Dear Tina Campbell,
Words cannot begin to express my frustration in having to write this letter. You are the latest in an ongoing band of Christian entertainers who have come out in wayward support of Donald J. Trump. It is not that you aren’t entitled to your political beliefs. But by your own words, this isn’t even about political beliefs. It is based on misguided interpretation of the word of God as it pertains to us advocating for justice and resisting tyranny. It is a misguided ignorance and fear that is cloaked in religiosity. This, perhaps, makes it more dangerous than if it were about politics.
One Nation, Under God
I understand that Mr. Donald Trump is our new president, not our God, so as a citizen I choose to have a sensible expectation of him, accompanied by much prayer for him, and a complete dependency on God to work through him, as well as the others that are in office, to secure the welfare of this nation. tweet
Without fail, each time the sociopolitical climate of the world cannot be rationalized by cliché gospel such as “God’s gon’ do it” and “Jesus will work it out,” too often people of faith become selfishly apathetic. Certainly, I agree that Cheeto-in-Chief is not our God. Yet, since its inception, the United States has led with an imagining of God that sees those who are not heterosexual white males as less than human.
Since America was founded as “one nation under God,” it has been marked by the bloodshed and dehumanization of the ‘other.’ Was America not “one nation under God” when the genocide of indigenous people occurred? Surely, America considered herself “one nation under God” during the transatlantic slave trade. Tina, our ancestors were only counted as 3/5ths of a human in order to increase the voting and representation of slave states. We were nothing more than a commodity in the compulsive obsession with power.
This was a nation under God when Chinese immigrants were lynched and killed for providing cheap labor. United under God we are when we threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of Mexican immigrants because of our deeply entrenched racism. Even today as our borders are closed to Muslims of legal and permanent status, we still claim to be a nation under God. Did our God abandon the beloved nation? Did Spirit turn a blind eye when these atrocities occurred by the hand of the nation under Him?
Whose Fruit Are We?
You say that you’ve chosen to opt of fear of the unknown, but your decision to silence rightful criticism of this administration in Jesus’ name says otherwise. Your decision to cleave to our all-too-common refrain that “all we can do is pray” says that you’ve chosen to make a home in fear. Yes, there is an absolute truth in the clichéd “if God is for us nothing can successfully stand against us,” but FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD (James 2:26).
I believe that the same God that created all of us has deposited greatness inside of him that goes far beyond what many of us have seen and what many of us could imagine. I believe that God can do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us. tweet
You believe “the same God that created all of us has deposited greatness inside of him that goes far beyond what many of us have seen.” Tina, I ask this of you: where is your spirit of discernment? I know you love the scriptures so I’d like to point out a few for your consideration.
The Bible tells us that we will know them by their fruits and that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matthew 7:16; 18). We also know that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
When Toupee Fiasco said he grabs women by the pussy, whose fruit is this?
When he spent $85,000 to run full page smear campaigns against the wrongfully convicted (and later exonerated) Central Park Five, a group of Black and Latino teens, whose fruit is this?
When he reinstated the global gag order that would defund international women’s health organizations that even breathe the word abortion, whose fruit is this?
When he closed the nation’s borders indefinitely to families fleeing slaughter in Syria and established “religious tests” for Muslims, whose fruit is this?
You can “choose to believe that the same power that comes from Almighty God is at work in Mr. Donald Trump,” but his fruit says otherwise. Make no mistake about it, Tina: this is the fruit of a corrupt tree. No amount of praying is going to change the corrupted heart therein—because he has no desire or intent to change. He’s made a home in corruption, evil, and deceit. In church speak, ya boy is a worker of iniquity.
All Lives Matter*: Terms & Conditions Apply
I believe that no creed, nor color, nor class, nor status of people are better than the other, but we are all valuable; we are all necessary. I believe that all people and all lives matter, including that of Mr. Donald Trump and his family. tweet
It’s a nice sentiment that you believe this, but the leadership that you support does not. Your choice to believe that Mango Mussolini shares this belief is an alternative fact. All Lives Matter is rhetoric used to silence warranted dissent from those who’ve been constantly shown their lives do not, in fact, matter. Constant mistreatment of people who are neither white, male, nor heterosexual abounds.
