This link has video of David Duke (yep, that David Duke) answering the question “What does today represent to you?” at the march in Charlottesville.
I’ve transcribed his answer: “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We’re gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back. And that’s what we gotta do.”
I would like to write an angry prophetic screed about this, but I still can’t find the words. I’ve got nausea, fear, and anger, though. And crying, too. My family is threatened by this. My babies. Roy, who y’all know is the best person in the world besides Jesus. I would like you all to condemn this march, these sentiments loudly and immediately wherever you are, not just on Facebook but to the room where you are. At church tomorrow. When you go to work on Monday. In your moms groups.
Because if we really believe that everyone is made in the image of God — you know, it’s not just my family that matters — we must stand against white supremacy. Not just stand, but work, loudly, for every person whose existence is a threat to those folks who want to “take our country back.” I want to say that the call of Christ demands no less.
Please reject this march, which is easy to do, right? Just to speak up against it? But please let’s all see what else we can do to dismantle white supremacy, the terms and conditions of our society that make this march able to happen, the hidden patterns of our thoughts about where to live, who to go to school with, who to welcome to our churches, who belongs, who has to have a story, who gets to be the protagonists of the stories we tell…whose skin color makes an officer feel threatened, and whose doesn’t.
I’m reminded of the statistic I saw the other day, that 53% of Protestant pastors say “our congregation sometimes seems to love America more than God” (from Lifeway Research, in a Christianity Today article). That’s idolatry. We all know that. And if the America they love is the one that David Duke wants to get back too, the one where Jim Crow laws are enforced, the one where it’s illegal for me to marry my husband — where he could be lynched for looking at me wrong…
In the 1960s, some of the Mississippi voices who spoke against the Civil Rights Movements were members of churches who would eventually form the PCA. Citizens Councils, the fancy version of the KKK, had founding members who were Presbyterians. Buildings on college campuses are named for people who described my marriage the same way they would talk about livestock breeding (Looking at you Gillespie Hall). And if you don’t think it hurts, still, present day, that nobody has changed that, you can’t see me crying right now. But Mississippians and Presbyterians can make different choices now.
Anyway, turns out I do have words. This march isn’t a fluke. The election of Donald Trump has told these people that now is the time to take their country back. That country hates my family, hates people I love, hates people Christians claim to be united to through the body of Christ, and threatens the glory of the image of God. I mean, to some extent it’s never gone away, but y’all. Mourn, repent, believe, act. Which ever combination works for you, do it. But please don’t be complacent. They aren’t even wearing hoods.