[notice]A monthly column on purpose, passion and power in Jesus.[/notice]
They called themselves, “the silent majority.” The people who supported Donald Trump that is.
The world was FLABBERGASTED when he won.
Oh! The horror! The absolute mayhem!
For days I’d been glued to BBC World, watching the drama unfold.
It was riveting! Nail biting!
The vicious debates — the news reports trying to convey the tension of this “Divided America” — Goodness! It was uber entertaining — far more entertaining than one of my favourite shows of all time: “The Apprentice”.
And then the dread happened … What the world had not anticipated came to fruition as Donald Trump, in his bright red tie, marched up to the podium to give his victory speech.
On the day of the results, I had watched BBC reporters and anchors all morning. They seemed unable to hide their absolute shock and utter disgust.
What had the world come to! People wailed.
Had the Americans gone mad!
Others spat that this was typical of “racist”, “bigoted” America. Of course they’d done this!
So what happened?
Weeks later there are still some news channels grasping at straws trying to make sense of what was clearly an utter blindside to them.
I was fascinated to see people in South Africa share their utter outrage and palpable revulsion to what had happened.
Interesting that we hadn’t had had THIS much outrage with the slew of utterly despicable, unacceptably, outrageous, unfoldings from our own Government.
Yet, Social Media in South Africa was alight with the injustice of what had transpired in America — And I wondered where all this energy had been when the very revealing State Capture Report was released about what was happening in our own country?
‘The Silent Majority’ — When I saw those placards with those words on them, something shot up inside me.
Why were they ‘Silent’?
I knew the answer.
It was the same reason many of us are silent on issues we feel strongly about but are too afraid to voice.
How do I know? Because I, quietly, very silently, supported Trump. There I said it!
I hadn’t dared mention this during the US Presidential campaign because people will crucify you for opinions contrary to their own.
In a country as racially charged as South Africa, one dares not publically support someone deemed to be as “racist” as Donald Trump was portrayed.
Proven track record
“Portrayed” because Trump had a proven track record of the contrary.
It showed in his employment choices and his active empowerment of minority race employees in his organisations.
I of course didn’t accept all Trump said — it also concerned me very much that he sounded pro going to war once elected, but put up against Hilary Clinton there was not a chance I was supporting the other side.
The Presidential Race was made about RACE — and it’s so interesting how one American Commentator put it after Trump won. She said: “You all got it wrong. You News Channels got it wrong. The pollsters got it wrong. Everyone got it wrong. This was not about race. This was about the people who had, and those who didn’t. Those who had jobs and those who didn’t. Those who felt their futures were uncertain and those who didn’t. This was NOT about race!”
I had felt that throughout the entire campaign trail.
In fact, other commentators weighed in on the matter and said Trump had been seen by many of his supporters as also being an “outsider” like they were.
There was “Washington” which represented the Powers that were, and people who felt that their Government was not serving them or looking after their interests.
So for a lot of Trump supporters, the “us and them” was not “supremacist, racist, sexists” vs “liberal, non-racist, all-embracing lovers of peace and harmony”, the “us and them” was “working class” vs “the status political and economic quo”.
But a lot of folks didn’t see that. They didn’t want to see it. They chose to jump on the racism bandwagon and were blinded to everything else.
I am a black woman in South Africa. I get racism. Boy do I get it!
But sometimes that’s not all there is to the story.
I had listened closely to both sides argue — and yes, a lot of HOW Trump said things was unsavoury but how is it then that an unexpected number of minority groups and even a large percentage of women voted for Trump?
There was a lot going on we didn’t get.
Burnt at the stake
And the REASON there was a SILENT MAJORITY was those people who supported Trump felt if they had voiced their opinions they would’ve been burnt at the stake!
One black 16 year old Trump supporter received death threats, was called all sorts of vicious names by other black people and is reported to have been harassed by “Black Lives Matter” representatives. Clearly black lives only matter if they share the same opinion!
Trump supporters KNEW that they would be called racist, bigoted, sexists if they were white.
And if they were any other colour they feared that same treatment that black 16 year old got.
I found it absolutely hilarious watching some Republicans who’d withdrawn their support for Trump during his campaign aggressively endorse him for “having heard the voices no one heard,” AFTER he’d won!
Interesting how the naysayers will crawl out of the woodwork once someone else has done the hard work.
Support for dealing with economic issues
In a lot of the interviews I’d watched on Trump supporters, many said they DIDN’T condone the way in which he’d said things, or how he’d spoken about touching women inappropriately but they did support his drive to deal with the economic issues they felt they were crumbling under.
But opponents, I’ve found, don’t give opportunity to hear the whole argument — the moment you’re seen to support their “enemy” all of you is just as rotten as the person they hate.
It was surprising and worrying to me that here in South Africa, people didn’t question why Hilary Clinton had deleted those 33 000 emails. If she had nothing to hide, why was she hiding these?
Had we become so accustomed to leaders mired in scandals and questionable actions that we had become so immune that we would STILL support someone who seemed to lack integrity?
How about the 12 year old’s rapist Mrs Clinton is reported to have gotten off on a technicality during her lawyering years … and then laughed about it! Was this the woman who truly supported “women’s rights”? How did we overlook that?
Groping a woman without her permission was absolutely unforgiveable, but getting a child rapist off was … Wow! It was my turn to ask what world we live in!
Plans to overturn abortion ruling
Trump spoke about his plans to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion — something Mrs Clinton was very for — I’ve heard of the terrible circumstances of a lot of women who decide on abortions. I don’t judge them.
There is a ministry I fervently support which works with pregnant teens.
