Thursday, February 9, 2017

Radical Christian Trumpism

Earlier this week, Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin was asked about why in the list of terrorist attacks around the world from the Trump administration left off the attack on the mosque in Quebec, killing six men as they prayed.  Duffy said "there is a difference" between the type of terrorist attack at the mosque and those motivated by support for the militant group Islamic State, or ISIS.  "You don't have a group like ISIS or Al-Qaeda that's inspiring people around the world to take up arms and kill innocents," Duffy said.  I disagree.  There is a militant ideology that has been inspiring both terror attacks and actions in the United States.  It is Radical Christian Trumpism (RCT).  RTC inspired the attack on the mosque that Duffy simply brushes off as no big deal, because those influenced by RCT do not see Muslim lives as equal to who they see as real Americans.  RCT also has inspired various violent acts against individuals around the country.  There has been a rise in other forms of RCT inspired acts, almost 100 Jewish Community Centers in the US have received bomb scares, forcing little children out into the winter weather in some cases.  We also have seen people on video treating people of color, women wearing hijab, and others with vocal disrespect citing Trump's election as some kind of immunity from acceptable social behavior.  These are just a few of the signs of RCT infecting our nation.  The leader of this ideology is using the power he has to block fully vetted people from coming to the United States, because he sees them as not worthy of our great nation.  And he is being praised by leaders of the White Supremacist movements like David Duke.  RCT is an insidious ideology that is finding its way into many places.  One thing that it has done is make reality distorted.  From the number of people at the inauguration,  to claiming terror attacks that never happened, to suggesting that people said things they never have.  It also empowers weak leaders to attack a woman trying to drop knowledge on the Senate and question the existence and independence of the courts.  One very large (both in size and scope) radio host even suggested that the judiciary has no place in interpreting law if not mentioned in the law.  Seriously, that you can write judicial review out of the law.

RCT is an ideology that can infect many, but it should not be confused with Christianity.  We must stand with our Christian neighbors who are fighting alongside us as they fight the influence of this ideology on others.  It is a small but vocal minority.  They only use Christianity as a shield to bloc criticism, claiming victimization as Christians when they don't get their way.  This can be seen in how they react to decorated coffee cups, the words Happy Holidays and the existence of people who can be sexually and emotional aroused by someone of the same sex.  You need be aware that this is not most people who call themselves Christians, so be careful not to generalize.

To beat back this ideology we must use a few simple tactics.  Call out those who promote what are the sacraments of RCT, alternative facts.  Always bring reality, and document it.  They may be allergens to those with RCT influence, but over time reality will prevail.  Do not succumb to hate.  It is easy to hate people who look at humans and see something less than human.  It is an appropriate response.  But do it private and then fight the good fight.  Think of those civil rights leaders like John Lewis and MLK who acted putting love first.  Call your representatives and Senators and tell them how you feel about the role of RCT in policy.  Go to town hall meetings and other events.  Hold the media responsible for calling it out.  You should also inoculate your friends, children, and peers by making sure you don't go down the rabbit hole of social media, passing along untrue, rude and angry notes will only empower those infected with RCT.

It won't be easy to deal with people who can see reality that is right in front of them.  You will be tired.  But there are ways to find strength.  Think of Elizabeth Warren, "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted". Think of 20 rabbis arrested to show support for the American value of taking in refugees. Think of the world-wide Women's March on January 21st. Think of airport protests that popped up so quickly.  Think of those Democrats in office who are standing up to the ideology.  And think of the Republicans who stand against it, Senators McCain and Graham who have been vocal for over a year. Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine who voted against Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, and the growing number of Republican pundits who are fighting back.  There are more of us.  We will win in the long run.

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