White Christians, We Can Do Better
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Politics

White Christians, We Can Do Better

I refuse to accept our ignorant, immature, and utterly unsympathetic attitude towards politics.

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White Christians, We Can Do Better

On Wednesday, my political science professor told us that her daughter, a journalist for the LA Times, had texted her that morning: "I need to be a better reporter." After realizing the results of the 2016 election, this journalist felt compelled to change something about her methods... to write in a more accessible way. That's because this election's results showed many of us Americans something that we knew but refused to confront: that the country is divided, cut and slashed into so many disparate parts that we literally cannot reconcile by shutting up and putting on a happy face. It's great that my professor's daughter is asking herself what she can do better. I'm asking myself the same thing, and this article elucidates just one of my potential challenges. I think that I could do better to communicate openly with other Christians about the political discourse.

I am white, I am Christian, and I was shocked and disappointed at the way white Christians voted. This group's vote mattered immensely. As Robert P. Jones' article puts it, "This anxious minority swarmed to the polls to elect as president the candidate who promised to 'make America great again' and warned that he was its 'last chance' to turn back the tide of cultural and economic change." Honestly, I am embarrassed to have been so shocked. I should have known better.

A great number of US citizens supported Trump in this election. These people belong to many different groups, and from what I know, I can only outline a few of those groups. Some of them celebrate now because they feel truly represented for the first time in a long time, and they're grateful that Trump's campaign actually reached out to them. Some of them probably pop champagne bottles because they are wealthy like him, and they admire the way Trump takes his tax cuts. Some others aren't proud that they voted for Trump, but they can now see that their vote counted: Trump is truly the president-elect. As for the third subset of that group, I would argue that they can do better.

However you feel about this election, I want you to know that too many of the Christians who gave the election to Trump belong to this latter group of halfhearted, (often) one-issue voters. These Christians expend most of their political words attempting to downplay the importance of government and simply spread comfort, saying things like, "We can't put faith in politics" and "Our treasure is in heaven." This comes off as ignorant, immature, and utterly unsympathetic. These Christians either impose conservatism as a part of their religion, or they refuse to take political stances because they construe themselves as being above the political nature of human beings. I can do better. We can do better.

Many white Christians have sold their faith to the conservative media, to the imperfect pro-life movement, to the hateful campaign that won our vote this week. There are many fronts on which I will promote conversation and activism, but I am taking this moment to emphasize that Christianity is one front that desperately needs it. Christians, please DO NOT shoot down attempts for dialogue at this stage.

Our political discourse needs to open up, not shut up.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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