, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
People really need to stop asking where white evangelicals are on condemning white nationalism and Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. It isn’t going to happen. Years ago, I met Fred Gray, Rosa Park’s lawyer in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I asked him where white evangelicals were...
2)...when it came to speaking on behalf of Rosa or Montgomery Bus Boycotters. He laughed. He said they were nowhere. No help at all. He said they quit waiting for white Christians to say or do anything to stand with them or for them. They made their own way. Not much has changed.
3) I spent a bit of time this afternoon looking for Evangelical leaders statements about the massacres. They either ...
1) Have said nothing
2) offered thoughts/prayers
3) Blamed “evil” and/or Satan
4) A few have condemned white nationalism/racism generally
4) While I’m glad for those who responded to El Paso Shooter’s manifesto where he specifically affirms white nationalism (there is no question here), the elephant in the room is Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been boiling for 4 years. Now is the time to denounce it.
5) If we cannot call upon Trump to STOP calling migrants “invaders” and stop denigrating desperate people now after this massacre, can we ever find the courage to speak about anything? We can affirm border security and the rule of law without degrading and dehumanizing people.
6) Whatever the reasons for this violence, white evangelicals have access to the President whose degrading rhetoric against migrants and refugees has been repeated by mass murderers like the El Paso and Tree of Life shooters. We can and should ask him to stop this and unite us.
7) I can still see Fred Gray, American hero, lawyer of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, laughing in disbelief on Court Street when I asked him if they ever considered white Christians to be their allies in their colossal struggle for human dignity. His answer haunts me till this day.
8) One day, our grandchildren are going to ask what we did and said in these days. Where were white evangelicals? They had so much power! They were Trump’s base! Did they ever even correct him? Did they ever confront him and ask him to stop with the dehumanizing rhetoric?
9) It would be EASY for 20-30 white evangelical pastors/ldrs to demand a meeting with Trump and say, “Mr. President, we’ve supported you, but your words have consequences. Blood has been shed. We ask you to stop this rhetoric against immigrants. Denounce it.” History remembers.
10) History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. 15 yrs ago or so I set out in a quest to figure out why the white church in the South failed so badly on Race in 50s/60s. What I found horrified me. They wanted to “protect their way of life.” I realized that desire had not changed.
11) When “When Heaven and Earth Collide” was published in 2014, I thought the exploration of the past was needed so we could better understand how easily the church was be subverted by culture/power and could be in the future. I had no idea future was now. amazon.com/When-Heaven-Ea…
12) White Evangelicals can still speak. We can say no to this trajectory. We can use our influence and access to help Trump see that this way of dehumanization of the “other” leads to division and death. We can pray for him and ask him to repent and lead us out of this ditch.
13) But, we also might need to repent of fear of losing our position & status. Repent of fear of being called political when we fulfill our call to be prophetic and to call for righteousness & justice. We can tell Trump that he can have border security AND treat immigrants well.
14) One day someone is going to ask a real leader in all of this where were the white evangelicals? I pray that person will be able give a better answer than Fred Gray was able to give about Montgomery in the 1950s. His incredulous laugh haunts me still. It should haunt us all.
15) Postscript...I did on this thread what I always do, which is start in despair by saying we are never going to stand and I ended with prayer that things will change somehow, that the future will be different than what I see unfolding. God can do anything, so I’ll keep praying.
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