Reactions to the election news from around the church and communion continue to appear. There is lament but hope as well and determination to hold fast to faith and to continue the work of the Gospel.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has offered his thoughts in a video here.
Nurya Love Parish, who blogs at Churchwork writes;
Today I will tell my children that history has its wrinkles, but God triumphs in the end. I will send them into the world to be disciples of Jesus Christ today just as they were yesterday and I pray they will be tomorrow.
Disciples of Jesus Christ know something about betrayal, sin, and brokenness.
Disciples of Jesus Christ know that none of these are the last word.
My prayer today, and for the years to come (not just four, because the consequences of this presidency will last much longer than four years), is simply that God would show me the path to take as a disciple of Jesus to live up to these words:
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
I am going to love my whole country. I am going to love my neighbors with whom I profoundly disagree, whose votes I believe have cast the shadow of (self-)destruction over our nation and this fragile earth, our island home.
I am going to be honest, because that is what love does.
Sam Candler, Dean of the Cathedral of St Philip in Atlanta, GA at his blog, Good Faith and the Common Good wonders about how the power of feelings drove this campaign in unprecedented ways;
“I could not believe how little substance mattered in this presidential campaign. I believe Donald Trump is our president-elect because he tapped into our country’s latent feelings of anger and loss, fear and dis-respect. Many of us Americans do feel those things, and some of us felt we had no other way to express those feelings except with a vote. Trump appealed to our inner anger and frustration, even to our envy and jealousy that –no matter who we are, rich or poor—things do not always go our way. Sufficient evidence or consistent substance were not necessary.
In an opposite way, the candidacy of Hillary Clinton seemed unable to tap into any feelings at all. She was often characterized as aloof and unapproachable. Again, the substance of what she was offering the country seemed to matter only secondarily to the way people felt. She seemed the most free and available a few days before the election when the rain began to pour during her speech. With wet hair and clothes, she raised her hands in a most emotionally available way; it was unusual. People just didn’t like her, in much the same degree that people just didn’t like Donald Trump.”
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein, who blogs at Peacebang reminds her readers that their is still important work to be done and neighbor’s to be served in Christ’s name:
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with our God. Walk fiercely with our Muslim neighbor, our Mexican neighbor (I literally have both), our sister who is unexpectedly and very unhappily pregnant. Show up fiercely for them. Keep hollering that black lives matter and that “all lives matter” is a sorry rejoinder to that necessary cry of resistance. Keep studying, writing, and witnessing. Feed the hungry. Mobilize your communities. Work hard at keeping networks strong. Worship mightily.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby also offered prayers for healing and for wisdom on the part of the President-elect;
“As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, my continuing prayers are that the United States of America may find reconciliation after a bitter campaign, and that Mr Trump may be given wisdom, insight and grace as he faces the tasks before him. Together we pray for all the people of the United States.”
Also from the United Kingdom, Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland has a blog post titled; “The Trump of Judgment for Liberals.” He sees the election as a repudiation of the values that have guided the US and it’s allies since the end of the Second World War
“The true enormity of the defeat of Hilary Clinton has to be faced head on. I’m sorry for Hilary Clinton but this isn’t merely a personal defeat. It is a defeat of a whole set of liberal values that millions of us hold throughout the world. If we want to know where to go next with those values there are some tough truths that we need to face.
- Donald Trump didn’t win the election despite being a xenophobe. He won it because he was a xenophobe.
- Donald Trump didn’t win the election despite being sexist. He won it because he was sexist.
- Donald Trump didn’t win the election despite being anti-LGBT. He won it because he was anti-LGBT.
- Donald Trump didn’t win the election despite being unqualified for office. He won it because he was unqualified for office.
- Donald Trump didn’t win the election despite being against every progressive value people like me hold. He won it because he was.”
And he reminds us that the real fear and anxiety felt by so rarely results in a turn towards liberalism; that fear breeds insularity
“And one of the things that is wrong with the world is the presumption on the part of so many of us who hold liberal views that if things get more difficult for people then those same people will automatically turn with joy and thanksgiving to the solutions of the liberal-left. The reality is far from that. People who are frightened for themselves more often turn to the right.
This election result is a trump of judgement for those of us who are liberals. The #Brexit result was another such trump but I fear neither will be the last.”
And Peter Carrel, the New Zealand cleric behind Anglicans Down Under thinks that the election of Trump is divine punishment for Reality TV and other less-than-savory aspects of American culture (things can look different from far away)
For an America which has given itself over to the debauchery and quackery (reality TV) which passes for Hollywood entertainment, which has rorted the political and financial systems in favour of the 1%, and more recently doubled down its relentless critique of the Christian gospel, God has given them up in this election to the perfect expression of 21st century American culture.
The rest of the world is under this judgment too, the pain of it almost certainly to be felt in economic strife and stress, if not in many more wars or even one big WW3.
And our Cafe editor, Jon White, posted an opinion piece this morning where he named his lament, but also trust in the rhythms of the life of faith to carry us through;
“My heart trusts in you.” I know it is true, but right now my heart is sore. I suspect it will be sore for some time yet. While my brain reels and my heart grieves though I know that I can trust in the rhythms of the life of faith to carry me through. “You are the strength of your people, a safe refuge for your anointed,” the psalmist writes. For me I know that is true. There is solace in the rounds of daily prayer and scripture, the resilience of the prayer book will be sufficient while my own ebbs at low tide.
but ultimately, Christian faith is the proclamation of hope against the insistent murmur of fear;
We too have our part and our portion of the work; to live in the kingdom of God even while all the evidence points to the folly of doing so.
What other voices are you hearing? Please share in the comments