I was away for a week, camping at Acadia National Park in Maine with no phone service or Internet. It was a much needed break from social justice work and I come back ready to fight again.
Probably the biggest story while I was away was that the owner of the Red Hen, a restaurant in Virginia, asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave.
So, while the right-wing “Christians” celebrated that the Supreme Court decided in favor of a gay-hating cake baker, they cried foul over the left refusing service to someone who supports all the hate-filled policies of this administration.
As usual, the hypocrisy is breathtaking.
It’s just fine for a “Christian” to refuse to serve two men who are committing to share their lives, but we who believe Jesus wants us to heal the sick, feed the hungry and welcome the stranger have to serve a hate-peddling public official.
Yes, she probably should have been served with love, which is what we are told to do. We are held to a higher standard.
But we are human. I cheered a little inside when I saw the story. Sanders doesn’t even begin to see the irony in the situation. That is born of selfishness. It’s only about her and what she wants:
“I want to eat here. I want what’s mine and as much of what’s yours as I can grab, especially if I see you as ‘less than’ in some way.
“I am superior because I am in this country already.
“I am superior because I am white.
“I am superior because I am rich.
“My god is superior to yours and you have to see my god the way I do because I have more power than you.
“I can mistreat anyone for any reason because my god says I can.
“My god says my privilege comes from moral superiority and that the poor are lazy and that gays are going to burn in hell and immigrants deserve to lose their children.
“And I am not going to share my privilege with anyone.”
My God tells me to share what I have, to feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked, embrace the stranger.
This is a woman who defends taking children from their parents, who defends banning Muslims from this country, who defends suppressing the vote along racial lines, who defends taking access to health care away from millions of Americans, tens of thousands of whom will die. This is a woman who defends a racist, misogynistic, toxic sociopath — Every. Damn. Day.
We could feed every hungry child, pay every person who works full time a living wage, make sure every human being has access to health care, fully fund every school, allow every adult access to the vote, all while spending less on war and promoting peace.
But we choose immorality as a public policy, and when people who disagree with these immoral policies stand up and do what little they can do, we call them exclusionary, all while cheering for a ban on Muslims, for ripping children from their parents, for suppression of the vote and a Supreme Court decision allowing a homophobe to use religion as a cloak to peddle hate, we are not Christian as a nation. We are not moral.
Those of us who are frustrated beyond words at the immoral direction of this nation and its devastating policies, we feel helpless. We feel as though we can’t shout loudly enough to drown out the hate Americans are cheering for right now.
As Rev. Dr. William Barber says, “We Christians are called on to love everybody.”
It’s that simple.
It’s also incredibly difficult. How can I love and serve a woman who stands against everything I believe? How can I be kind to someone who thinks the way my son died is OK?
I am not perfect. I am striving to live out my ideals — those ideals preached by Jesus, whom I follow.
I am exhausted, but I am not going to give up. If Sarah Huckabee Sanders is hungry, I am called to feed her, like it or not. I am called to love her, and perhaps my example will touch her.
Jesus didn’t say I can’t talk to her about the error of her ways and try to reach her with that love. In fact, he tells me that’s the only way.
I have to agree with Rev. Barber: “Standing down is not an option … I would rather die having tried and see nothing change than to live, not try, and see nothing change.”
That’s why I’m back. That’s why I fight. That’s why I’ll never stop fighting.