(I wish those were my real lips.)

Hi Friends,

A couple of days ago someone shared one of my posts about President Trump on Facebook. It caused quite a stir.  The post kept getting shared, generating hundreds of comments, and my website spiked to 4,000 hits in one day. That is huge for little old me. Scrolling through comments on fb was like being on the Andrea Gail.  First my stomach turned over, then I was uplifted, then I wanted to hurl, then toss myself overboard. Toward the end, I couldn’t go anywhere near my phone.  I had to sit with the covers over my head and let Steve do the scrolling, which turned out to be good because he couldn’t care less about what people say. He mostly laughed.  I love that man. Anyway,  in case you didn’t already know, people have very strong thoughts about Donald Trump! When I did peek at the comments,  I was either being utterly despised or gratefully validated. One comment from a non-believer especially touched me, though: “Amy, this is a wonderful post. As a non-Christian, I have looked on in amazement and bewilderment at Christian pastors who have embraced Trump, seemingly for his display of Christian virtues. Thank you for the clarity of your response. He embodies evil and he is bringing evil into our land.” 

That remark drove the whole point home for me: the world is watching to see how Christians respond to Donald Trump, and they can see very clearly what much of the church is unwilling to admit. I’ll spare you the more discouraging comments, but suffice to say that according to some, I’m disappointing, disgusting, don’t know the bible, am not a Christian at all, and shouldn’t be a leader in the church. You can see why I was reticent!  The very reason I haven’t been sharing my blog posts on social media is because:

1.) I don’t like conflict
2.) I knew I would get slammed
3.) It’s easier to stay quiet
It is easier to stay quiet, but you know what? That is exactly what the enemy wants – to shut us up. God knew I wouldn’t share my post broadly by myself, so He used someone else to do it.  And believe it or not,  I survived. It was hard, but I’m still here, I still feel the same, and the world didn’t stop spinning on it’s axis while I got slandered on social media. What I learned  is that I can’t be quiet. The easy way is not always God’s way.  I can obey Him, and gain His approval, or I can be quiet and keep man’s. I’m choosing God. That means I will continue to speak out, and make this blog a safe place for Christians who have similar concerns about our president.  (As a reminder, or if you are new to this space,  I am a Christ follower, generally conservative, and, until last year, a Republican. Now I’m Independent.  I have nothing against Republican values or platforms. I know many conservative voters voted for Donald Trump for one very noble reason,  the SCOTUS nomination, and I totally get that!)
My main concern with Trump is that whatever conservative issues God may use him for are completely overshadowed by the hypocrisy of his presidency. “Pro-life” means that you value the sanctity and dignity of someone’s whole life.  We are talking about a man who routinely threatens reporters, bullies and degrades women, and who mouthed to a protester at a rally, “I WILL BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF YOU” and encouraged his followers to be violent, telling them he would pay their legal fees if they got sued.  This is a presidency so compromised, so anti-Christ to begin with, that it will not be blessed in the end.  I agree with beloved pastor and author Eugene Peterson:
 
I think we’re in a bad situation. I really do. Donald Trump is the enemy as far as I’m concerned.
Eugene Peterson, Author, The Message Bible
If Christians really want to further God’s kingdom of love and peace and joy, we cannot align ourselves with a man who “embodies evil” and who himself runs counter to God’s kingdom.  You can pray for a person and rebuke him at the same time, and that is what is necessary now.  I am formally joining ranks with the brave leaders who have spoken out concerning Trump’s violence, immorality and/or refugee ban, including Reverend William J. Barber, Eugene Cho, Andy Crouch, Rachel Held Evans, Jen Hatmaker, Bill and Lynne Hybels, Amanda Moore Jones, Tim Keller, Max Lucado, Johnathan Martin, Beth Moore, Russell Moore, Shauna Niequist, John Pavolitz, Eugene Peterson, Ed Stetzer, Ann Voskamp and Nish Wiseth.
I speak because “my heart burns hot within me.”

I speak because the enemy tries to shut me up.

I speak because we are losing a harvest.

I speak because the world sees that we put an abusive bully on the throne of America, in the name of God.

I speak because it’s not OK to mock disabled people.

I speak because it’s not OK to grope women.

I speak because inciting violence toward and trying to shut down the free press is not just immoral – it’s very, very dangerous.

I speak because I want my teenage son and daughter to know that our president’s behavior is not normal and none of this is OK. This is not “just politics.”

I speak because the only thing I have ever wanted to do since I committed to following Jesus was to keep in step with His Holy Spirit, and obey Him.

I speak because our president is using God and exploiting Christianity to make his own name great.  He knows that if he keeps telling us what we want to hear, and throwing in a few scripture verses now and then to make us happy, and saying, “God bless America,” we will stay quiet when he abuses people.

I speak because Jesus gives warnings in scripture that we are not heeding.

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,  who are caught in the schemes he devises.  He boasts about the cravings of his heart;  he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.  In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies.  He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”  His mouth is full of lies and threats;  trouble and evil are under his tongue.  He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.

Psalm 10:2-7, 11

I’m here to speak, and I’ll say it nice and loud: God sees you, Mr. President. God sees.

One of the more heartbreaking consequences of this election is that it has caused a  divide within the Christian community.  I think the only way we can keep moving forward, and worshiping God “in one accord” is with open dialogue. I’m always learning, and I’m interested to hear other views, as long as they are not incendiary. I hope this blog can be a safe place for discussion and I welcome all (respectful) comments.  If not, I’m sorry to see you go but it’s probably best to unsubscribe.

With love, respect, and all the other good things,

Amy

Written by Amy

Amy Shively Hawk is the author of Six Years in the Hanoi Hilton: An Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in Vietnam, with a foreword by John McCain. She lives in Hood River, Oregon, where she serves on the elder board and teaches bible classes at her local church. In the summer, she may be found on the sunny Columbia River windsurfing, paddle boarding, or doing SUP yoga with her husband Steve and their lively teenagers, Savanna and Cruise.