I've been struggling with my faith as a Christian for the past year or so. I'm not looking for a pity party, I just want to share how I'm feeling. I've been feeling overwhelmingly unsatisfied with the Christian church and how it has related to current events. Specifically, I feel that as a Christian, the Christian church is generally out of touch with the world. As I get older, I feel myself becoming more and more isolated with fellow Christians and finding it harder to connect. For example, based on my personal experiences, most days it feels like Christians my age are more interested in things like finding someone to settle down and build a life with, and I have a hard time relating to that.
The tipping point of my frustration was the 2016 Presidential Election, where 80% of White Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. Over the course of 2016, I watched many Christians voice their support for Trump. Meanwhile, Trump ran his entire campaign on hate. He promised to "build a wall," to ban Muslims from entering the US, to force US Muslim citizens to join a registry, and to bring back Stop-And-Frisk (a method ruled as unconstitutional because it solely targets minorities). These are only an incredibly small fraction of the things he has planned to do. He mocked a disabled reporter, was found to have sexually assaulted women multiple times, and doesn't believe in reproductive rights. Mike Pence is equally horrifying, as he supports Conversion Therapy and helped to create an HIV spike in Indiana by slashing public health spending.
I don't understand how a majority of Christians could vote for someone like this. Someone who promised to make the lives of those he opposed a living hell. 2016 was a frightening year for many of my friends and I because most of Trump's proposed plans directly impacted us, and watching them become more and more accepted was horrifying to experience. I'll never forget hearing about the hate crimes over the past year being done in Trump's name. I'll never forget the night of November 8th, as I sat with a few friends and watched state after state go red. I remember waking up the next morning, hearing the news, and being sick to my stomach. I remember hearing on social media that many people I personally knew were being targeted by hate crimes at my school. I remember being so distressed that I seriously contemplated calling the suicide hotline. I remember going on Facebook later that week and expecting to see my Christian friends denouncing Trump and the hate, but almost every post I saw was normalizing his presidency and simply promising to "pray for him."
I refuse to believe that the God I know would support the terrible things occurring in the world right now. Just this past week, Trump signed an Executive Order banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US. This is horrific on just about every level, but no one seems to be talking about it. Nothing was said at church. Most of my Christian friends are completely silent. How can you profess to follow Christ but support someone like Trump, who has who promised to do all of these terrible things? How can you be silent when refugees are being persecuted for their religious beliefs and their country of origin? I've been sickened as I've watched people I used to respect, people who I would have considered to be "champions of the faith" support Trump. Every Sunday as I sit in church, I can't help but wonder how many of the people around me voted for Trump.
My Mom has reminded me this at least two million times while I was growing up, but my faith isn't supposed to be based on what others do, say, or think. However, it is incredibly frustrating to see professed followers of Jesus supporting someone who represents the exact opposite of everything Jesus stood for. In fact, it's disgusting and shakes me to the core. I refuse to normalize Trump's presidency and the current events that are unfolding. I'm far from perfect and far from having my faith figured out, but instead of ignoring current events and blindly devoting myself to praying that a heart as egregious as Trump's would change, I'm going to focus on living by and doing what Jesus considered to be the greatest commandment: