Talking about Doom in the Present Tense

Like many of my friends and colleagues in ministry and the nonprofit sector, I’m deeply troubled by the prospect of Donald Trump’s presidency. I’m especially concerned given that every branch of the federal government, along with numerous state governments, will be controlled by the Republican Party. I believe that we’re facing at least two years of conservative policy proposals – from repealing the Affordable Care Act to privatizing Social Security – becoming law.

I am concerned about those policies, of course. I’m concerned about Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest. I’m concerned about his potential cabinet’s conflicts of interest. I’m concerned about the presidency of the United States becoming a tool by which some people who are rich and powerful will become richer and more powerful. I’m concerned about democratic norms being thrown out for the sake of power.

I am worried about my friends. I’m worried about people of color who will be abused by emboldened white supremacists. I’m worried about non-Christians who will abused by Christian nationalists. I’m worried about members of the LGBTQ community who will be abused by homophobes and transphobia.

I am, in short, deeply troubled by the prospect of living in Donald Trump’s America.

But I take hope in the fact that, despite what some of those friends and colleagues have suggested, I do not yet live in Donald Trump’s America or Paul Ryan’s America or Ayn Rand’s America.

There is still time to feed the hungry, to give something to drink to the thirsty. There is still time to welcome the stranger and give clothing to the naked. There is still time to care for the sick and visit the prisoner. There is still time to deliver good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captive and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. There is still time to proclaim a time of God’s favor.

And, of course, there is still time to work for policies that will do just that.

So this is a message for all of my friends who are worried about the doom that might come. Let’s not talk about what might happen in the present tense. Let’s not pretend that a world we don’t want to see – a world that we must fight against – is already here. Let’s roll up our sleeves, get to work, and make sure that the world we fear never becomes a reality.

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