As I watched the Republican #GOPDebate last night, I was struck by two things in particular. First, any reference to God used the masculine pronoun and second, any reference to the president used the masculine pronoun. Huckabee did it. Jeb did it. Cruz did it.
It would be easy to say that these references represent long-held beliefs about both God and the president being masculine and they do, but more than that the use of the masculine pronoun for both the most powerful force in the universe and the most powerful position in the country says something more about the way we view men and women in our country and in our churches. These candidates are appealing to a white, male base whose ideas aren’t being challenged, but rather held up as correct. This is the same base that has questioned Obama since he has been in office because of his skin color. Obama, they claim, can’t be a real American or a real Christian and the underlying reason is because he is different than they are.
The Washington Post comments about this phenomenon:
Too many Americans — particularly Christian Americans of my own generation — continue to worship at the altar of whiteness, defining themselves by their status as members of a temporary and illusory racial majority.
The idea that to be Christian, to be patriotic, and to be evangelical is equivalent to being white and male means that evangelism and patriotism is persecution of the “other.” namely all females, all immigrants, and all people of different races or nationalities.
Really? That’s the good news? Persecution and oppression?
I don’t buy it. The good news is not making ourselves feel better about our racist and misogynistic biases. The good news is that regardless of our race, gender, or past, we all can receive the grace of God.
The fact that we now have a stage full of white males who are not challenging but kowtowing to a voting base that is dangerous in their beliefs that they are better than other people; a political base that is responsible for the majority of the mass shootings that have taken place in the last year and historically is frightening.
As a woman and an evangelical of the gospel message, not of American politics, but of Jesus Christ, I I hope to God one of these men is not our next president.