Like many people I have been disheartened since Trump was elected president, but I was overwhelmed with with love, and joy, and hope on Saturday watching women all over the world stand up together to say we won’t keep quiet. We will fight for what we believe in. I was at a conference this weekend and couldn’t make it out to a march, but I was bowled over by the number of women I personally know marching in cities around the country and even in Africa.
The past few months have given me a lot of time to reflect on my life, my beliefs, and what is important to me and what I’m going to do about it. How the Nazis came to power and how so few people did anything to stop their terrible acts is something that has been debated since it happened. As a psychology major I’ve read all those research studies that show how easily people buckle to authority and how easily they stay silent. I long ago, not proudly, acknowledged to myself that had I been living during that time I probably would not have spoken up. I don’t think I would have been a Nazi, but I don’t think I would have fought back either. I have always been someone who doesn’t like to make waves. I go along to get along. So I can definitely imagine myself just trying to navigate through whatever was happening without trying to offend anyone, but in my silence I would have been complicit.
This election rocked my faith to the core. I’ve known for a long time that most quote unquote Evangelical Christians and I don’t see eye to eye on many things, and I often wonder how we are possibly reading out of the same Bible. To see so many Christians not only vote for Trump but declare him a Godly man or God’s anointed to take back their country is just…I really have no words. Despite belonging to a church that teaches nothing but grace, mercy, love, and reconciliation, having a close group of Christian friends who live their faith seeking social justice, and having the wisdom of writers like Rachel Held Evans to remind me I’m not alone, this election still made me stop to ask what am I actually believing in. If the actions of this man are what Christianity is aligning itself with then what kind of God am I putting my faith in?
I won’t say that my heart is 100% healed or that I’ve completely opened it back up to God again, but I can at least hear him calling me in the most likely and unlikely of ways. There have been multiple sermons at my church that I have felt were written just for me in this time. Stuff like that is the likely, but you really don’t expect to have wonderful passages about finding Christian faith and calling the Religious Right he became deeply involved with to task written by a Jewish man inside of his book about creating the tv show “Saved by the Bell”. I also picked up the book “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” at the perfect time. It reminded me that people are not God. Religion is not God. I put my faith in something higher.
All this is the long wind-up to a question my friends in my Bible study and I were talking about, which is if you created a hashtag for what you wanted to live out in your life and have God work on you in 2017 what would it be? For me I decided it was #courage. The courage to speak up and to speak out on what I believe. I’m guessing there’s more than one person reading this who has no idea that I’m a Christian. That’s the just stay silent and not say anything when people might disagree part of me. Don’t talk about my faith in places that will cause tension. Don’t talk about all my liberal, progressive beliefs around people that might offend. Now is not the time to stay silent. So I’m trying to be courageous. To open up and speak out even when it makes me extremely uncomfortable.
So I will say to start that I am scared. I am scared of what the next 4 years will bring and how easily we might wind up in places we really don’t want to be. To have the first press conference of Trump’s administration be defending easily disproven lies is frightening. I said before the election on Facebook that the only person Trump cares about is himself. He cares about his ego and feeling powerful. If you’ve listened to anything he said during the campaign, his lies about how big the crowds are at the inauguration should not be a surprise. The fact that there are people who will already defend this lie and claim it to be true all the way from his administration to people in my Facebook feed is truly terrifying to me. If we are already at a place on day one where people will say an easily disproven lie is true, then where are we going to be when the lies aren’t so black and white? I will not stay silent and let these things pass anymore. I’m claiming the courage to stand up and call out the lies and defend the things I believe in.
After thinking about writing this since Saturday, this morning when I actually had time to sit down and do it I almost didn’t. But at the exact moment I was thinking about backing away and not putting this out there someone from NPR Music tweeted out a story to this song “Quiet” by a singer named MILCK written for the Women’s March. I don’t think it was a coincidence. It was God saying hey you remember that promise of courage you made and asked me to help you with? Well guess what here’s your reminder. Get to it.
Acapella version of part of the song being sung by a group of women during the march.
And the full studio version