The Grief of a Quiet Conservative

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It’s been a quiet day on social media for a lot of my fellow evangelical, Christian friends. I’m hearing from tons of my friends who are liberal (or maybe lean that way) and from many of my minority friends. I hear despair and fear and grief and one person who said to another, “Just let me be sad.”

… But as for my friends who identify as Conservatives: overall silence. Perhaps some are silent Trump supporters. But there’s another type of  conservative out there who is quietly scrolling through Facebook, whose heart is heavy and is grieving. Who is deeply disturbed and outright horrified over what they’ve seen with Donald Trump…. Me. And I can’t be the only one.

I’m quiet because I don’t want people drawing conclusions about me and my values from a post… though I know this is something I can neither control nor avoid. I still fear being misunderstood and misrepresented because the truth is I’m not liberal.

But today, I speak. Today, I am sympathetic to the posts of my liberal friends. Because today, I grieve.

Maybe you can relate. I have convictions to be a voice for the voiceless, the widowed and oppressed, to protect life and religious freedom. AND as a follower of Christ, I also reject racism, sexual lust and perversion, bigotry, bullying, abuse and sexism. I’m not saying that Trump supporters stand for those things- the ones I know don’t and I don’t like when people demonize people on either political party. But because of the specific comments made about minorities and many of the overtones that were associated with Trump’s campaign, maybe you can relate when you hear me say that my heart broke this morning I stood with my four young daughters, all 6 and under, all staring at the television.

Sure, there are some specific issues where I’m relieved to know my voice will be heard. But what about so many whose voices have not been heard today? Who are legitimately afraid?

For all of us who are grieving today, there is One who sees and hears our cries… He is good and has no evil in Him. He is trustworthy. And when we’re afraid or disappointed, mistreated, unheard and overall despaired, we can make our cries heard without fear of being judged or attacked or bullied.

He is the True Champion of women… and men, too. He’s the Champion of children and babies… and of the poor and marginalized. And of those with disabilities… that is to say, me.

I posted this picture exactly three years ago yesterday and thought it was appropriate. Whatever your beliefs about the Pope, I hope we can agree that this picture is a moving depiction of what Jesus Christ does for us. He never casts us out- far from it. Instead, He reaches out to each one of us- in all our self-loathing and all our self-loving- warts & all.  He invites us to a permanent place at His table, as His own.

So, I come with my heavy heart to the great and true Champion, Jesus Christ. In Him I put my hope. Maybe you can relate.

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Photo featured in New York Daily News on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

13 Comments on “The Grief of a Quiet Conservative

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    I’m an editor at The Huffington Post. Would you be interested in re-posting your powerful piece with us? If so, you can reach me at hayley [dot] miller [at] huffingtonpost [dot] com. Hope to hear from you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hayley, thank you for asking her to repost at The Huffington Post! That’s where I first saw her article. I am a conservative Christian and disagree with much of what I read at the HP, but I often visit the site because I value reading a broad variety to gain perspective and understanding. I appreciate when the HP includes posts from a variety of sources such as this.

      Elizabeth, thank you for writing this. You are not alone. I do not want a liberal agenda that doesn’t value life the way you and I understand life as a gift from God. I don’t want an agenda that sets aside the moral law that we understand to be both Biblical and natural. But neither do I want a “conservatism” that allows and even encourages hatred, abuse, racism, etc. It troubles me greatly that our nation chose these two as the best representatives of what we want. What does that say about us? I don’t know where this will lead, but you did well in pointing out where it should lead us. At the cross, we see the One who loved all people from the lowliest to the greatest, the One who gave up His life to give us life. He showed the greatest mercy on the world then. May He continue to have mercy on us now.

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      • Tim, sounds like you should have written the article!! Seriously, you are an incredible writer and I share your sentiments exactly. I really appreciate your words- thank you so much for the encouragement.

