I read an article in the Washington Post last week that made me want to run up a tree and scream like a blue jay. Many white evangelical Trump supporters, it seems, were just as horrified as you and me about the images of caged migrant children crying for their parents at the southern border. The pastors in any number of white evangelical churches thundered against the policy of family separation from the pulpits, yet many white evangelicals still refused to stand up and say, “Trump is wrong, protect the children,” even as they found the images on television “wretched.”
According to the article, those white evangelicals are so against some of the people protesting border separations — the protesters who are liberal, pro-choice and pro-same-sex marriage — that they refuse to join them, even in the name of defending children. In this “culture war,” the Post explained, many white evangelicals are driven foremost by “a desire not to be on the same side as secular, socially liberal forces that to many are by far the biggest threat to America.”
“Not to be on the same side.” This, for me, is one of the great mysteries of life. How far do you have to go in your own mind to arrive at such a place? How tangled and warped is your own personal moral code that you are so profoundly against other people’s freedoms that you refuse to be for the protection of children? Where do you locate the gall to do that under the shroud of religious righteousness?
On this day of national self-congratulation, as much of the country extols the status quo and obscures the legacy of violence at the heart of this nation’s fundamental existence, I propose a project.
It is the easiest thing on Earth to sit down and make a list of everything you’re against. For example, I am against racism, sexism, homophobia, war, border separations, poverty, pollution, easy access to firearms, the war on drugs, police brutality, for-profit prisons, unfettered government surveillance,…