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The Resistance Prays

January 29, 2019
By Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons

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Today's Top Story
"Empire’s Jussie Smollett Hospitalized After Racist and Homophobic Attack in Chicago," via Vulture. "Two white men wearing ski masks approached Smollett, who is openly gay and plays a gay character on Empire, outside of a Subway, beat him up, called him 'that f—got Empire n—,' put his head in a noose, and yelled, 'This is MAGA country.' According to a statement from the Chicago Police, the men also “poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim” during the assault and later fled the scene. Smollett self-transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is in 'good condition.'"
“Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.
“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’" —Matthew 7:15-23
"This is MAGA country."
Racism is sin. Homophobia is sin. Trumpism is sin. Alyssa Milano was right when she said, "The red MAGA hat is the new white hood."  
I hope you will join me in prayer for Jussie Smollett, his family, and all who face the often intersecting evils of homophobia and racism. This hate crime is just the latest example of the rising anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBT hate that has been emboldened by the Trump administration.
I recently met with someone I looked up to professionally, and she admitted to voting for Donald Trump because of his "economic policies." (I.e.: she liked paying lower taxes.) In the same conversation, she expressed how important her Catholic faith was to her and her family. I was in shock from her inability to connect her faith to Trump's extremism. But, at the same time, I continue to sincerely hope that incidents like this one reveal to any Trump supporters that the entire movement is rotten. "A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook," Jesus warns. "These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned." We can disagree about specific policies, but the Trump movement must be chopped down. 
There's a debate in some of my progressive circles about whether Trump reveals America's true racist/xenophobic nature or whether he is an affront to our true nature. Here's what I'll conclude with today: I don't want to live in "MAGA country." I know MAGA is part of an ugly history that goes back to our founding as a nation, and there is much evil in our land today. But I refuse to resign myself to this being "MAGA country." I'm praying and fighting for a better country that lives up to its ideals, which I still believe in.
Learn more about Many Voices: "As a Black church movement for gay and transgender justice, we envision a community that embraces the diversity of the human family and ensures that all are treated with love, compassion, and justice."
Healer God, we pray for a full and speedy recovery for Jussie Smollett. As we are commanded by Jesus Christ himself to pray for our enemies, we pray for his attackers too. And for all MAGA-hat wearers and Trump voters everywhere. We pray that they will abandon the Trump movement and see it for what it is: an anti-Christ, rotten movement that must be chopped down. Bring your righteousness to our nation, and rid our world of racism and homophobia forever. Amen.
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