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  2. Thank you for speaking out in your writing. Thank you for acknowledging the grief in my heart. For acknowledging the fear I feel. For telling me, that regardless of political differences, you stand with me against bigotry. I need to hear this from my fellow American. As an American non-Christian brown minority, but as someone who sees great truth in the words written in red in the Bible, my heart rejoices to hear that because of your faith, you stand for my freedom, that you value my inclusion in our country and that you exemplify the kind and gentle traits of the words written in red. Thank you for living this beautiful testimony to your faith. I am not a conservative, but I want to learn from and have dialogue with those who have different viewpoints than me. My heart would not be crushed if we had elected a conservative president. Political differences are not and never have been my my concern with our election, nor are they the reason for my grief and heavy heart. I value our differences and I am better for them. I am grateful and proud to know that you are my fellow American. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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    • Shilpa, wow. I know I’m not worthy of those kind words, but I can tell you they mean the world to me. One of the greatest lessons of my life that I’m still learning is the value of validation. How important it is- as a basic human need- to have our feelings and experiences heard and validated. The fact that you felt those things from me brings me great joy. And the fact that Jesus Christ (aka the One whose words are in red, as you would say) claims to not only understand our fear and give us peace, but to BE our peace. That is a peace that transcends our understanding. His words in the book of John speak to me & I hope they do for you as well: “Do not let your hearts be troubled… I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you… The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Peace to you, my friend.

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  3. Elizabeth,

    I have problems with some Trump values as well. But, could you help me out by giving examples of Mr. Trump’s hatred, abuse and racism (see Tim’s post)? I am aware of the reports related to his comments about some women in his past, but would appreciate help in tracking down information on these.

    Like

    • Danny,
      Since you referred to my post, I’ll respond. What I said is that I don’t want a conservatism that allows and encourages hatred, abuse and racism. I didn’t specifically implicate Trump, but only addressed a general movement in that direction. That said, I think Trump has said things that encourage hatred and racism. The Huffington Post (and others; just search for “donald trump racism” to get a list) has tracked some of his racist statements and actions: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/president-donald-trump-racist-examples_us_584f2ccae4b0bd9c3dfe5566.
      If you do a little reading, it’s pretty obvious that there are some groups who are positioning themselves to take advantage of Trump’s election and push a white supremacist agenda. I don’t want to push too much guilt by association, but they clearly see Trump as friendly to their cause. Even if he does nothing to support them, he gives passive support by his silence.
      Let me be fair in my perspective – I was also very unhappy with Obama after the Ferguson, MO, incident and later shootings around the nation, when the Justice Dept. again and again stood against the police before any facts were known or evidence presented. It only fostered further hatred and divisions in communities. Trump is now ready to do the same thing from the other side of the fence. Instead of healing, it can cause further division. I want a conservatism that values both principles and people.
      A few links for you, some about Trump and some about incidents after his election:
      http://time.com/4569129/racist-anti-semitic-incidents-donald-trump/
      http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/10/us/post-election-hate-crimes-and-fears-trnd/
      http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/12/donald-trump-10-most-racist-things-hes-done-so-far/
      http://www.ibtimes.com/donald-trump-racist-15-controversial-quotes-president-elect-said-about-blacks-2447531

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      • Danny, thank you for your question. And Tim, I really appreciate your response. Since Tim covered some of the racially offensive comments, I will just add a couple of things. First, the time he mocked NY Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a disability. Regardless of Trump’s point, there is no excuse to mock or imitate him privately or publicly. And no, I do not believe him when he denies knowing Kovaleski and what he looks like. The whole thing is a disgrace.

        http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/donald-trump-accused-mocking-reporter-disability-35442095

        Second, the way he treats women. Speaking sexually about 10 & 12 year old little girls, calling Miss Universe “Miss Piggy” when she gained weight, saying that Hillary Clinton couldn’t satisfy her husband and that she was an “enabler of her husband’s affairs,” calling Megyn Kelly a bimbo, calling breastfeeding “disgusting,” making sexual comments about his daughter, Ivanka, calling women fat, pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals, not to mention all the women who have come forward with sexual assault claims. And in response to a video that was released where he lewdly jokes about grabby one woman by the pu**y, he states that “when you’re a star, they let you do it”. It goes on & on.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/politics/donald-trump-sexism-tracker-every-offensive-comment-in-one-place/
        (The above article is very thorough and worth your read, Danny.)

        (Please be aware that the video posted here is unedited and contains strong language)

        I can hardly bear the thought of my four girls overhearing any of these comments. They are moldable little women, have listening ears and he is not someone I want influencing their little minds and hearts. For these reasons, along with the hateful things he’s said about people based on their race or religion (see Tim’s links above), I grieve.

        Like

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