After his presentation at Christ the King church in Owairaka, Auckland on March 21, The Simple Way’s Shane Claiborne was asked by a member of the audience: “Who do you think Jesus would have voted for in the last [US] election?” The following is Mr Claiborne’s answer.
We are out of time. [Laughter] Obviously I am very deeply troubled by the state of our country, but the more I think about what happened in the last election, it is not really that American changed, but America was revealed,
I think to the world. There are so many things that we buried [that are] on
I don’t think it is any coincidence that Donald Trump came on the back of our
first black President, and the most powerful movement for racial justice since the civil rights movement.
So there is certainly what some have called a “white-lash”, you know, a backlash, in our country. What definitely breaks my heart is that at the heart of that is older, white evangelicals, largely, 81 per cent of them voted for Trump. I think what has happened is that white evangelicalism has lost its grounding in Jesus, to be quite honest. If you look at the beatitudes, blessed are the meek, the merciful, the pure of heart. Those are the antithesis of the things that are embodied by our Government right now, even the dominant cultural values.
We see now what happens to a country when we neglect the beatitudes and we make idols of fame, power, and riches. I think Donald Trump is the natural result of that. So Trump is much bigger than a person. It goes much deeper than that. It is something we have really got to pay attention to and pray for healing on. It is really heart-breaking.
You just wonder if every evangelical had taken their commitment to Jesus
more seriously than their commitment to a candidate or a party, how things might be different. Just proclaiming Jesus in the middle of all that.
What does it mean for healthcare when Jesus said “When I was sick, you cured me”? What does it mean for immigration when Jesus said “when I was a stranger, you welcomed me”? Those are the things we have got to keep doing in the midst of our country, in the crisis we are in right now. . .
I think we should pray for him [President Trump] and I do pray for him. I think
it is not a partisan thing either. I’m not partisan, I’m not affiliated with a party, I don’t endorse candidates. I kind of align myself with Jesus and try to point towards those things.
I think that Hilary [Clinton] was really difficult for people to get excited about.
Part of it is about the consistent life ethic. That is a framework for many millennials and young folks and Catholics and evangelicals and many of us who coming from a framework of a consistent ethic of life.
And that shapes how we think about abortion, but it also shapes how we think
about the death penalty, “black lives matter”, gun violence, militarism, so it is a very overarching framework and we don’t have any party or candidate that gets even close to that.
I would say all this because you guys seem to follow our politics more than
your own. So pray for us. You are definitely seeing mass movements that
are beginning, even out west, there were 6000 people, many of them
priests, clergy, nuns, pastors that are going to begin to risk arrest, around
different themes, 6000 people who are willing to do direct action, we have 80,000 people that have been on some of these marches.
So I think we are really starting to see a lot of holy, non-violent resistance, against these policies.
What is driving so much of this is fear. Yet we know that our Scriptures tell us
that love casteth out fear.
I think we also see that fear casteth out love. It doesn’t make much room for love.