You got your preferred Supreme Court justice – even though that was only possible because Senate Republicans left the high court short-handed for a year for nakedly political purposes.
You got a pro-life candidate back in the White House – even though the abortion rate had already fallen to an all-time-low under a pro-choice president but may go back up because of policies implemented by a pro-lifer that undermine health care and comprehensive contraception coverage provisions that helped push the rate down.
You won the war on Christmas – even though no such thing ever existed, you were never prevented from saying “Merry Christmas,” and your brand of faith has long been dominant in the United States and remains so.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Congratulations on your pyrrhic victories.
All it cost you was your integrity.
All you had to do was make a man who rose to national political prominence on open bigotry president of the United States.
And relinquish all credible claims of being the party of family values and faith.
And embrace policies that include stealing children from their parents, and maybe forever separating them.
And excuse a diabolical level of lying and misdirection.
And declare that morality and character and principles no longer matter.
You’ve mistaken bombast for bravery, cruelty for toughness, mockery as plain talk.
You’ve criminalized the desperation of the poor and oppressed and weaponized your fear.
You’ve demanded civil discourse in service of the uncivil and inhumane.
And you can’t even see it.
That’s why you recite verses from the Christian Bible that were once used to legitimize slavery and lynching and Jim Crow.
That’s why every time someone like me dares to mention these realities, you are more likely to lash out at the message than soul search.
You embrace fake news to never have to consider things anew.
You believe so fervently in the ill will and evilness of the other, you get taken in by every conspiracy theory that purportedly confirms what you already want to believe.
Instead of admitting that you are afraid of the changes of a rapidly diversifying nation – and acknowledge that natural discomfort with grace and humility – you lash out and cry that this country is yours, and yours alone, or should be.
You ignore the log in your eye by focusing on the speck of dust in the eyes of those with whom you disagree.
That’s why the image of God others see in you is not a comforter, but rather a hypocritical tyrant unworthy of the title Almighty.
You want grace for you and those you love while refusing to extend it to others.
You’ve let your suffering – real and imagined – harden your heart and callous your soul.
But it’s not too late.
It’s not too late to open your eyes to the damage being done to this country, and your faith, in your name, with your complicity.
We’ve experienced worse and look back with astonishment that those who should have led others through the darkness instead succumbed to their primal instincts.
But there were others who found the courage to confront themselves and helped perfect this nation and made the God they serve proud.
It wasn’t easy. It won’t be easy today. Making the wrong right never will. It means sometimes de-prioritizing your short-term wants for a longer-lasting good.
We are amid a reckoning. We are deciding who we want to be.
You must pick a side; each of us has to pick a side. None of us is exempt.
Choose wisely. But first make sure that decision is being made by the best part of you, not the worst.