I’ve Had It With the Phrase ‘You White Evangelicals’

By Michael Brown Published on November 26, 2016

A gentleman named Luis posted a lengthy comment to a YouTube video where I explained why I ultimately decided to vote for Donald Trump, and I cite his comment here because it reflects the sentiments of many others who have declared open season on white, conservative Christians in America.

Luis began by saying, “I respected you as a wise Christian Dr. Brown,” but that respect disappeared when he noticed who I voted for. As he stated, “It makes me think of you as the same hollow headed Christians who think they vote on principles when there’s nothing to vote on principles for.”

So, despite my many caveats and concerns regarding Donald Trump, and despite the important pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious liberties of the Republican platform, no solid principles of any kind could cause anyone to vote for Trump. There must be other reasons, none of them good.

Does Luis really believe that it was some kind of white nationalism that caused so many evangelicals to vote for Trump? Did we all just wake up one day and decide to sell our souls to the devil?

Of course, Luis is not alone in his disdain for Trump — he does a good job of summarizing the most egregious charges against Trump, be they true or not — which is why I stated numerous times in writing and on radio that I respected those who could not vote for him.

The Flippant and Easily Flipped Charge of White Evangelical Bias

Unfortunately, Luis is not alone in claiming that a vote for Trump was a reflection of white evangelical bias. As he explained, “Your view is casually related to the view of white evangelicals in this country but if you ask Christian Hispanics and black and Asian Christians, our views are totally different. Why would that be Mr. Brown?”

Actually, Luis could have asked the same question four years ago or eight years ago, when roughly the same percentage of black and Hispanic Christians voted Democrat. Was it because Romney and McCain were also evil men, or was it because these minorities have a history of voting for Democrats? And what of the 28 percent of Hispanics, 27 percent of Asians, and 8 percent of blacks who voted for Trump? Were they as blind as the many white evangelicals who voted for him? Were they also hollow-headed and lacking in principles?

After making the claim that I voted for Trump because of pressure from my radio audience (is he referring to the large number of African American listeners or the large number of anti-Trump listeners?) he continued, “But you have become the mockery of this world who can’t trust you because of your amoral morality and have show[n] us the minorities that your huge bible studies, books and Universities are worthless when politics are involved, because of your grandeur white evangelical spirituality all us Christians will suffer with this man in the White House.”

There you have it in a nutshell. Trump will be our next president because of the sinful “grandeur” of “white evangelical spirituality.”

Does Luis really believe that it was some kind of white nationalism that caused so many evangelicals to vote for Trump? Did we all just wake up one day and decide to sell our souls to the devil?

Racism is Sometimes in the Eye of the Beholder

But there’s more. Luis writes, “And if it’s true that God chooses and deposes Kings, when Obama is and was President you white evangelicals disrespected him as many times as possible calling him a Muslim, a dictator and the Antichrist and since it is a biblical imperative and spiritual law that people reap what they sow, it might come to be that all you call President Obama will become true in President Donald Trump.”

There it is again. A professing Christian man writing with passion and conviction throws around the phrase “you white evangelicals,” as if he himself is exempt from racism. After all, he is (presumably) a minority Christian and therefore, as a member of a minority, cannot himself be guilty of racism (at least, according to the latest, PC definitions of racism, which claim that only the majority class can be racist).

The reality is that racism is a two-way street, and just as we must call out anti-black or anti-Hispanic or anti-Asian or anti-Native American racism when we see it, we must call out anti-white racism too. Justice and fairness and honesty require it, whether it’s PC or not to do so.

Critics can shout “white privilege” all they want, but truth is truth. They can claim that minorities cannot be guilty of racism against the cultural majority, since racism, they say, has to do with oppression. But that is a conveniently manufactured definition of racism rather than the real definition of racism.

Of course, some people claim that you can only address the sins and shortcomings of your own community, not someone else’s community. But if that is true, it would mean that blacks, for example, could not call out racism when they saw it among whites. Does anyone really believe this? And can we not address sins within our own, larger community, namely, the Body of Christ?

Unfortunately, Luis makes the all-too-common error of assuming that all criticism of President Obama was based on race, failing to realize that: 1) our issues had everything to do with the content of his policies and nothing to do with the color of his skin; 2) liberal criticism of President George W. Bush was as least as harsh as conservative criticism of Obama; 3) those making the ridiculous claim that Obama was the antichrist did so despite his race rather because of his race (which prophecies speak of a black antichrist?); and 4) most of those falsely claiming that Obama was a Muslim did so because of his background (being the son of a Muslim who was listed as a Muslim while in school in Indonesia) and because of his pro-Islamic words, not because of his skin color.

Unfortunately, like many of those who throw around the race card today, Luis fails to see his own blind spots, asking, “Who of you white Christians will stand now and openly accuse Donald Trump of his policies that will harm minorities?”

We Can Do Better Than This

Is he truly unaware that, for more than one year, prominent white Christians raised many concerns regarding Trump’s policies, even leading the way in the Never Trump movement? And is Luis truly unaware that many of those who voted for Trump believe that, in the end, he will prove himself to be the president of all Americans, including minorities?

Again, I fully understand why many Americans, including Christians, have deep concerns about President-elect Trump, and I recognize (and have many times addressed) the highly divisive nature of his campaign.

I also understand how his campaign and election have unearthed a lot of ugly attitudes (perhaps among Christians in particular), one of which is an anti-white hostility, a hostility fueled by bitterness, judgmentalism, and misinformation.

I urge my brothers and sisters in the Lord to search their hearts and ask Him to reveal racism of any kind – be it anti-black, anti-Hispanic, anti-Jewish, anti-Asian, anti-Native American, or anti-white. It is unbecoming for the family of God and contrary to our nature as followers of Jesus.

Surely we can do better than this.

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