©Wendell Griffen, 2017
Justice Is A Verb!
August 17, 2017
It has been interesting to observe reactions by “good” white people who claim to be followers of Jesus and also supporters of Donald Trump in the past several months. And it has been “interesting” to observe “good” white followers of Jesus who are Trump supporters struggle to explain their disappointment and shock surrounding last weekend’s tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia. There, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, neo-Fascists, Ku Klux Klan sympathizers, and others associated with the so-called “alt-right” movement physically assaulted and threatened counter-protestors, including people assembled for a Friday evening prayer and preparation service at a Charlottesville church. The next day they attacked counter-protestors. After those attacks, a young woman named Heather Heyer was killed and 19 other persons were injured by someone who rammed into a car into them as they were walking away from the site of the violence.
It has been “interesting” to observe “good” white politicians who claim to be followers of Jesus and also Trump supporters as they’ve tried to distance themselves from Mr. Trump’s full-throated claim that the people who carried torches and shouted racist and anti-Semitic chants as they marched toward the church where counter-protestors were praying were “many fine people.”
It has been interesting to watch Southern Baptist and other neo-fundamentalist clergy and laypersons who voted for Trump in overwhelming numbers and, by doing so, elected him to the presidency. The common theme running through their responses to what happened in Charlottesville has been a call to prayer and re-affirmation that racism and bigotry run counter to the gospel of Jesus, as shown in this article (http://bpnews.net/49363/charlottesville-violence--sbc-leaders-urge-prayer).
But white evangelical Christian leaders have not criticized President Trump since Charlottesville. When have you seen or heard a local pastor of a congregation of Trump voters criticize Trump’s statement that the crowd of torch-carrying and slogan chanting people who marched on and surrounded a Charlottesville church where counter-protestors gathered for prayer and preparation included “many fine people”? “Good” white evangelical Christians have been practically speechless since the November 2016 presidential election despite the fact that news outlets, in-depth magazine reports, and even Facebook and YouTube postings have detailed acts of hate speech as well as physical and online acts of racism.
Given what happened in Charlottesville, white Christians who voted for Donald Trump should remember what John Pavlovitz, a member of the pastoral staff of a white, non-denominational evangelical church in Raleigh, North Carolina, wrote on his blog the day after Donald Trump’s electoral victory in a post titled White Christians Who Voted for Donald Trump: Fix This, Now (http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/11/10/white-christians-who-voted-for-donald-trump-fix-this-now/).
They need to hear from Elijah-like prophets – such as John Pavlovitz. They will not do so from one reason. Their preachers are not like Elijah, not like Pavlovitz, and not like Jesus.They need to hear from Elijah-like prophets – such as John Pavlovitz. They will not do so for one reason. Their preachers are not like Elijah, not like Pavlovitz, and not like Jesus.