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Send Her Back?

Last week, a CNN editor reached out to me and asked if I would write a piece for them regarding the crowd at President Trump’s rally in Greenville, North Carolina, that shouted “Send her back!” in response to his criticism of four Congresswomen. The editor wanted me to reflect on how Christians could justify chanting such a thing. 
I was glad to be asked as I often find myself shaking my head when watching the news these days, “This isn’t the faith or the Jesus I know.” Indeed, when reading polls about how white Christians continue to make up Trump’s strongest support, I feel lonely and, perhaps, lost. Yes, I understand white supremacy and racism and how these things have shaped American religion. And I equally understand power dynamics and the politicization of religion over the last thirty years. But I also know that simple lessons in kindness and humanity are lacking right now – something that makes little sense when I remember the basic goodness of the vast majority of white church folk in my acquaintance. People claiming to be Christian – whose savior welcomed everyone into a community of love – yet shouting “send her back” was like a gut punch. 
CNN published my column on the Greenville rally last weekend. I wanted to share it with you in case you haven’t seen it. I hope it helps you to feel less alone. And I hope it renews your vision of a God of love. 
Shock is not the right word when I heard the crowd at a Trump rally chanting “send her back.” There has been so much shock recently that it is hard to know what to call it anymore.

As the crowd continued to chant, I watched them: They were almost exclusively white, wearing T-shirts and polos, with blonde hair peeking from under MAGA hats. Familiar-looking middle class white people — like my neighbors, classmates, friends, and family. I assumed most were probably Christians. Trump’s “base.”

“Where,” I blurted out to my husband, “did these people go to Sunday school?”

Read it all on CNN

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