Some of them, despite counselling, still decide to abort their babies. The woman who runs the ministry continues to journey with these young women even after the abortions because she says, few understand how hard that decision is or what drives it. So I do not for one moment judge women who have abortions.
But the other side is not told. And I’ll mention a bit of it here:
One woman who works closely with the ministry I mentioned had an abortion 47 years ago — yet even after so much time, she says, not a single day goes by without her thinking of her son. She had known she was carrying a boy by the time the abortion happened.
I know another woman whose business I’m a patron of, she had an abortion because at the time she’d felt she was too far on in years to be pregnant. The pregnancy had shocked her. As she shared her story with me she told me of how she’d had no idea of the repercussions that would occur after she’d had the abortion.
She told me the guilt was killing her and while she knew God had forgiven her, she couldn’t forgive herself.
The media and avid pro-choice supporters will never ever share these stories with us.
Instead, anyone seen as “against” their views is painted as being old-fashioned, backward thinking, insensitive brutes.
How about, that pro-life supporters not only care for the unborn baby, but also the carrying mommy because they realise that the abortion may do more harm than good for that woman!
Trump stood up and said he wanted to review abortion laws in America.
The world health organisation reports that there are an estimated 3 000 abortions in America every single day.
A whopping 22% of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion!
And we, especially Christians, are totally fine with supporting a candidate who is absolutely FOR that?
Reverse laws that muzzle Christians
Trump also said he wanted to reverse some laws that had put a muzzle on Christianity and made it very difficult for Christians and Churches to voice their opinions on matters.
Christians are said to make up about 71% of the American population — yet there are laws, in place, that exist to silence Christians.
In South Africa, we may not notice it, but we’re going that same way too.
So you can imagine my concern when I saw Christians, in South Africa, still downing Trump and actively showing support for the Clinton campaign.
We are a polarised world. That’s a fact.
Racism exists. So does sexism. So do so many other injustices in the world.
But what we don’t talk about or protest FOR is that “Silent Majority”.
Those people who might not have agreed with Trump’s “lewdness” and other revolting things he said, but supported a lot of what he stood for.
What I have found to be true in my own life is that I’ve often been terrified to openly speak about what I believed because I knew folks who opposed my views wouldn’t hear the heart of what I was saying.
I’m challenging myself on that and asking God to help me be more bold to speak out loud when I need to.
I’ve been doing so.
The consequence of speaking out
The result: some of it has been hard to take.
Some of my friendships have been tested because of it — but I believe that “silent truth” is ineffective. It’s only the truth that is HEARD that sets people free.
People can’t hear if we’re silent.
I’ve been called a “black-white” by some black folks for my stance on certain issues.
Other times, when I’ve highlighted things for what they were I’ve been called “too sensitive” by some white folks and been said to read “too much” into things that no longer exist.
If I condemn something I feel is blatantly unjust, I’m said to not understand the issues and vicious, personal, attacks on me ensue.
It’s odd that the same people who will call some folks bigoted and closed-minded often give no room for any opinion other than their own.
The thing is if we, as believers, look for a place to “fit in” — we’re dishonouring the call on our lives.
If we fall into the trap of going with the loudest voices or support people and ideas based on blanket assumptions without doing our own research … are we not at risk of missing the point?
God said, “Come out from among them!”
Why? So we can show His love and who He is, in love.
That will mean taking hard, and often unpopular stances.
South Africa is predominantly Christian.
It’s estimated that almost 80% of South Africans say they’re Christians.
Yet, just like it was in America, prayer in most schools in South Africa has been done away with.
Not too long ago a bus driver in Cape Town was FIRED for PRAYING!
The Christians, who are the majority in this country, for the most part did nothing.
Bullied into silence
We’ve been bullied into being silent. And into accepting things we shouldn’t.
We’re terrified to mention the name of Jesus openly because it’s seen as politically incorrect and we might offend someone.
Most of us are even scared to correct our own children and tell them, “Jesus is Lord and He is THE only way to the Father!” Because we have to be “tolerant” of everyone else. The fact is there is a growing intolerance to OUR faith!
We remain silent, as people we love live lives that do not honour them or God because we don’t want to “offend” them, yet people are dying on our watch — and some even moving very far away from God because we remain silent.
I’m so glad there were folks who “offended” me and told me the way I was living was destructive.
I was a wreck in my late teens. I don’t know where I would be today if someone hadn’t told me the truth!
The world is not silent. Neither is the devil.
There are forces out to get us, our nations, and our children.
We can remain silent all we want because we fear persecution but the fact is we will pay the price for our silence eventually.
Jesus most politically incorrect person
Not a single one of us would have the Gospel we have had Jesus not turned things upside down! He was the most politically incorrect Person who ever lived!
The Apostles followed suit.
Many were murdered because of it. But because of their courage we have this Gospel. We have the New Testament.
It is my sincere belief that the Church is going to have to make a very visible and very audible stance on matters if things are to change for our good and the good of our children.
The other day I was telling my children the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three young men that were willing to be burnt alive rather than worship another god.
When I read that story, nowhere does it say that they had to denounce their own faith in Yahweh. All they had to do was bow to the image the king of Babylon had made.
Those young men could have “bowed”, to save their lives, but secretly continued praying to their own God.
But they PUBLICALLY voiced and showed their faith, and by so doing chose to rather burn to death than be silent.
God not only saved them, but because of this miraculous salvation, the king declared that the God of these young men was the ONLY one and true God.
Will our nation’s leaders declare the same?
Not a chance if we remain silent.
The answer lies with us.