I will be naming our religious values because I think people will be hearing them with fresh ears.
I will be making very clear that the president-elect has egregiously violated each one.
I will be outlining the attributes of the God of our tradition and reaffirming the welcome and inclusion of atheists and agnostics among our religious community. The God of our tradition is a God of justice, inclusion, creative diversity, a source of love to ALL humans, however they love, whatever their bodily ability, color, or size, gender or non-gender.
I will be claiming that the truth shall set us all free, and that the truth is that many white people in America have no sense of the tragic, because most white people in America have bought into the American myth of the “American dream” and had full access to it. I will not be trying to make anyone “feel better,” because this is not about feelings.
I will be talking about where we find our strength, and how to mobilize to put it in action.
I will be gently reminding frightened white people that people of color have been experiencing what they are feeling for a long time now, and that liberal white folks should not arrive in activist spaces needing to process feelings and alarm that are new to them. These feelings are not new to queer folk, people of color, Jews and many women who live unprotected by “wife and mother” status (which doesn’t protect all women, of course!).
I will be celebrating the blessing of covenanted community — God’s relentless effort made in love to make of us A PEOPLE, which teaches us again and again every day that what happens to one of us happens to all of us.
I will be giving thanks to God and to human love and wisdom for the gift of community and for the daily opportunity to feel amazed, awed and grateful for the reality of interdependence rather than frightened or threatened by it.
I will be sharing what it has been like in recent years to be a single, feminist, unmarried, non-mom with a strong voice and a fat body, and how I have had a front row seat to the misogyny, pornography-addled imagination and entitlement of American men of many colors, classes, immigration status and education levels. I have never before spoken about this but it is time. It is the basis for my preparedness for a Trump victory.
I will not be talking about Hillary, first women anythings, or analyzing what happened. The New York Times can do that, and there are already many marvelous think-pieces out. I will not be quoting from them because my job and honor and responsibility is to speak to our religious values, our foundational beliefs and our community.
I will be clarifying for those who voted for Trump that the love of God and the love of the church and the minister are not contingent on how anyone voted. I will tell them about things that have been happening in the past few days in the name of Trump: harassment, threats, hate crimes, militias breaking up rural LGBTQ support groups, women being sexually assaulted with cries of “Make America great again!” I will tell them that we believe in responsibility for all of us, and that they are the ones who can speak to other Trump supporters about what the election does NOT mean. Those who voted against him are considered losers by the Trump Thugs. We have no voice with them and I for one have no intention whatsoever of trying to build bridges or listen to those who are crowing right now. If they want to talk to me later, fine. Right now, I will focus my energy on supporting those who will be most directly harmed by his hatred and bigotry. It is on Trump supporters who claim not to be racist, xenophobic, homophobic and misogynist to speak to their own. Leash your dogs, Trump supporters. They’re running wild in the streets.
I will be having a little girl give our Centering Thought and it will be given with great volume and vigor. It is from Angela Herrera and it goes like this,
Don’t leave your broken heart at the door;
Bring it to the altar of life.
Don’t leave your anger behind;
It has high standards
And the world needs vision.
Bring them with you,
And your joy
And your passion.
Bring your loving,
And your courage
And your conviction.
Bring your need for healing,
And your power to heal.
There is work to do
And you have all you need to do it
Right here in this room. – Angela Herrera
What will you be doing, my loves?
Yesterday I just happened to have a clergy meeting on my calendar with Jewish and Christian colleagues. I just happened to have a community organizing meeting with Latinx, Black, white, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, UU, economically and educationally diverse people. Tonight I just happened to have on my schedule a community gathering that will feature a Syrian speaker and allow me to greet my Muslim neighbors with affection and support.
I take refuge in the thought of our strong networks which are getting stronger by the moment.