Editor’s Note: Yesterday, the world watched as our nation’s capital became the backdrop of a scene of insurrection, anarchy, and violence. As Trump supporters bent on disrupting the democratic process that would validate Joe Biden’s presidential victory stormed the US Capitol building, many of us found ourselves shocked, angry, and grieved. Even worse, the presence of Christian crosses and signs stating “Jesus Saves” and “Proud American Christian,” which exposed the complicity of the church in the foundations of white nationalism in stark and undeniable ways. Missio Alliance writers and voices took to social media to process what they were seeing and hearing; what follows is a compilation of their observations, commentaries, and laments.
What we are seeing today is the logical conclusion of the fear-mongering & manipulation that Trump has perpetuated for 4+ years.
Epiphany is a day of revelation. The revelation of Jesus & the subsequent revelation to the Magi not to return to Herod & his power hungry ways. pic.twitter.com/qbNI9hQ4NE
— Rich Villodas (@richvillodas) January 6, 2021
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Sow corn. Get corn. Sow wheat. Get wheat. Orange trees produce oranges. Don’t come round here now and act like the soil you nurtured didn’t produce predictable fruit.
— Sean Isaac Palmer (@seanpalmer) January 6, 2021
I was alive when folks drank the Kool-Aid knock off at Jonestown. I used to think “how could people be so mesmerized by foolishness?” I’ve had 40+ years to see and understand. Lord, have mercy
— Rev. Dennis R. Edwards, PhD (@RevDrDre) January 6, 2021
Nope. The powerful white (Christian) men who’ve supported, defended, and endorsed this obviously hateful and violent president don’t get to jump ship now.
Try this instead: I was wrong. I was complicit. I sinned. I repent. https://t.co/60NHd5X6ru
— David W. Swanson (@davidswanson) January 7, 2021
This is not the Christianity that reflects my faith or the Jesus I follow. I share nothing in common with those who are desecrating the name of Jesus with this insurrection. https://t.co/oOjcUC7NJE
— Helen Lee (@HelenLeeBooks) January 6, 2021
Pray for the leaders of America. But for the love of all that is sacred advocate for character. Advocate for civility, the common good, respect, truth-telling, human dignity, sensibility, virtue, and kindness.
Demand such things for yourself, your neighbors, and civil servants.
— Derek Vreeland (@DerekVreeland) January 6, 2021
Lastly, our own official response here at Missio Alliance, written by our national director Lisa Rodriguez Watson:
As we continue into 2021, we hope and pray that our words and actions here at Missio Alliance will continue to spur the church on to a deeper understanding of the forces at work here in our nation, a clearer repudiation of the sin that has entangled American Christians for hundreds of years, and a purer posture of lament and humility so that we can truly heal from that which continues to keeps us divided and broken.
Don’t miss our forthcoming online event, “Resilience, Race, and Resistance”—for more information, click here!
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.