So Donald Trump’s going to be president.
I’ll just leave that there for now. Don’t worry, I’ll most certainly be circling back to that.
Last night I was at Alpha. I think some sort of election was going on too but, you know, nothing major. The theme of this week was “How do I resist evil?” It’s not my favourite theme. You’ve dragged your friends along to Alpha and here are a bunch Christians that your friends know you hang out with talking about the Devil and sin and temptation – it’s not the most palatable part of Christianity. The Jesus bit is way better.
But we sat around our tables and discussed the Devil and our traditional image of him; the little goblin thing with the pointy tail and the pitchfork. And as we discussed this image of Satan we realised that the cartoonish nature of it helped us to minimise who the Devil is and his power over us. By making him a figure of fun and ridicule, we underestimated the threat he was to our lives (sounds like a certain President Elect I know).
As they put it in The Usual Suspects, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” When we minimise the evil in the world, when we become desensitised to the injustices around us, when we say “oh but he won’t actually win“, we end up not doing anything to prevent it. Now I’m not actually saying that Donald Trump is the Devil (misogynistic racist liar, though he is) but we realised too late that he wasn’t just a silly orange little man with awful hair. And when we don’t pay attention to evil and injustice, when we don’t give them their dues, the bad things happen without our consent. As the parliamentarian Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
And all this talk of being on the lookout for evil may sound a bit depressing (and to be honest I am a bit depressed today) but it’s not; it’s an opportunity for hope to overcome and shine through the darkness. I am not looking forward to a world where Donald Trump is President, but I am looking forward to seeing how people react. At Alpha we talked about how injustice in the world helps us to see the good in it – and boy do we need that little silver lining in 2016. When evil exists, the obvious logical conclusion is that good exists and it’s our job as human beings to shine a light on that good, and bring more into the world. Nicky Gumble says that it’s not enough to live your life and not to be evil (even if that is Google’s slogan). Rather, we should be fighting against injustice, and bringing joy and light to a world desperately in need of it – especially this week.
I’m aware that Liberti and most of our readers are based in the UK, and it feels like we’re powerless in this particular electoral situation. But there’s always something we can do to make this depressing world a little bit lighter and brighter, to bring Jesus to those devilish situations. I’ve quoted a lot of brilliant people in this particular blog, but if you’ll indulge me one more I’ll leave you with the words of Liberti columnist Cathy Madavan, who said this on Facebook this week:
“At a time like this, when it’s possible to get a mandate to lead even when you want to ban muslims, build walls against nations, you assault and patronise women and intend to pull out of international environment targets, we must do our part. Invite somebody different to you to dinner. Lift women up. Resist racism. Buy sustainable goods and recycle. Engage intelligence and hope over base instincts and fear. Choose to love rather than to hate. Turn the tide. And folks, let’s pray for our world, our leaders and our neighbours.”
In short, bring a little bit of Jesus to the world – because Donald Trump isn’t terribly likely to do it for you.
Written by Chloe Satchell-Cobbett, Deputy Editor, Liberti Magazine.