It’s a hard line we walk, between ministering to everyone in our congregations of all political views, and our own views.
It’s a hard line we walk, between listening to those we disagree with, and the words of Jesus.
It’s a hard line we walk, between staying silent to attempt to keep a restless peace that we will regret, and saying something we will later regret.
Of course, we have laws on the separation of church and state, and not endorsing candidates, and all that. Sometimes our congregations have taken that to mean that politics should never be spoken of from the pulpit, but that’s not the case. Jesus was rather political, as you know.
And in faithfulness to Jesus Christ, we cannot be silent any longer when it comes to hate.
When a candidate refuses to disavow the KKK immediately, we know that we must speak up against hate and white supremacy. However, it’s also an indicator that we ought to have spoken up long ago. Speaking for myself, I ought to have spoken up when our Mexican neighbors to the south were called murderers and rapists. I ought to have spoken up when refugees were called terrorists, when Muslims were threatened with banishment. I ought to have spoken up when a disabled reporter was made fun of and mocked on camera. And there are times before that when I ought to have spoken up.
In this Lenten season, I repent of my silence. Silence in matters of justice makes peace a lie. In this Lenten season, I remember that the One who saves us is the One who gave himself up for others, and called us into a life of humility and service, not of boasting and taking.
I’m not sure any candidate will ever follow in the image of Christ. But I know what does not look like Christ: Hate. Fear. Oppression. Intolerance. Injustice. White Supremacy. If we follow any of these, we do not follow Christ.
So I call upon all of us to speak up. Say something on Facebook. Write it in your newsletter. Speak it from the pulpit. Denounce white supremacy. Denounce hate and intolerance. Denounce fear. Do not let the lie of silence equaling peace sway you.
Blessings to you in this Lenten season. May we repent and turn back to the ways of Christ, and truly love our neighbor as ourselves by denouncing white supremacy.