There are moments I am sure, when an event takes place that many of us experience a remembering of a bit of Scripture that for some reason we believe has relevance for/to the event unfolding before us.

When it was announced at about 3AM last Wednesday morning that Donald J. Trump, and Michael Richard Pence had been elected by the voters as President, and Vice President of the USA, these words spoken by Jesus from the cross from Luke 23: 34 surfaced within me;

  “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

What is it about Donald Trump that evokes this response? His demonization of a black President with his “birther” nonsense. His words and actions that abuse women. And, his negative generalizations about immigrants from Mexico.

What is it about Mike Pence? His anti-same sex marriage actions, and his support of efforts to reverse the sexual orientation and gender identity of LGBTQ persons.

Many of us are concerned that much of the electorate ignored or forgot about the biases of Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence, because of the understandable concerns about jobs and the economy of the Rust and Bible Belt voters who elected Trump and Pence.

But, bias and bigotry are at variance with the love that is enfleshed in Jesus, and the basic principles of American democracy. And, they deserve priority in our decision making.

“Them” and “They?” I cannot separate myself from those who voted for the Trump/Pence ticket. I too, in my 83 years have allowed bias and bigotry to be far down on my list of concerns. Thus, having “been there and done that” at times in my life’s journey, I seek forgiveness for all of us, past and present, who have overlooked these demons.

“Jesus, forgive us, all of us, for minimizing or ignoring bias and bigotry when it is present in others, and when it is present within us.”

Rev. Gil Caldwell

The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell is a retired United Methodist Minister who lives in Asbury Park, N.J. He was active in the Massachusetts unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and participated in the civil-rights movement throughout the nation. In 2000, he, with others, organized the RMN Extension ministry United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church (UMOC), an organization committed to the full inclusion of LGBT people in every aspect of church and society. His recent book, Something Within: Works by Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell is available from Church Within A Church. Gil's advocacy efforts were also featured in the film "From Selma to Stonewall - Are We There Yet?" Learn more at truthinprogress.com

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