This Fourth of July it is worth pausing – perhaps for longer than we usually might – to consider this moment of history in the life of the United States of America. These are not ordinary times for our nation.
The “Make America Great Again” (#MAGA) movement has turned back the clock to darker periods of our history and given voice to hatreds that not long ago were considered too unacceptable to speak.
We have long battled against institutional racism, of course. Now, however, our fellow Americans and new immigrants to this nation must endure more open misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry.
The Enlightenment midwifed our Revolution into being. Hard questions were asked about religion and the divine right of kings. Scientific discoveries gave birth to the industrial revolution. Other nations fighting off the yoke of colonialism looked to the United States for inspiration as first fascism, and later communism darkened vast swaths of the globe.
Hope has long been found in the American Creed: E Pluribus Unum. Right now the bedrock American principle of pluralism is under attack. Donald Trump’s white nationalist movement to make America great again stands in direct opposition to the call by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to build up the Beloved Community.
If we love our country, we will fight for it. We need not replicate the actions of the Nazis who marched in Charlottesville or the white supremacist group Patriot Prayer that rally in Oregon. Violence and hatred cannot be our tactics because violence begets violence and hatred consumes the soul. This fight does require non-violent direct action, however, as the instruments of our government are now in the hands of those who identify with white nationalism.
Our most potent weapon is still the vote. The majority of Americans do not actively participate in democracy (you can understand why when change comes so slowly or not at all). Progressives must advance an agenda that both challenges the politics of our time and hears the fears and insecurities of those who are both suffering and susceptible to fear mongering.
Christian nationalism plays a significant role in the difficulties we face today. For people of faith, it is critical that we confront religious leaders who preach a message of hate and make common cause with the white nationalist movement. Their religion is sick. God stands with the oppressed and calls on us to break the bonds of injustice. Faith should be about love, justice, and humility.
It is difficult to celebrate the Fourth of July as immigrant children are separated from the parents and as so much of what makes America exceptional is under attack. Still, I, like you, love this nation, and I celebrate all those who have shown that love by being part of a resistance movement that challenges all of us to live up to the best ideals of our country.
#FourthOfJuly2018: #MAGA vs The #BelovedCommunity - Thread -— Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) July 4, 2018
1. This #FourthofJuly it is worth pausing – perhaps for longer than we usually might – to consider this moment of history in the life of the United States of America. https://t.co/x2j7GuotI2 pic.twitter.com/nXH3k2AQjE