On November 8th, white evangelical Christianity and I called it quits. After years of mutual suspicion, disagreements about leadership, and public fights, we have shut the door on our decade-long relationship.
Until last Tuesday, I was still holding on to my last bit of association with evangelicals. Having been an evangelical for about half my life, I am devoutly centered around its tenets: conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism and activism. However, with the election of Donald Trump, the evangelical church has compromised and discarded its moral integrity and historic values for political power and high ground.
How we vote reveals our values. At this moment in history, it is measurable. White evangelicalism has conflated love for God and commitment to scripture with conservative politics.
Evangelicalism is a package deal now. It is no longer simply conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism and activism. It is allegiance to a political right now led by a man who’s racism, sexism, nativism, ableism, and homophobia are now the known choice to people who step into pews every week to worship a God meticulously crafted into their own image. If over 80 percent of voting white evangelicals cast their ballot for Trump, the historic connotations of evangelical tenets no longer apply to the religious Frankenstein that has piece-by-piece replaced a commitment to Jesus with social politics that effectively marginalize massive subsets of the population.
It must be noted that white evangelicals were courted. Trump wined and dined evangelicals with promises of “family values,” pro-life strides, gun rights, and “making America great again” by employing the aggression and values of white supremacy culture. Trump proposed to evangelicalism as his fourth wife, and they overwhelmingly agreed. The irony of Trump’s relational history being riddled with adultery and divorce is that the white evangelical church has now committed adultery with its own moral values, and sacred texts for the socio-political power that he offers—at the expense of marginalized people, specifically people of color.
Evangelicalism has, in this election, set itself in opposition to the best interests of my people whom it claims to wish to evangelize. I refuse to hitch myself to a collective of religious people who actively vote to say that my life doesn’t matter and then quickly turn to share supposed good news about a God now represented by a demagogue and his people.
So I’m done.
I am done with normalizing white social and political values in the name of scripture.
I am done with the alt-right claiming to represent my interests while refusing to defend my body against state violence.
I am done with politics and theology that claim to love the unborn but disregards the living.
I am done sitting in pews worshipping White American Jesus alongside those who do not believe that my life matters.
Maybe at the end of the next four years, white evangelicals—weathered by a Trump presidency—will come out on the other side being whom they claim. But until then, evangelicalism and I must part ways as I cannot be in a relationship with someone that claims to care about my soul, but disregards my body. White evangelicalism has finally gotten exactly what it wanted, and it wasn’t anyone who looks like me.