I Shall Not Fear – Lessons from the Zombie Apocalypse

This is my poor attempt to gather my very fragmented thoughts after the 2016 election.

Paul and Silas bound in jail, Had no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, Hold on.
(See end note.)

I was wrong. Democrats should have put forth Bernie Sanders as our candidate.  I don’t think he was as well-rounded in his experience (especially in foreign policy) as Clinton.  But we completely underestimated the visceral hatred so many people have for anything “Clinton.”  Beyond all reason or substance, this hatred could not be overcome.  Bernie Sanders had a better chance of winning over Trump.  So, there’s that.

Paul and Silas thought they was lost, Dungeon shook and the chains come off
Keep your eyes on the prize, Hold on.

People of color have been telling us white liberals for years that racism is alive and well in this country.  And many (most?) of us give a quiet nod and go on about our business.  Because, it’s just the bad apples, right?  Isolated incidents, right?

Trump’s win has allowed white supremacists and misogynists to come out of the woodwork like a swarm of cockroaches following their Pied Piper.  I was ignorant of their numbers and again, the visceral hatred these people have for anyone not obeying a white male leadership.  Again, I was wrong.  Wake-up call. (Don’t believe me? Check out this report on hate crimes since the election.)  I am ashamed for not realizing this sooner.  I am ashamed for not believing people of color.

People say that even though they voted for Trump, this isn’t what they wanted and therefore not their fault.  Did they not listen to anything the man had to say? One of the big complaints I have heard is that these people feel they haven’t been “free to express their true feelings and beliefs” under the “tyranny of liberalism.”  But when asked what it is they want to say and what they believe, what we hear is all about putting [insert group here – blacks, women, Muslims, gays, whatever] IN THEIR PLACE.  What the hell does that even mean?  Who gets to decide what somebody else’s place is?

Got my hand on the gospel plow, Won’t take nothing for my journey now
Keep your eyes on the prize. Hold on.

Even more alarming is the number of evangelical Christians, who for so long have claimed the sole access to biblical understanding and the moral high ground, supporting Trump. (Here, and here.)  Again, what the hell?

I have been frightened since Nov. 9, 2016.  Civil rights, health care, US world standing, the environment, are all in jeopardy.  A new nuclear arms race looms on the horizon.

The only thing I did was wrong was stayin’ in the wilderness too long
Keep your eyes on the prize, Hold on.

I believe my fear comes from confusing the power of God and Empire.  God never was represented by Empire. Never will be.  As the late Marcus Borg wrote:

Jesus was killed. This is one of those facts that everybody knows, but whose significance is often overlooked. He didn’t simply die; he was executed. We as Christians participate in the only major religious tradition whose founder was executed by established authority. And if we ask the historical question, “Why was he killed?” the historical answer is because he was a social prophet and movement initiator, a passionate advocate of God’s justice, and radical critic of the domination system who had attracted a following. If Jesus had been only a mystic, healer, and wisdom teacher, he almost certainly would not have been executed. Rather, he was killed because of his politics – because of his passion for God’s justice.
 Marcus J. Borg, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith


So much fear on all sides.  Fear of different people, fear of women, fear of other religions.  And fear of Trump, what he will do, and the people he surrounds himself with.  Fear of backlash and “white-lash”, fear of refugees and immigrants. Fear that the fascist path we are going down might be irreversible.

The only thing we did was right, was the day we started to fight
Keep your eyes on the prize, Hold on.

But I choose to stop being afraid.  However bad things might get, it has nothing to do with the Reign of God.  We do need to fight, to work for justice, freedom, and peace.  We have to refuse to cooperate with evil, like the woman who resigned from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rather than perform for Trump’s inauguration.  In big ways and small ways, we can make a difference.  And even if we don’t make a difference at least we can sleep at night.

(“Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” is a folk song that became influential during the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It is based on the traditional song, “Gospel Plow,” also known as “Hold On,” “Keep Your Hand on the Plow,” and various permutations thereof.” See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_Your_Eyes_on_the_Prize. These lyrics are from Bruce Springsteen’s cover of this song.)

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