“They need to stop being such whiny babies.”
I swear I’ve read those words in ten different places on my Facebook feed alone since Donald Trump was elected.
The whiny millennials. The ones with zero social skills who stare at their phones all day. The ones who don’t understand reality and only voted for Bernie because they wanted free stuff.
Is it really so hard to see that his support came from how much we care? How much we want our peers to be loved and accepted?
These stereotypes of millennials that you’ve accepted are not accurate.
As a little baby freshman at the University of Florida, I experienced a culture outside conservative Christianity for the first time. What I remember the most is how deeply everyone cared about the environment and social justice–far more than my Christian community from back home seemed to care.
I remember sitting in a little classroom in Turlington Hall with the most random group of students. It was a Gen Ed that everyone kind of despised, so we all seemed to bond over our mutual boredom.
There was one girl who always showed up to class looking absolutely stunning. Four or five guys, (football players included), sat around her each day and vied for her attention.
On the day we were discussing women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia, she spoke up for the first time.
“I mean, like, why should I care about this? Like, god, can’t they just walk? It’s not that big of a deal.”
Every single guy that had flirted with her visibly leaned away in their chairs as if to make it clear to the rest of us that they were not associated.
To millennials–spoiled and self-centered as people claim we are–it is an atrocity if you do not care about social justice issues.
I think for most of us it feels like Evangelical Christians are the kind of people who don’t care. Even more feel like Christians lived out that insensitivity through this election.
So to the Evangelical community in particular? You need to sit down and listen without mocking.
I can only speak from my own experience and place in time–I get that. But from where I stand, I see Christians who voted for Trump because they felt convicted over the issue of abortion. They were disgusted by him, but they held that issue higher than his other failures. Maybe that was the right decision, maybe it wasn’t.
You just need to recognize how many people feel like you’ve chosen the unborn over them.
Because even though you stayed true to your convictions, you did it by voting for a man who mocked them, wounded them–and even if he does no other harm–will do nothing to defend them.
I don’t think you intended to wound anyone.
Now go prove it.
Get up and defend those who could be at risk right now. Try to calm the fears of those who feel betrayed. Remind them that they matter just as much as that unborn child does.
Christians cannot claim to be pro-life if they discard those who are LGBT, minorities, immigrants, muslims, women, disabled, or anyone else who is marginalized in our world.
There will be plenty of Christians reading this who are truly pro-life. They defend the rights of the unborn and are also deeply devoted to loving and defending others who have been marginalized.
Thank you. Please keep loving and speaking out.
But for those who aren’t?
You need to know that taking a wound and smothering it in Evangelical phrases does not help anyone. We need more than a Southern “God bless it” to heal the deep wounds American Christianity and culture have caused.
Do not mock those who are outraged. Do not tell them to sit down and stop pouting because they “lost.”
This isn’t some child whining because they lost a game of Monopoly to an overly competitive relative.
This is about real lives. This is about the rights of every person Donald Trump has ever mocked or belittled.
Maybe it isn’t that millennials are easily offended. Maybe we’re just finally refusing to put up with the sexism, racism, and bigotry many (but of course, not all) in previous generations accepted.
Maybe we’re the ones that are finally saying enough is enough.
We are a generation that was raised to believe that everything we said should be taken into account. Some people call that being spoiled. But you know what? The generation of “participation ribbons” may have plenty of flaws, but we know that we have a voice.
And we’re going to use it.
So if you’re a Christian–a defender of the weak, a follower of the God who loved the most marginalized and used members of society–prove it.
My prayer is that a Trump presidency will not be what we fear. I pray that he will end up stunning us all with tolerance and improvements in our corrupt government.
But whatever this presidency looks like, there are many people who feel even more distant from the Church than before. So whether people’s fears come true or not, Christians need to stand up, speak out, and love in their daily lives like never before. They need to use the voice that they have to defend those who are afraid.
(You know, kind of like those whiny millennials do.)