An Open Letter From A Christian Pastor To Christians

Does this administration seem Christian to you?

Dear Christians Who Voted for Trump,

I was on strike March 8, participating in #ADayWithoutAWoman.

Yet I am tired today, because this is what keeps me up at night:

Does this administration seem Christian to you?

The Trump/Pence administration has put billionaires in its cabinet, and is advised by at least one known racist. They are de-regulating Wall Street. Many people are poised to lose their health insurance; perhaps you are among them. The sacred land that is called Standing Rock will be, with his blessing, ripped apart by a pipeline. He issued an executive order — #MuslimBan2 — that bans Muslims from six countries but none from nations in which he is financially invested. Families are ripped apart with aggressive deportation actions.

Our gay brothers and sisters are terrified and terrorized that their families are next when they become the targets of the “Make America Great Again” campaign. Women’s rights and Civil Rights are being eroded.

Do you think Jesus of Nazareth, that prophetic guy who preached that the first shall be last and the last shall be first; that guy who made friends with outsiders; that guy who put women and children in the center of his ministry; that guy, that rabbi, that son of a God who made a stranger — an outsider, a religious minority, a Samaritan — the hero of his parable about what it means to love neighbor; do you think THAT guy would approve of THIS behavior?

I am not an expert on the Constitution, but I have studied Jesus very carefully for decades in seminary and in graduate school. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to call him Yeshua, his Aramaic name. Jesus is sometimes a little niced-up for my taste. Blond. Beautiful. Harmless. Gentle. Empired.

Yeshua had a temple tantrum because of injustice, and called religious authorities a brood of vipers (Aramaic cursing, I think). Yeshua was a trouble-causing Palestinian Jewish rabbi, calling people to resist the Roman Empire, and its so-called peace, which was actually a violent occupation of the known world.

Yeshua did not say one word about banning religion, about keeping “strangers” out of our borders, or being gay, or denying people healthcare in all of the writings attributed to him. He did say love your neighbor as yourself. And he did “ordain” the first preacher, who was a WOMAN named Mary, when she stood by the empty tomb. He called her name, and she went and preached the very first sermon, “I have seen the Lord.”

Yeshua’s Hebrew Scriptures (the Christian Old Testament) insist we love the stranger because God’s people were once strangers in Egypt and in Babylon. So, fellow Christians, no matter how you voted this past election, Yeshua started a movement of love and justice that we have come to call Christianity. How do you think he’d be responding right about now to President Trump?

You can’t undo your vote, but you can join the resistance. We who are Christian must stand against injustice and create systems that are just, fair, and humane. We must feed the poor, care for the children, welcome the stranger, and, like Yeshua, invite women to lead! When we resist empire, #THISisChristian.

Here are some urgent steps we must take right now:

1.) Call Members of Congress and your local and state representatives, asking them to resist these unjust Executive Orders. Nothing gets their attention more than shutting down phone lines.

2.) Tweet your concerns—especially to POTUS—about his plans with the hashtags: #THISisChristian,#RevolutionaryLove,#MoralResistance.

3.) Resist every day the unjust actions you hear or see. Call them out with as much love as you can. Care-front the people in your circle of influence who are blind to the ways these actions of oppression are immoral and unjust. Every slander, every word uttered against the vulnerable normalizes hatred. And hatred is not normal. Hatred is not Christian.

4.) Go to every protest, every march that you can. Jesus/Yeshua started a love revolution, he started a resistance. When we resist, #THISisChristian.

In love, in Christ,

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis