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.