Wednesday, August 16, 2017


©Wendell Griffen, 2017
Justice Is A Verb!
August 16, 2017

Yesterday President Donald Trump of the United States delivered unscripted remarks that confirmed what many people across the United States and throughout the world have long understood:  he is a pathological liar and apologist for white supremacy and white nationalism.

Yesterday Mr. Trump’s remarks confirmed these words I wrote in my August 15 blog post: 

We should not believe President Trump is concerned about racial equality and opposes white supremacy ideology.  We should not believe he does, has, or will condemn, denounce, and disavow anyone associated with white supremacy and “alt-right” groups such as neo-Nazi sympathizers and the Ku Klan.  We should not believe any claim Mr. Trump makes about being opposed to racism, bigotry, and hate-based violence against racial minorities.

Yesterday, Donald Trump spoke approvingly of people who carried torches and chanted racist and anti-Semitic slogans Friday night as they marched in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest removal of a statute of General Robert E. Lee.

Yesterday, Donald Trump claimed that those people were not white supremacists, but were marching in support of “culture” and “heritage.”

Yesterday, Trump challenged journalists who questioned his support of the white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville by equating the historical relevance of slaveholding Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson – who were instrumental in founding the United States – with Confederate General Lee and General Stonewall Jackson, men who forsook their sworn oath to defend the United States and, instead, committed treason by waging war against the United States in a failed effort to destroy the union and maintain an empire where Africans were held, bred, bought, sold, transported, raped, beaten, and otherwise brutalized to force them to work as slaves.    

In one appearance, Donald Trump reminded the world that he is a liar.

In one appearance, Donald Trump reminded the world that he is untrustworthy.

In one appearance, Donald Trump shamelessly and brazenly flaunted disloyalty for the office he holds and the nation he is sworn to lead for equality and justice. 

In one appearance, Trump disrespected the sacrifices of men and women – from this nation and elsewhere – who courageously served, fought, bled, and died to save humanity from the white supremacist ideology of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler.

In one appearance, Trump did more than even his worse critics might have imagined likely when he openly invoked the rhetoric of white supremacists such as David Duke (a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard). 

Donald Trump lied yesterday when he called the white protestors who carried torches and chanted racist and anti-Semitic slogans “peaceful.”  Read what Brian McLaren wrote about the Charlottesville experience:
Watch Joy Reid’s MSNBC interview with Rev. Traci Blackmon about what actually happened Friday night:   Read and watch this report about Rev. Blackmon’s Saturday experience in Charlottesville:  (Full disclosure:  Rev. Traci Blackmon and I serve as trustees of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (  

The world knows that what Trump said about what happened in Charlottesville is factually untrue.  Trump’s remarks were not uttered by mistake.  He lied. 

The people who chanted racist and anti-Semitic slogans and marched with torches to surround a church Friday night where Rev. Blackmon and others were assembled to prayerfully prepare themselves and encourage one another before Saturday were not “good peaceful people,” as Trump claimed.  They were white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and neo-Fascists.  Yesterday the President of the United States claimed what those people did Friday night was morally and ethically comparable to what Rev. Blackmon and a church filled with praying men, women, and children did. 

As a follower and minister of the gospel of Jesus, I denounce Donald Trump and reject his wicked effort to spread the deceitful message of white supremacy under the guise that doing so will “Make America Great Again.” 

Sadly, I anticipated we would come to this predicament after Trump was elected.   That is why I wrote these words in The Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope.

“Cooperative Baptists – along with others who follow the gospel of the extravagant generosity and radical hospitality shown in the ministry of Jesus – must now engage in tough thinking about prophetic choices and commitments on what it means to understand the demands of following Jesus.  Stark differences exist between the ethics of Jesus and the ethics of President Trump – and should inspire followers of Jesus who believe in social justice to refuse to forsake Jesus in favor of the newly elected head of state.

For starters, followers of Jesus must decide whether to condemn white Christian nationalism as a heresy against the gospel of Jesus Christ… People who supported, voted for, and now cheer President Trump, while professing to be followers of the One who saves, must be challenged as committing heresy.  White Christian nationalists, by supporting politicians and policies that oppress immigrants [and others], demonstrate an irreconcilable contradiction.  At best, their claims of allegiance to Jesus are ill-conceived.  At worst, their claims of allegiance to Jesus are fraudulent.  Any claim that one has welcomed the holy immigrant into one’s heart and professed Jesus as the center of one’s faith and living – while practicing xenophobia and other unwelcoming behaviors… - is beyond unpersuasive.  It is moral and ethical nonsense bordering on insanity. 

Refusal to condemn white Christian nationalism as a heresy against the gospel of Jesus Christ amounts to affirming, even by inaction, allegiance to and support for President Trump and his threatening political policies and practices.  Followers of Jesus cannot be faithful to the rule of President Trump and be faithful to the lordship of Jesus Christ.  To be faithful to Jesus requires that we oppose Trump…

Jesus declared in the lesson of the Good Samaritan that the greatest commandment is to love God with one’s entire being and to love others as oneself.  This means that followers of Jesus must now, with the rest of the world watching, decide how to be prophetic followers of the Palestinian Jew whose parents migrated with him to Egypt to escape genocide.  While the rest of the world watches, disciples of Christ must decide whether and how to operate twenty-first-century versions of the Underground Railroad and create a sanctuary movement in opposition to President Trump’s campaign pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.  While the rest of the world watches, followers of Jesus must refuse to provide religious cover to Trump’s policies towards people who are vulnerable. 

The rest of the world will continue to watch to see if followers of Jesus are truly obedient to his call to lay down our lives to protect people who are poor, sick, racial minorities, Muslims, LGBTQ, disabled, laborers, workers, and other targets of President Trump’s oppressive campaign promises and executive policies.”   

What will you do to stand against President Trump?  How will you confront, condemn, denounce, and overcome the heresy of white supremacy and white Christian nationalism?  


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