the Kingdom--what happens in ‘Babylon’ doesn't matter to me”
“Real change happens on the ground, not in Washington”
Many of us are disenchanted...or were simply never enchanted. This particular election has greatly deepened our dissatisfaction. We see our country becoming more and more divided in the midst of real and felt challenges in our world. And during this fray, we see many of our “leaders” supporting a man who has taken politics to a new moral low. Donald Trump has built his candidacy on racism, sexism, fear, anger, and lies. It breaks my heart to see leaders of my faith falling in line behind him.
No matter how tempting it is to crawl under a rock until after the election, we need to send a message--Donald Trump and his religious leaders do not represent us. Jerry Falwell Jr., James Dobson, and Franklin Graham don’t speak for us, and they certainly don’t speak for Jesus. This doesn’t mean you have to vote for Hillary Clinton, but those of us who feel guided by our faith toward love and justice need to speak out.
And to those outside our faith watching our leaders align themselves with Donald Trump, let me clarify who we are.
We denounce sexism of any kind, and certainly sexual assault, a criminal offense that plagues millions of our sisters in this country. There is no excuse for this vile behavior or rhetoric in our political dialogue or society.
We know that immigration is complex and therefore the solution is complex, but we must be driven by compassion. Donald Trump demonizes immigrants and pledges to mass deport families, children, and vulnerable people. This is not who we are.
Our hearts break for refugees, and we welcome them with open arms. Donald Trump wants to keep all of them out, and this is the exact opposite in spirit and word to the Biblical call to “welcome the stranger.”
We think climate change is real, impacting people's lives right now, and we want our next president to fight for a solution. Donald Trump promises to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and thinks climate change is a conspiracy created by the Chinese government.
We believe black lives matter, and that racial injustice has infected the systems of our nation and therefore must be systematically dismantled. Donald Trump calls Black Lives Matter activists (which includes some of us) a threat and vows to investigate and shut down this movement.
We are guided by the Biblical call to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Donald Trump seems to be guided by fear, racism, and an alarming and dangerous arrogance.
There is no perfect candidate, but Donald Trump’s candidacy is a unique affront to our values as followers of Jesus, and we cannot remain silent as our leaders and others line up to support him. The stakes are higher right now than ever because not only are the policies and practices of our President up for grabs but also our culture. Will we be governed by fear or by love? As tempting as it is, please don’t sit this one out.