The recent presidential election has been difficult to take if you consider yourself a progressive. Lot’s of recriminations. Lots of hand-wringing. Lots of anxiety.
I know. I’ve been stewing in a potent bouillabaisse of despair.
How could we elect a guy whose incompetence is surpassed only by his malign intent toward everyone not white and male?
How did we not know what lurked in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, things so disturbing to good liberals that much of the reaction post-election has centered on realizing we are a country capable of excusing bigotry we’d thought we’d somehow hemmed in?
How did this happen?
What’s in store for so many in the days ahead?
Believe me, I get it.
Having said that, however, I should point to a ray of hope for my tribe: There has been a profound reconsideration of progressive churches.
I came to church yesterday to find all kinds of new faces in the congregation. I received a significant number of messages over the past week, letting me know that, in light of the fear of and for those who feel targeted by the new administration, there is an urgent feeling about the need to bind together in communities of resistance and protection. And since progressive churches are already set up to channel that kind of desperation for solidarity, it would not surprise me in the least if our current situation became the impetus that spurred a rejuvenation of the relevance and vocation of progressive Christian communities.
If that’s the case, and you happen to participate in a progressive congregation, what are you doing to ensure that African Americans, LGBTQ people, Latinx, women, Muslims, refugees, Jews, and the disabled know of your willingness to live in solidarity with them?
What are you doing to take a stand against the bigotry and violence that has been unleashed? So, it hasn’t happened in your community yet, but what steps are you taking to make certain that it doesn’t?
How are you joining hands with those who now live in fear that their livelihoods, their dignity, or their lives might be stolen from them?
This is an important opportunity for progressive churches to step up and do what we talk so ceaselessly about—learn to love and welcome those left behind by the powers and principalities.
What if Donald Trump’s election is the best thing to happen to progressive churches in a while?
I pray we find out.