I’m Christian. I also hate Trump.
I have a lot of Christian friends, though, who do support Trump. And while honestly I don’t get it, I try my best to respect that we all want what’s best for ourselves and our families and we have different views on what political ideologies will get us there.
But what I cannot respect is my fellow Christians’ unwillingness to condemn Trump on the issue of white supremacy.
Tonight at the presidential debate, Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy. He redirected attention to left-wing violence. He pretended like he didn’t know what white supremacy was. And ultimately, he cryptically called dangerous neo-fascist group Proud Boys to “stand by, stand down.”
This is not shocking though.
Trump has repeatedly denied opportunities to condemn white supremacy. He has called white supremacists and alt-right radical groups “very fine people.” He has turned a blind eye to police violence against black people while exaggerating and in some cases fabricating entirely the violence of far-left groups in our cities. Trump has said many racist things himself, including generalizing Mexican people as “racists and murderers” and calling certain nations “shithole countries.” It’s very clear how he feels about non-white people.
What IS shocking to me is that so many of my Christian friends and acquaintances have stayed silent.
Christians are generally very passionate about abortion, about the sanctity of life, and about how unborn lives matter just as much as born lives do. And while I have my own nuanced views on that issue which I won’t share here, I understand and agree that unborn lives matter.
But why don’t non-white born lives matter just as much? And why aren’t we as Christians just as angry when they are threatened?
Jesus preached a message of inclusivity and of respect for all, not just white people or unborn people. He preached that we should especially care for and love the “least of these” and the oppressed, and I can’t imagine how that doesn’t include non-white lives. Heck, Jesus himself wasn’t white!
Regardless of how Christians feel about Trump’s position on abortion, or on anything else for that matter, Christians must condemn his statements on white supremacy. White supremacy and racism are against everything Jesus Christ stands for and everything that he died for.
Jesus never promised an easy road for Christians. In fact, in Luke 14 he tells his followers, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
Christians — and ESPECIALLY white Christians — cannot just advocate for people when it is convenient, when it benefits us, when the people we are defending are perfect and blameless and uncomplicated like unborn lives are.
We must advocate for and ally with born people, too: who are messy, who are human, who are imperfect, and who are loved by our God just as much as we are, no matter the color of their skin.
That’s exactly what Jesus did.