The Mandarin Molotov banned entry from Muslims of 7 countries who have not been part of fatal attacks against the United States in decades. Yet two countries where ISIS is supported and 19 of the 9-11 terrorists hail from somehow remain unscathed. It’s not happenstance that those countries not included are also places of business interest for him. That’s the fruit of ignorance, fear, obsession with power, and having been swallowed whole by greed. It would seem to me that, to the man you’ve placed a redemptive hope in, all business interests matter more than all lives.
Resistance is as Christian as Forgiveness Is
I believe that, as the Bible establishes, and as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life has proven, we will accomplish more with love and unity than we ever will with indifference and division. I believe that the constituency of this nation should pray more for our leaders, and complain less about them. tweet
The Bible has also established a course of action when encountering evil: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The vocal dissent, protests, and unrest that is occurring falls in line with what God has called us to do in the face of injustice. Evil, the devil, is at the core of the sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, classism, racism, ableism, and all other broad systemic disenfranchisement that is the hallmark of Trump’s character. ALL of these things lead to inequitable opportunities for “all lives [that] matter.” THAT is what is being resisted. And rightfully so.
Perhaps because of your own fear, you’re attempting to silence those of us who refuse to go quietly. As a person of faith, we are especially called to do more than offer sanctified lip service in the face of injustice. Prayer without works doesn’t help us bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6). Prayer without works doesn’t heal acts of oppression.
As I’ve said previously, God is not coming down to wave his hand over injustices and *magic sparkle* them away. If we believe that God uses people, WE are responsible for correcting injustice. WE are responsible for adding feet to our prayers and moving our words from empty banter to weighted declarations.
You continue to use convenient scripture to silence dissent and cover for someone with whom those scriptures do not align. What is more prideful than a leader who is so shook by disagreement that he tries to blackout their voices? What is more boastful than someone spending the better part of the first week of their leadership reminding others of the power of his position while lamenting attendance numbers at his inauguration? What is more self-seeking than making determinations for the safety and livelihood based on your own self-interests? How can you rejoice in truth when you seek to squash it with your own alternative facts?
Forgiveness for the Unrepentant
I’m so grateful that I have an inherent right to choose my perspective and, because of that, I choose to forgive all things that I have read, seen, and/or heard from or about Mr. Donald Trump that I deem as hurtful or offensive tweet
You’ve made a choice to forgive all things. For some reason, you seem to believe that forgiveness is an erasure of the truth. Certainly when you forgave your husband for his infidelity, it didn’t erase the truth of its occurrence. I am almost certain you’d be outraged if he expected that of you. Yet here you are, asking us to do just that. You’re forgiving someone who’s neither asked through repentance nor deserves through contrition. That’s not Godly, that’s just passivity wrapped up in faith.
You can still have love and rebuke what is wrong. Even God chastens those whom He loves. Don’t tell me you don’t know how to be loving even in the spirit of correction. I see y’all doing every time you holler “love the sinner, hate the sin.”
I Choose to Stand as We the People
I choose to believe in President Donald Trump. I choose to stand with him, and pray for him…as a follower of Jesus Christ and a firm believer in the Holy Bible tweet
It is honorable that you choose to pray with and stand with him, I guess. Although I’m really unsure how two can walk together unless they agree (Amos 3:3). How long do we pray while watching the world implode around us? How long do we pray and witness families torn apart by racially-motivate border closures? What do we pray for as healthcare that is vital to so many is dismantled with no better solution in sight?
But Tina, just because it’s not at your doorstep doesn’t make it any less of an imminent threat. It is easy to discount people’s fears as discontent, disagreeableness, and uncooperative spirit when we see no direct impact. Still, the lives of so many are under constant threat by the stroke of a pen. Your use of your faith in God as a rationale of support is nothing more than your own selfish political apathy. And I don’t think you have the good sense to be shamed about it.
I choose to believe that America is great, always has been great, and is becoming greater because it is in God that we trust. He is the founding father of this nation, and there is no failure in Him. I chose to believe that a people led by President Donald Trump, united under God, will never be defeated. tweet
Well Tina, I choose to believe that I’ve been called by God to do justice. I choose to believe that my faith should be used as a tool to liberate, not imprison. I choose to not use my Christianity as a covering for cowardice. I choose to believe that a people oppressed will rise up and lift their voices, acts, and spirit against evil. I know that if we continue to resist, we will never be defeated.