I’m Stumped by Karen Leslie Hernandez


karen hernandezI’m stumped.

We’ve all seen and heard what Donald Trump has said in the public sphere…

“If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, I’d be dating her.”

“… a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

“Laziness is a trait in blacks.”

“@ariannahuff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”

“If I were running The View, I’d fire Rosie. I mean, I’d look her right in that fat, ugly, face of hers, and I’d say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.'”

On Christianity… “We’re gonna bring it back.”

“Build that wall, build that wall, build that wall…”

This and more brings to light that there is no doubt – Donald Trump is sexist, misogynistic, racist, bigoted, spiteful, immature, xenophobic, and all those other big words he cannot even pronounce.

He mocks disabled people, let’s his followers bully and physically harm attendees at his rallies, and he told Univision reporter Jorge Ramos, “… You haven’t been called. Go back to Univision,” after Ramos challenged Trump at a rally last year on his view of, “illegal immigration.”

But, there’s something that should be pointed out – that people are following and voting for him. And even worse, we all know at least one person who is voting for Donald Trump. I am embarrassed to say that I know at least three. I know several people close to me who voted for George W. Bush too. BOTH times! This was stunning enough to me. But, Donald Trump is different. Even Bush wasn’t as bad. And, I can’t believe I’m even writing that. Yet, it’s true. Donald Trump is a whole new piece of work.

Here’s the harsh truth.

Anyone who supports, in any way, and votes for Donald Trump, illustrates that they have no moral compass whatsoever. Supporters of Donald Trump illustrate that they are not on the side of humanity, or equality, or on the side of dignity. Supporters of Donald Trump do not understand the concept of grace, lack compassion, and have no understanding of the larger world at hand. Supporters of Donald Trump are bigoted, misled, misogynistic, sexist, and xenophobic. Those who support Donald Trump have no ethics, and are, clearly, if not outwardly racist, closet racists.

Harsh? Maybe. Truthful? Yes.

The worst part of Donald Trump supporters are the ones who claim to be Christian.

Who claim to stand with God.

Who claim that God is lost in our country and that we need to bring it back…

Christianity, that is.

I’m not sure about you, but my understanding of Christianity has nothing to do with, allows or calls for, or condones, any kind of morally corrupt behavior. My Christian practice allows for tolerance, kindness, compassion, love and understanding. Acceptance of all – regardless of race, religion, culture, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, and gender. Of course, nothing is perfect, I understand this. Yet, the reality is, no one can claim to be a true person of religious faith if they support such hatred and rhetoric. Period.

Donald Trump does not stand on the side of justice. His behavior and those who applaud it, do not exhibit Christian theology or ideology. This behavior and stance is abhorrent and unacceptable. Donald Trump does not exemplify any Christian values. Heck. Donald Trump doesn’t exemplify any values – at all.

Hatred is hatred. Pure and simple. Donald Trump supporters can dress up his stance in a million ways – he’s a “good manager.” “He’s not as corrupt as Hillary.” “He sees the problem with immigration in our country.” Blah, blah, blah. Justification of such racism is just that. There is no morality in racism. There are no ethics in hate. There is no compassion in ignorance.

Every day I wonder if Americans will seriously be stupid enough to vote for a man who has no qualifications whatsoever to be the President of the United States. Every day I fear for my Muslim and my Mexican brothers and sisters, and wonder what their futures will be, if Trump is elected. Every day I wonder  how our country has not evolved as I thought it had. Every day I wonder how I can even look my friends and family members who support such ignorance, in the eye, and not feel contempt. And more, I have such a huge loss of respect for anyone who supports Donald Trump.

I am at a loss, except to say that I am not afraid to speak out, even to those I love. I am not afraid to tell the truth and point out the obvious to the oblivious. I am proud to stand on the side of tolerance, understanding and love. I will not be a bystander to ugly behavior that harms people. Because that is where, as a Christian, I am supposed to stand. That is where God expects me to stand. Because that is where God stands.

It’s too bad that those who are blinded by their own fears can’t see God where She is standing. It’s their loss, and, I am afraid, might be America’s loss, if Trump were to win. How sad a state our country is in. And even more, that people are willing to follow someone horrible and greedy, with no morals, no ethics, and no regard for humanity whatsoever.

I’m stumped.

 

Karen Leslie Hernandez is a theologian and interfaith activist. With a focus in Christian-Muslim Understanding, as well as religious fundamentalism and extremism, Karen is the only theologian who is a Latina and a United Methodist, doing this type of theological work in the US. She has published with several media outlets including the Women’s United Nations Report Network, The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue/Studies, The Interfaith Observer, and she is the only Christian to publish an ongoing Op-Ed Column with OnIslam out of Cairo, Egypt. She loves to teach and last year designed and taught an Interfaith Dialogue workshop with Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Karen currently lives in San Francisco, is consulting with the United Religions Initiative, is an Ambassador with Parliament of the World’s Religions, and she also does Domestic Violence Faith Advocacy work across the US.

