Letting Go of Fear
2016 Yoga Teacher Training

Response to Donald Trump's Election to the Presidency

My 1st post the day after the election:

To my friends who are heartsick and terrified by the election results, friends afraid of being persecuted because of your religion or race, afraid of losing healthcare, or other issues of justice, please know that you are not alone. I will stand with you and fight harder than before for justice and peace for all. Trinity Cathedral is open today for prayer and we are looking at other special services. I will be preaching this Sunday.

To my friends who voted for Donald Trump, please know I respect your decision. I don't assume you made the choice out of malice toward any. I look forward to joining forces as we work together to bring God's kingdom closer for all.

A few hours later:

 Many are devastated by the results of the election, and gripped in a debilitating fear. I certainly understand. My imagination has been running out all kinds of scenarios that don’t look good for people on Obamacare, immigrants, refugees, people of color, Muslims, and others. While I have friends who are pleased with the election results, right now, my heart is with those who are reeling.

From a place of anxiety and fear, I remembered Jeremiah’s real estate purchase. Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonians. It was about to be overrun. And Jeremiah bought a house. It was an act of defiant hope in the future. Jeremiah was saying, “things look impossible now, but this is not the end of the story. God’s will be done.” It is similar to Desmond Tutu telling soldiers who were arresting him at the height of Apartheid, “It’s not too late to join the winning side.”

For many, this time looks impossibly dark. But dark times have come and dark times have gone. For me, it is a wake up call to be even more involved in fighting for justice. I know many people who believe in justice who have been quiet or silent. Not any more. I remember a similar feeling when Prop 8 passed in California and many of us stood on the steps of the Capital pledging to fight for marriage equality. This is a similar moment. Don’t lose heart. Love will win.

It is also a time to stop hating. That means stop hating the haters as well. Evil works by preying on our fear – pushing us to hate those we perceive as a threat. We need to respect the dignity of every human being. To quote Jesus, we need to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Don’t let the cruelty of others rob us of our ability to love.

So my prayer is that we can keep our hearts open and loving as we fight even harder for justice and peace for all.

For my church newsletter, two days after the election:

 
While there is much to reflect on these days after the election, I would like to mention two. First, some members of Trinity Cathedral voted for Donald Trump and are celebrating. Others voted for Hillary Clinton and are crushed. The people who voted differently have, I believe, generally the same values: values centered around the Baptismal Covenant through which we pledge to seek and serve Christ in all people, strive for justice and peace and respect the dignity of every human being.  They just have a different idea of how those values should be lived out, and which presidential candidate would best lead us at this time. There are forces at work trying to divide people into hate-filled groups. We do not need to give into those forces. We are a community grounded in mutual love and respect.

The second thing I want to mention is that there are people at Trinity who are genuinely, existentially threatened by the outcome of this election. Some are disabled and rely on Obamacare. The election of Donald Trump who has pledged to abolish the Affordable Care Act has these folks very scared, and with good reason.  Others are afraid of an increase of racism, sexism and anti-lgbt bigotry by people who have used his candidacy as a reason to threaten others.  Others are afraid that the very little already spent on social service programs that keep people alive will be cut. Regardless of who you supported for president, we need to care about these concerns and those in our community who are hurting. To that end, I am hosting an interfaith service at the Cathedral on Saturday at 5:00 pm.  It is a chance for us to provide pastoral care to people in our community who are struggling.

In a world being ripped apart by hatred, I am proud to be part of a community of mutual love and support.

 

My sermon the Sunday following the election:

 
 
 

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