Of late, I have heard a number of people talking about Canada. I love Canada as much as the next American from a cold-winter state, but the most recent discussion regards moving there due to the state of our presidential election cycle. I'll admit, I was one of those people that started to think about packing a bag when Trump started his landslide toward the Republican nomination. However, I came to a realization: that sentiment was short-sighted and selfish.
I turned thirty last weekend and I have been thinking a lot about my values, those I want to fully realize in the next thirty years and those I want to renew during that time. Part of my movement toward whole-life simplicity this year has forced me to read authors that challenge and strengthen these values. In C.S. Lewis’ sermons, The Weight of Glory and Learning in War-Time, he often alludes to the fact that we, as conscientious Christians, must be vigilant and stand for what we believe. We do these things not to glorify ourselves but to glorify God through our actions.
The movements of Bernie Sanders and DeRay McKesson, among others, are fantastic and necessary, but they are not enough if others, even their followers, are too timid to join the fight. I use the word timid not only to express fear, but the current climates of complacency and distaste for stepping outside our comfort zones. Often, Christians are just as bad about standing up for what they believe in as anyone else, perhaps more so. What does it tell you about the American church when the current frontrunner of the Republican party can basically spit on the teachings of Jesus and get applause from a predominantly Christian crowd? In short, nothing good.
Thankfully, there are many ways in which people can join the fight; you can donate money or volunteer time, of course, but no matter what donate your mindshare to the right causes. It is just as important to stand for housing equality and living wages as it is to fight against bigotry and idiocy. Don’t just tell your family and friends that you are angry about something; be the change you want to see in the world. What is the social epidemic in your home town? Are you doing anything about it? Voting for the president is important, but no matter who is in office, those problems will exist.
What type of person would I be, let alone a conscientious Christian, if I decided to leave America due to a single election? What would that convey to others who are not fortunate enough to have the option? We all need to stand together and fight for each other, fight for our collective and individual rights, and fight against the status quo.