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Categories: Abuse of Power, Activism, Belief, Christianity, civil rights, communication, Community, Education, Faith, General, Human Rights, Justice, Politics, Popular Culture, Power relations, Race and Religion, Racism, Relationships, Violence

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8 replies

  1. Love your spunk and speaking truth to powers.

    Your version of Christianity is more like the one I would espouse if I were Christian.

    Sadly, for many Christians, Christianity means the great white father knows best. The father’s will in this version of Christianity is not always kind and merciful. He can also enforce his laws through harsh judgment and violence against those who do not follow His will. You and I might call this bad theology, but it too has its roots in the Bible and in Christian traditions and theologies.

    Like many others, I was raised in a family where it was assumed that father knows best, even when he put you over his lap and spanked you with a belt on your bare bottom. I imagine most Trump supporters suffered this kind of punishment or worse. My brothers did too, and I suppose that they and my father will be voting for Trump, but we don’t discuss politics, so I don’t really know.

    As Judith Plaskow once said, “the right question is theological.”

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  2. Karen Leslie Hernandez, I applaud your courage and guts to speak truth to power!

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  3. Karen, Thanks for your post and your caring for our democracy. The people who follow Trump are of concern to me- if he looses and I hope he does- they will still be around. Democracy is fragile and each of us has to practice it if we want our country to survive. That means respectful listening to people who don’t always agree with you.
    It’s easy to avoid Trump supporters and I encourage you to focus on a common concern- clean water, pure rivers, fresh air, animals that are treated with respect, whatever you can find in common. Then try to solve any problems with that area of life. This is hard and I realize talk is cheap. For me, it requires careful listening- to the feelings and the helplessness and lack of representation many of us feel. It’s corporate culture and values that are ruining our nation, not immigrants or whatever scapegoat Trump brings up.
    He does not give up and we can match that determination and resolve.
    Do not wilt or withdraw from political discussion because of the violence his supporters so often present. Trump supporters behave in ways that are un-American, mistaken and not what makes this country worth living in. Freedom of religion is one of the founding principles so Muslims are free to be here- get over it Trump. I love my country,
    the land and the people. I hate the government and do not look forward to whatever Hillary Clinton has in store for us. There is no substitute for
    active citizenship especially from aware women. Let us know what you need to hang in there until we win again and again.

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  4. I voted for Bernie in the primary and will vote for Hillary in November. I am particularly distressed by the people on the left who cannot overcome their animosity for Hillary in order to vote for the most progressive platform (which Bernie helped craft) the Democratic Party has ever adopted. So many people will suffer if the Republicans win the white house. A third party or write-in vote may ease an individual conscience but leaves so many lives and rights at risk. More perhaps in my October blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hillary Clinton makes no claims to perfection, and I will most certainly be voting for her in November, and not just because she is opposing Trump, but because she is a woman. Since we have never had a female president, how can we possibly know what Hillary has in store for us?

    I don’t know where “god” is standing in all this because I am not a Christian. I am a woman with indigenous roots who believes that militarism changes the way men relate to women, the earth and the land…that “power over” is ultimately doomed to failure…and that Trump’s insanity will put us over an edge we will not be able to recover from.

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  6. It is indeed a scary, but interesting, time. I came across an article about North American society (particularly the USA) and it’s focus on entertainment. I see the young people at Trump rallies and they seem to think they are at a football game. The media encourages this, ignoring the serious issues facing us all. I think Trump’s campaign would dry up if everyone turned off their media! As it is, it’s mass crowd manipulation in place of serious thought. A “reality show” campaign. Manipulated by …..???

    During this crisis, people who speak out for common decency, justice, compassion, are needed more than ever. I think that most of humanity is grateful for you.

    Our little Canadian newspaper political cartoon the other day was titled “Trumpster” – a garbage dumpster that looked like Trump with a mouth vomiting garbage. But here too, and probably in many places, there are those who think it’s a joke.

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  7. Yes, the violent intensity of the conversation that centers around this presidential candidate is alarming and disappointing. I feel it too, and found much healing reading your bold, honest, and conscious words. I have to breath and calm myself to not get anxious to leave somewhere not here, but then I know the problems of suffering writing all over my fears and feelings. I guess to continue doing what we are doing, trying to be mindful and peaceful ourselves and start dialogues with others that hopefully can grow into effecting a more mindful humanity over all. I think just breathing and being and speaking are imperative and effective tasks. I know also not else what to do. I would also say that it must be very hard to see the suffering the world endures due to the structures of greed and dominance and profit when a person is so financially comfortable as he must be. But I also know that he suffers in some way because he does not give up his power to be kind and empowering. The loudest voices sometimes block our view of ourselves and others who wish for something different. I’m so glad we gather together on this site to keep reminding ourselves we too exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I look forward to reading the headlines the day after the election.

    AMERICA TO TRUMP: YOU’RE FIRED.

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