Despite what some pseudo-Christian ‘evangelicals’ would have you think, this country was founded on (among other things) religious freedom. That’s freedom OF religion as well as freedom FROM religion. I am not Christian. I haven’t considered myself to be even remotely Christian in a very long time. But in the way I think, in what I do and how I feel I seem to be more ‘Christian’ than those gun-totin’, bible thumpin’, holier-than-thou ultra conservative types who want to take away the freedom of everyone who isn’t straight, white, and just like them. And yes, I mean everyone–they’re coming not just for LGBTQ+ folk, but everybody not like them. Do you have extra-marital sex? Do you have recreational sex? Do you have house/roommates? Do you take birth control for any reason at all, including for your health? Are you disabled? Remotely ‘other’? They’re coming for you.
I had to look up the poem but it’s as relevant today as it was during WWII.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.Martin Niemöller
Martin Niemöller was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian who felt immense guilt over not having done more against the Nazi rise. In this country today we’re looking at the rise of a theocracy and fascism right here in the US, led by an ultra-conservative legion of poorly-educated thugs who think they’re a majority when actually, they’re in the minority of Americans. Most Americans want stricter gun control laws because Most Americans want to feel safe from yet another white dude with an AR15. Most Americans want sensible laws and don’t want to go back to segregation. Most Americans support LGBTQ+ rights, and the right to live their life how they see fit. Most Americans don’t give a shit what you do in your bedroom as long as it’s not hurting someone.
So what can Most Americans do to keep the hounds at bay? VOTE. Vote as if you life depends on it because–Surprise!–it does! Vote in local elections, for every elected post and vote in the most progressive of whoever you got. Hold your nose if you must but vote in every election you can. Join your local Indivisible or other local progressive grass-roots organization and do whatever you have the spoons to do, be it phone banking or just sending postcards. Every little bit helps.
And wherever and whenever you can, speak up. Record the police harassing that black dude who was just walking down the street. Be there for the drunk girl whose drink just got roofied. Don’t ignore injustice under the guise of ‘it doesn’t affect me’. It does, it will, it’ll be sooner rather than later.
And remember, if the actual Jesus came back today, he’d probably be deported or murdered by the police for being black. These people aren’t true Christians, and never were. Jeshua ben Yusuf was a socialist, through and through. Be more like him and less like those who really, truly aren’t about his teaching.