Dear Fellow Christians,
We won the election, but, it’s no time to celebrate. We won, but we also lost our credibility in the process. We helped to vote into office a man that people almost universally dislike for his brash, harsh, insensitive comments. It is the first time in history that xenophobe, racist and misogynist are words used to describe the President of the United States.
I understand why it happened. Trump sought us out. He promised protection for our decaying religious freedoms. He listened to us and courted us. Hillary Clinton vowed to continue the course of this country down a road that we have dreaded, and Trump promised us he would stop that momentum.
Hillary vowed to work to change religious beliefs to conform to official government postures. She gave no inch to the unborn. She portrays a private and public persona, two faces that could not be trusted. She represented the entrenched political machine that has shown us no favors for decades.
But now we need to face the stark reality of our success.
Ironically, Bill Clinton, who gave us the protection of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was no help to Hillary Clinton who is seen as an enemy to people of religious persuasion. His sexual indiscretions in the White House, and her silence and cover up, was just enough counterbalance to keep the Trump campaign from crashing down with the weight of revelations of Trump’s sordid, sexist past.
The problem is that people can’t get past the things he has said. We’ve never heard presidential talk like that before. When people see him now, they are reminded of the things he said, and they are angry and fearful that those things are the real Donald Trump.
Out of the abundance of the heart a man’s mouth speaks.
Once again, I get it. Trump cozied up to the Christian world and sought the advice and wisdom of the Church. Hillary Clinton didn’t do that. He may well be a changed man, maybe even born again.
The problem is, especially in the digital media age, what has been said can’t be unsaid. Damage has been done. “The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. They not only exacerbate wounds but inflict them directly.”
Donald Trump has spoken words that have stirred up hatred and violence. We need to understand the significance of that. We dare not gloss over it.
We need to own that now and take action accordingly. Wounds have been inflicted, and we need to respond to our neighbors who have been damaged by them.
My daughter reports to me that the students at her high school, where minorities are in the majority, are angry and fearful for themselves, family and friends that they know. Some of them have cried; some of them are even panicked. One friend of mine, a teacher (and a Christian), wrote this of her students on the day after the election:
“Words cannot describe… I am heartbroken for them, for what they are hearing, seeing, and feeling.”
Christian women, who have been hurt by sexual abuse, are reeling at the seeming insensitivity of the Church, struggling with feelings that church is no longer even a safe place for them. Because the Church contributed its weight to get Trump elected.
I am embarrassed to say that I have seen self-professing Christians calling the angry, hurting mobs of people whining crybabies and similar things. No compassion, no empathy, no understanding.
Jesus said they will know us by our love.
Love is a fruit of the Spirit.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here: a tree is known by its fruit.
What the church does or does not do in the wake of the Trump election will define us for a generation and beyond. What we do or don’t do may define us for eternity.
This is no time for Christians to celebrate. This is a time for sober prayer and selfless love for our neighbors. If there was ever a time for us to leave our own safe places, our churches and sanctuaries, and do what Jesus did – feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned and heal the sick and hurting – now is the time.
 Matthew 15:17-20 “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts….”
 Luke 6:43-45 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
 “My heart literally hurts”: Muslims, women, and people of color on Donald Trump’s victory (posted on Vox November 9, 2016)
 “I spent a lot of time in tears yesterday, trying to articulate what bothered me so much, and I think I finally discovered that it was this: I feel betrayed by evangelicals, partly on behalf of the marginalized people the Church is supposed to sacrificially serve, and partly because as a woman who has been groped and leered at my fair share of times, I suddenly had to face the fact that even the Church isn’t a safe place for me. A majority of my brothers in Christ have spoken, and they either see my body as a toy for them to use as they will, or really don’t care that much when other guys see it as such. “ (posted by Lauren Barbian November 10, 2016)
 John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
 Galatians 5:22 “[T]the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control….”
 Matthew 12:33 “[T]he tree is known by its fruit.”
 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Matthew 12:33-35)
 Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
 “‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’” (Matthew 25-44-46)