I was home alone when the Lemonade album premiered on HBO. My wife was out of the country on a work trip and I was browsing for something to watch on television. I remember thinking that I’d watch a little of it, find something else. But I was caught the moment I heard Warsan Shire‘s poetry. I was, as the kids say, shook.
this is life
I‘m not sure if I’ve ever seen more of California burning at one time. The last time this happened, by father was quick to tell me that it was because of how sinful the state is, given that San Francisco is a cesspool of “free love”; more specifically, California is burning because of all the gays and lesbians.
My father, though I love him dearly, is an idiot.
I mean, there is only so much you can do. This is a man who will change churches after years and years because he supposedly asked God for a sign and it came to pass. Truth is, he wanted to switch churches and he went looking for an excuse. It’s the same thing with his money. He likes to think he’s blessed, highly favored of God, but the reality is that he was given opportunities over other people because he was white and male and other white guys went to bat for him.
This post, though all signs say differently, is not about my father.
Trump wants to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Besides the obvious political ramifications of such a move, it would be easy to overlook why so many Christian Evangelicals are bending over backwards applauding this decision. In order to recognize why Evangelicals are giddy with excitement, you would need an entire childhood soaked in the the Christian Right. Like Brianna Wu for example:
I grew up in a Presbyterian family with church three times a week.
I think most people don’t know Evangelical support for Jerusalem is so the antichrist can come and the final battle of Armageddon can be fought at the site of the third Jewish temple.
Just, you know. FYI.
— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) December 10, 2017
I mean, can you believe that shit? And she isn’t lying. A lot of Christians believe that this is what is happening and they’re willing to watch the world burn just to prove that their beliefs are justified. If you think Trump did this on his own, you vastly underestimate the kind of power Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress have over Trump. It’s enough power that they’re willing to look over the Roy Moore scandal.
It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
– Luke 17:2
You have these asswipes in Alabama but God is burning California down because of its sin. That makes no sense, and yet, here we are the night before the Alabama election, waiting to see if a man twice-dismissed from his judgeship, who is a racist and an alleged sexual assaulter is going to become the next Alabama senator because Trump supported him, because the Republican party supported him, and ultimately, because Christians supported him.
Christians, whether the realize it or not, are in the midst of selling the soul of their faith for power. I am continually told on Twitter that these famous pastors don’t represent the faith. That good work is being done by thousands of other ministers, and yet, these same people fail to grasp the gravity of what is being done to their religion. Those outside the faith can’t tell the differences between good-guy-pastor and the Joel Osteens, the Franklin Grahams, or the Robert Jeffresses. They all claim to be doing the work of Christ, so how are these people supposed to derive a difference?
The plain honest truth is that they can’t. And more importantly, they won’t. As history marches forward, it will make no distinction until the regular Christian pastors start standing against racism en masse. There needs to be a definitive line drawn in the sand, the power base that Trump relies on needs to crumble, not only for the good of Christianity in America, but for the good of America.
Christians need to acknowledge that some of their beliefs need to come second to the needs of the rest of us. If you believe that the temple needs to be in Jerusalem for the return of your lord, fine, but don’t burn the world down trying to make it happen. Don’t dismiss climate change because the Earth is going to give way to your supposed glorious heaven. Don’t ignore women and children because God supposedly made men the spiritual head of the home, whatever the fuck that means. Don’t tout White Supremacy as the blessings of God.
Instead, your faith should mirror the story of Matthew 25:31-46, where you stand up for the disenfranchised, the homeless, the sick, the prisoner, and the refugee. Your faith should be one of social justice. And I don’t know why the fuck I need to explain this to you, but it appears that I have to.
Instead of that new church building, maybe go find some GoFundMe accounts and change some lives. Instead of that new church sound system, maybe you contact your local school district and make sure that every kid who needs a lunch has food to eat. Maybe instead of running your church like a business, you…I don’t know…don’t? What would that look like?
Some would say, like Jesus.
All of the pictures in this post were taken in California, and if you think it deserves the suffering it’s currently experiencing (like my father), then you can go fuck yourself.
Dearest, I feel certain that I’m going mad again.
– Virginia Woolf
Sometimes, a friend will text you in the earliest part of the morning saying they need you. And they’ll talk about how they feel alone and how they want to take all of their sleeping pills at once and you sit there, almost completely silent, because in your heart of hearts, you want to go too. And the only rope you have to save either of you is the thought that you might have to trudge through this life shy of a load-bearing friend, and chances are, your heart will collapse and both of you are fucked anyway. And it’s that self-preserving panic that’s going to do anything at all to save either of you, so you just grab a shovel and start dumping the guilt through the phone, scoop after desperate scoop, begging don’t you dare leave me, motherfucker, please don’t leave me alone and the voice on the other end of the phone won’t make even the simplest of promises to you because honest to god, everything is on the fucking table and that’s why they’re crying and that’s why you’re falling apart and fuck it all to hell, neither one of us wants to be here, not really, so it’s only the lies we’re shoveling about love and how life isn’t that bad that’s stemming the collapse of my heart, and jesus fucking christ that’s not much, but I don’t have anything else to say, just whispers. I can’t do this without you, please tell me you’re ok, don’t you dare leave me. Please. I can’t.