I’m sure by this point you’ve seen the video. The one of the young African-American woman being removed from a presidential campaign rally in Louisville, being pushed and prodded by numerous campaign supporters while others pummel her with insults or capture the whole incident on their phone. Not one person, not one, steps in and says, “Hey now, this is a human being. Show a little respect for the human race.” Not one defends. Not one speaks out. Not one.
And I’ve refrained from posting anything about this here because I didn’t want this blog to be political. I’ve kept this place free from politics and campaigns and opinion on government and court decisions and I was determined to do so, until today.
Because today, I realized, THIS IS NOT POLITICAL.
It’s not about politics. It’s about humanity.
As I watched that girl get pushed and shoved all I could think was, “What are we teaching our children?”
As I’ve seen presidential candidates make fun of all manner of people – other candidates, people with autism, people of all races and creeds, PEOPLE – HUMAN BEINGS, all I can muster up is, “What are we teaching our children?”
As I’ve heard words of hatred and fear and bigotry pour from mouths that at the same time proclaim Christ and Christianity, I cannot help but want to shout, “What are we teaching our children?”
This is not okay!
This is not okay.
It’s. not. okay.
There are no free passes because these things are attached to politics. There are no circumstances in the world that make these words, these actions, these attitudes morally or ethically right. This country has spent the last several years creating and investing in entire campaigns against bullying in our schools and it is being undone in a single presidential campaign by the very adults who are supposed to be the examples to the kids.
It. is. not. okay.
Especially for Christians. But universally for everyone.
It is not okay to physically harm other people because you are angry. I don’t care if you feel your cause is right. It is not okay.
It is not okay to viciously make fun of people. Period. That’s it. There’s absolutely no leeway with that. It’s called bullying. And if you do it in elementary school, you get suspended. It is not okay.
It is not okay to express your frustrations with the government and your grievances with the political system by attacking other human beings, threatening people of different races, or intimidating those who disagree with you. It’s NOT okay to do that!
I realize that my reach is very small. I realize that I am only adding a very small voice to a very large group of people that are saying similar things. But to remain silent in the face of such outright and flagrant disregard for humanity is to add my voice to those who give assent to the actions. I become like those who hold up their phone and take a video of the brutality, rather than having the courage to step in and say “This is NOT okay!”
I can no longer hide behind the flag of “I don’t want to be political”; rather I have to state the obvious and say, “This is not about politics. This is about human decency and I, for the sake of my children and all future generations who are seeing these things, must say, ‘I am not okay with this because this is NOT okay.'”
Lest we fool ourselves into thinking our kids are oblivious, we need to know that our kids
have seen the videos. They’ve seen the ugliness that is being carried out in our country today. They hear the insults and the veiled threats and the disparaging way our soon-to-be leaders are speaking about each other and about other people.
Let’s make sure we tell them, “This is not okay. This is not who we are called to be. This is not normal. This is wrong.”
I’m not here to tell you how to vote.
I’m here to remind you there is a lot more at stake than the political office.
There is an entire generation learning how to approach life and seeing, hearing, and observing despicable things while watching us tape it on our phones.
And whether we realize it or not, we are discipling them by not saying, “This is not okay.” I’ve been convicted that my silence in the one place I have a voice is no longer acceptable. Even if this is only read by a few people, it’s already been read by the ones who matter most to me – my kids. And they know that these behaviors, these words they are hearing, these attitudes they are seeing… these things are not okay. And they never, ever will be.
Love God. Love Others.
Simple as that. Anything else is not okay.
Read the follow-up post here.
Author’s Note: I am both humbled and amazed by the number of people who have read, shared and commented on this blog. Thank you very much for your encouragement and support.
Also, a number of commenters have tried to use this blog to purposefully incite discussions that are inflammatory in nature and attempt to use this space to push a political campaign or personal agenda. Those comments will not be approved per the author’s discretion. Healthy conversation is fine and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I don’t want this to be a place where we attack each other or others. Thank you for understanding and respecting that desire.
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- And much more!
About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.