All right, let me put this another way.
Over the last 24 hours I’ve been called a “moron” and “ignorant.” I’ve been told by Christian brothers and sisters they will no longer use my Bible-teaching resources with their children.
Why? Because of the post I wrote yesterday stating my concern that white Christians have lost some credibility in the world by supporting a candidate for president whose campaign was tinged with racism. Many jumped to the conclusion that I was saying all Trump voters are racists. That is not what I said. I didn’t even say that Donald Trump was racist, though clearly some of his off-the-cuff statements fit that description.
I’m not saying Donald Trump is racist, or that his campaign was racist. I’ll let others come to their own conclusions about that. I’m saying that at times his campaign gave the impression of being racist, and impressions matter. You may have attended a Trump rally and found it to be nothing but good, clean American fun. Some of his rallies gave a very different impression.
Watch this clip from the documentary “13th” to see how Trump rallies appeared to some of our minority brothers and sisters.
So what was I really trying to say yesterday? That we white Christians have some explaining to do to convince our non-white brothers and sisters that our support for Trump was not support for his perceived racism, sexism or xenophobia. That our support for making America “great again” isn’t code for turning back the clock on racial and gender progress.
The witness of the church is more important than any election, any public policy, any economic plan. And right now, many of our non-white brothers and sisters are deeply confused, and more than a little frightened. Do we really welcome them here? When 90% of black evangelicals opposed a candidate whom 80% of white evangelicals supported, can we really say the body of Christ is colorblind?
Feel free to disagree, but that was my point. We have created distrust for the church while pursuing an effort to become “great again,” whatever that means.
I’m concerned for the witness of the gospel. We need to explain to our neighbors why our support for this man wasn’t a sign of our rejection of them. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we think we look like to the alien, the widow, the orphan, the outcast. It matters what they see when they look at us.
I may, in fact, be a moron. I’m sure I often am. But I don’t think I’m a moron about this.