Watching a video before bedtime brings this quick post about. I’m grateful that the Trump era is over and am looking forward to a fresh start. These past four years were painful for a traditional conservative like me. Bridges were crossed and in some cases burned and there is no going back. But seeing the corruption by evangelicals on display during the Trump era was staggering. These past four years were a defining time and I realized that I could not be an evangelical at all.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Watch the fireworks display against the skyline. Breathtaking.
I was getting ready for bed and enjoying a hot chocolate in a trusty mug I purchased from The Lincoln Project earlier this year. I then saw a video that I don’t think you’ll appreciate as much unless you live in the Washington, D.C. area. I’ll explain more in a few minutes.
The last four years have been hell. I am a traditional conservative Republican and I seldom thought much about it. I knew what I believed and why and voted accordingly. When 2016 started I was plugged into a church in the D.C. area and had rebuilt a lot of friendships from a faith crisis that ended a couple of years prior. I was caught flat footed by the Christian nationalism resurgence. In time I lost a number of things. That included a church, friends, and more. This all happened during the illnesses and later deaths of my parents. So in one of the most difficult periods of my life I lost my support systems. Because of Christian nationalism and because I could not support Trump I lost my spiritual home. If you want to see some of the reactions I took go and read this post and look at the social media comments. If you notice it was a pastor – Greg Marshall, and a missionary in Africa – Tyler Lund – who came to my side. The last four years were a defining time and I realized why I could not be an evangelical. I felt sick to my stomach to watch every scandal play out under the sun and see white evangelicals rally to Trumps’ defense. Though I voted for Rubio I had evangelicals tell me I was a socialist and liberal. And my opposition to Trump and what happened came from my family history and personal knowledge and indeed history. I knew someone who was interned in California during WW II for being Japanese. He’s probably dead now but he explained the trauma and shared the personal experience with me. It was stunning. I thought of what he said when the refugee crisis happened with Muslims being banned. Then later I saw kids being put in cages on the border. I believe in strong national defense, but tearing apart families or banning Muslims? My family also served in Europe in World War II. My great uncle who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery helped liberate Buchenwald and collect evidence and build cases to prosecute the Nazis at Nuremburg. Can you imagine my horror then, when Neo-Nazis rallied about 85 minutes from me in Charlottesville, Virginia and Donald Trump called them fine people? Then you add all other issues the corruption and the first justified impeachment or the later sacking of the national capital in a coup attempt by Trump supporters. It was the first time the capitol was invaded since the War of 1812. My disappointment in evangelicals these past few years helped me realize that I could not be one. It was the second and final time I reached this conclusion. I couldn’t live in the sewer with many of evangelicals and prostitute my soul away. To be an evangelical means you have no conscious or morals. It was during this time that I wrote a post about why I am done with evangelicalism, which you can read here. Let’s be honest many atheists have higher ethics than many evangelicals.
So I became really almost a nothing spiritually after being burned by religion. What do you do when the religion is so corrupt and sick that it actually makes you physically sick? There were so many times that I had knots in my stomach over the last four years. For myself politically I found a home with the people who affiliate with The Lincoln Project. I was a Never Trump Republican before the term was even invented. Today I am proud that I never compromised my conscience and stayed true to myself these last four years. Personally I am hoping that another center right party will form and I can join with it. Spiritually I have no desire to go back. I see faith as traumatic and harmful. But as for myself and as I explained to others…I crossed a bridge in many areas of my life and there is no going back.
So why am I saying all this. Well in the next couple of weeks I need to get something off my chest and do a post about evangelical relationships that were lost to Christian nationalism. I use this blog for catharsis as I find writing a healthy way to soothe a hurt soul. And religion in my life has been traumatic. But tying this post to what I said in the beginning. If you live in the Washington, D.C. area you know that this is one of the neatest cities in the United States to celebrate July 4th. Since moving here in 2005 every July 4th I have had a tradition of going down to the National Mall and meeting up with friends, or going to the Smithsonians and enjoying myself. The evening ends with a massive firework display. Two years ago in 2019 Trump hijacked the firework display to honor himself. I felt sick that one of the more important American holidays was being co-opted. Not only that but he wanted a military parade. If you know American history we don’t have military parades for a president. We’ve done them for war efforts like World War II or the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and I understand that well. But we are not North Korea and even France displays their troops and military equipment for different reasons than us. So I broke my tradition and went down to Virginia Beach and spent the holiday there. Then the pandemic hit this past year and I couldn’t celebrate or do much of anything. So I missed Washington, D.C.’s firework displays. So tonight as I was about ready to sign off I saw Katy Perry sing Firework with a massive firework display that you usually find in the D.C. area for the July 4th holiday. When I watched the video at my computer I cried. To see the majestic city in the metropolitan area I call home brought alive by the fireworks and light shows really awakened my heart. To see the fireworks light up the Capitol and Washington Monument is breathtaking. I miss it. So in the privacy of a kitchen at 1:30 in the morning I wept. I realized that was the first firework display I saw in a couple of years. So I am grateful and looking forward to the pandemic being brought under control. I am looking forward to seeing normalcy return, which my doctor tells me should start to happen, possibly in the summertime. Historically I think the 2020 election will be the most important election since 1864. And I am proud that I came down on the right side of history. However, I also read tonight that George W Bush thanked Jim Clyburn for saving Biden and resulting in this transfer of power. I have always loved W, and I always will. But today I’m grateful for President Biden. Now here’s the question…what do I do with my evangelical Trump memes? That’s a post for another night. 😀 But I am proud to call the Washington, D.C. area home and today’s celebration reminded me why I am grateful for living here. This transplanted Californian is a Washingtonian at heart. I love my town!