On the last day of my silent retreat at Mt. Angel Abbey, I stood before the Abbey church and wept with a woman I’d just met. We, like several others, had come to the retreat to escape the frenzy of the 2016 Election. It was my gift to myself, this quiet, this settling, the putting on the Armour of God. And by the way, that might not look like what you think it ought to look like.
This friend I met at Mt. Angel, she’s an Air Force daughter. We had that in common, the military lifestyle. She lives in the big city. I live in rural Oregon, almost Washington. She is black. And she is afraid. I am white and I am not afraid.
But I am in a fury.
It’s okay, Paul Young told me later that day when we met for coffee, to be in a fury. It is part of the grieving process.
And that fury you feel, that is the fury of God for the oppressed.
Those words of Paul’s have been life-giving to me this week. I have written so much on grief that one popular snarky white man writer once referred to me as the “grief police.”
It took me years of growing up and years of therapy to understand what happens to a child who is denied permission to grieve the loss of a parent. I will never again apologize for my grief.
And I, like millions of others (watch them on the streets of Portland, LA, NYC), are grieving. We are lamenting. We are in a fury. A fury that reflects our being made in the image of an all-loving, all-inclusive God.
And if you can’t handle that fury, that lamenting, bugger off.
But do not tell us to get over it.
Don’t tell us how much hope you have for the country with Trump as your president. #NeverMyPresident
Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey and many other rich people are now calling for people to just calm down. Even Obama who for months has told us Trump is emotionally unfit and ill-tempered wants us to settle down.
Settling is the problem.
Don’t believe for a minute that Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey and President Obama aren’t afraid. They are scared shitless.
What they are most scared of right now is the civil unrest that is taking places in the streets of America as people who really care about their fellow human beings are demanding that we not normalize abuse.
They want us to settle down because no one is prepared for the country this election has created.
They want us to play nice because civil unrest leads to financial unrest and if there is anything the wealthy like best, it is the status quo that keeps money in their coffers.
We have had times of Us and Them in this country before. The Us and Them lead to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Civil Rights, etc.
Settling down after this election season calls for performing a spiritual lobotomy.
Settling down and playing nice now would be to normalize Trump’s abusive character. Asked by the Wall Street Journal if he regretted any of the inflammatory rhetoric he employed during the election, Trump said no, because that language won him the election.
This is the man Franklin Graham calls godly?
Settling down and playing nice is to accept white nationalism as a way of life.
Settling down and playing nice is to say to kids that it is okay to call Mexicans rapists, to grab a woman by the pussy, to mock the disabled, to hate on Muslims, to reject LGBQT people.
Settling down and playing nice is to put being an American above the humanity of others.
The very last thing any Christ follower should do at this point is settle down and play nice.
We must reject Trump and pray earnestly to remove him from office, swiftly.
We must pressure the the electoral college to not normalize Trump or his abusive ways.
We must pressure our representatives, local and state and national, into not normalizing Trump and his abusive character.
The very last thing we should do is play nice.
If WE THE PEOPLE had played nice and settled down throughout the history of this country, white people would still own black people.
Don’t listen to those calling you to settle down.
Listen to the heart of God.
The Crucifixion was always an act of inclusion.
Anything that calls us to act in a way that excludes or demeans others is evil. The Scriptures are clear on this. We are to reject evil. Flee it and Trump embodies evil. We have the video-taped proof of that. Just head over to You Tube.
When Paul Ryan says he hates that people are afraid and tries to say they have no reason to be afraid, he has his head up his white behinney.
Women, blacks, Latinos, Hispanics, Gays, Lesbians, Trans, Muslims, and anyone one who loves any of these has reason to be worried sick about a Trump presidency.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is looking out for their own vested, most likely, financial, interests.
My inbox and my phone has been deluged these past few days with people afraid.
Yes, Jesus is still in control and yes, we are to trust in Him alone, but that does not mean in anyway we are to play nice. There is a reason it is called the Armour of God.
When playing nice means oppressing a people group, WE THE PEOPLE must stop the person in charge of such oppression.
To do otherwise is to be compliant in the face of evil.
And when good people do nothing, evil triumphs.
WE THE PEOPLE must never, ever normalize Trump and his abuses.
WE THE PEOPLE must stop Trump and his oppressive regime.
Karen Spears Zacharias is a Gold Star Daughter and a Christ Follower and an author.