As I write this column on Monday, Dec. 14, the first Covid-19 vaccines are being administered to frontline healthcare workers in this country.
It is the start of a long, long journey out of this dark period, and though it brings hope, we are nowhere near the end of this pandemic despite the fact that many still pretend that it doesn’t exist, no matter what (which is why we lead the world in this toxic stew of infections and in deaths).
Also on this day, presidential electors are meeting in their individual states to vote for the next president according to the will of the electorate (you and me, and other registered voters). We all know how those votes will turn out and that Joe Biden will be our next president. Even Donald Trump knows that, though he continues to do all that he can to drive us apart instead of putting the country first and showing some leadership and grace.
Talk about a sore loser.
It would be almost funny if it didn’t cause so much damage, so much hate and division.
As a close friend (and cousin) said to me earlier today, she has been starving for somebody in the ranks of Christian leadership to “do the right thing” and speak out against all this madness and I am right there with her.
I have been longing for that right thing, especially from those that call themselves Evangelicals (almost a political brand since Trump). And by right thing, I mean to denounce all that in a “normal” world they would have been speaking out against long since.
This morning, she sent me a link to a story that feeds that starvation just a little and that I hope is the start of something bigger and that perhaps will allow more to find courage to do what they know is right.
The link was to a site that ran a story about a tweet from Evangelical leader Beth Moore in which calls Trumpism “seductive and dangerous.”
The story goes on to say that as the days have stretched into weeks of President Trump continuing to question his loss to Biden despite everything leading to a dead end, some evangelical leaders have had enough.
Karen Swallow Prior, an evangelical author and professor, tweeted Friday (Dec. 11) that she was ashamed to have voted for local and state GOP candidates, many of whom backed lawsuits challenging the election.
“What a bunch of money-grubbing, power hungry, partisan cowards who care nothing about conservatism,” Swallow Prior, a self-described life-long conservative, said in her tweet.
On Dec. 13, Moore tweeted to her followers: “I do not believe these are days for mincing words. I’m 63-and-a-half years old and I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive and dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism. This Christian nationalism is not of God. Move back from it.”
In a later tweet, she said: “Fellow leaders, we will be held responsible for remaining passive in this day of seduction to save our own skin while the saints we’ve been entrusted to serve are being seduced, manipulated, used (she wrote this word in all caps) and stirred up into a lather of zeal devoid of the Holy Spirit for political gain.”
Still later she added another tweet that I also agree with: “And, God help us, we don’t turn from Trumpism to Bidenism. We do not worship flesh and blood. We do not place our faith in mortals. We are the church of the living God. We can’t sanctify idolatry by labeling a leader our Cyrus. We need no Cyrus. We have a king. His name is Jesus.”
That last part is particularly true and speaks to the heart of what is wrong. Many Christians forgot their true leader and turned to a human being to worship.
I admire the courage of both of these women and I know that they will pay, are paying, a price for their statements. That’s why it takes courage, because it requires a painful cost. You just have to decide it costs much more to stay silent.
I wonder how many have been turned away from the teachings of Christ because of what they have heard come out of the mouths of many Christians over the last few years.
And yes, it is a personal decision to believe or not to believe — but the onus is not just on the individual — there are many scriptures that lay out the responsibility of Christians to show Christ’s love by example.
What happened to the Great Commission?
What happened to love for the stranger?
What happened to humility?
When did the self-righteousness Trump become the leader of anything that’s supposed to ultimately be involved with leading people to Christ?
A lot of walls have gone up over the past few years, just not the one that Mexico was supposed to pay for. I hope those walls, so much harder to tear down than any physical structure, will now begin to crack.
I pray for that.
And I can’t think of a better time for it to happen than during this Christmas season.
Margie Richards is a reporter for The Madison County Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com.