Kevin G Cook

Theology | Worship | Resources

Christians, It’s Time to Speak Up

November 15, 2016  |  blog

I am humbled and thankful that my Post-election Message to Christians impacted so many people…

because I’m actually quite concerned about Steve Bannon.

If you don’t know him, Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, an ultra-conservative “alt-right” website known for its politically incorrect language and intolerance.

He left Breitbart in August to take over as the Chief Executive of Trump’s campaign, and he will now be joining the President-elect in the White House as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.

Here’s the issue

I’m concerned about Bannon because no matter what you believe about the President-elect’s language being racist or prejudiced, Steve Bannon’s record makes Donald Trump look rather tame.

Under Bannon, Breitbart News shifted to the extreme fringe of the conservative right, stripped themselves of all political correctness, and regularly published offensive and prejudicial material.

CNN released an article summarizing 10 of Breitbart’s most incendiary headlines. You can read short summaries at that link, but here are the headlines themselves:

      • The solution to online ‘harassment’ is simple: Women should log off
      • Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler, renegade Jew
      • Trannies whine about hilarious Bruce Jenner billboard
      • Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy
      • Suck it up buttercups: Dangerous Faggot Tour returns to colleges in September
      • Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage
        (posted in the aftermath of the mass shooting at the historical black church in Charleston in July 2015)
      • Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?
      • Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet
      • Science proves it: Fat-shaming works
      • There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews

This seriously concerns me, not only this man’s flare for the dramatic, shocking, and offensive, but also that Bannon has been accused of being a white nationalist by a number of advocacy groups, an anti-semite, a homophobe, islamophobe, and a misogynist.

And now he is a top advisor and strategist for Mr. Trump

Now I am a white male Christian, the majority of which voted for Trump. I did not, and this decision seriously worries me. This man’s record scares me far more than anything Donald Trump has said or done.

No matter who you voted for, no matter what your personal reasons were, we must all agree that the violence and divisiveness of this past week have shown that racism and prejudice are real problems in the US today and it’s tearing our country apart.

Christians Speak Up

It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or Democrat, evangelical or liberal. We all need to come together and start standing up against the racism, prejudice, and violence in our country!

We must have the boldness to preach against racism and initiate uncomfortable conversations in our churches.

We must be prepared to stand up to friends and family who might disagree with us or not understand that racism is a real issue today.

We must be proactive in standing up to the government and standing beside our brothers and sisters when racism happens.

And if the Trump administration even hints at racist language or policies, we must make it our ethical responsibility to respond against them.

If the BLM movement hasn’t gotten through to you, these past few weeks and months have certainly made it clear that racism is still a problem in this country, and it’s just getting worse. We have seen this rhetoric in our world before, and we need to start preaching against it. Especially white evangelicals, we need to stop turning a blind eye.

As said by one of my favorites, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

Lord deliver us from evil and prejudice of all types, both in the world and in our hearts, and give us the courage to be a prophetic witness to the injustice in our country.


About the Author

Kevin Cook is a 4th year student at Asbury Theological Seminary and an Aspirant for Ordination in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). After graduating, Kevin hopes to plant a contemporary three-streams Anglican Church. He and his wife Nicole attend Wilmore Anglican Church in Kentucky.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University. Kevin enjoys playing music and leading worship, reading fiction and spiritual classics, drinking coffee, and spending time with family and friends.

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  1. Bannon’s selection to serve in the administration is no where near the FIRST red flag. It is just one more in a long long line of them.

    Some earlier red flags:
    Each time he told a lie and then denied he told it.
    When we heard him bragging about sexually assaulting women.
    When Bannon and Roger Ailes were appointed as leaders in his campaign.
    Inciting violence at his rallies.
    Ad Hominem attacks against all his opponents.

    There are lots more. All of them were red enough to have had all Christians voting for somebody else. ALL of them were totally ignored by every Christian that voted for him.

    Don Sterling Wilcox

    • Perhaps, but this is certainly the first, and the biggest, since he was elected.

      • Why do you need an excuse (white male Christian) to find this offensive? Isn’t being HUMAN reason enough?

        During the campaign Trump and his surrogates said and did many many frightening things. Shortly afterwords republican leaders were saying things like…

        I find this offensive because I have a wife….
        I find this offensive because I have daughters
        Some of my best friends are women and I find this offensive…
        I am a Christian and this deeply offends me.

        I didn’t and still don’t need excuses to find Trump, Bannon, Ailes et al offensive. I am a HUMAN. I find them offensive. Whether or not I have a wife, a daughter, a mother or other females in my life is irrelevant. Whether I am Christian, atheist, Jew, Muslim, black, male, female, LGBTQ, white or polka dotted is irrelevant. I STILL find them offensive.

      • This sounds like buyers’ remorse.

        Trump’s selection is completely in character with his campaign. I don’t know how anyone can be surprised or claim to be caught off guard.

        You assert that now is the time for Christians to speak up, to be a voice of peace, tolerance, unity, understanding. I counter that the time for that has passed.

        The Christian right supported Trump despite his unambiguous message of bigotry, division, and fear. The Christian middle, for whatever reason, did not vehemently reject him or his message.

        Mainstream Christianity abdicated any claim it may have once held to being the moral voice or leader in this country. It gave its support of a known bigot, xenophobe, misogynist, fear-monger in exchange for the expectation that he would use his Presidency to promote the Church’s agenda.

        Trump only serves Trump. He’s demonstrated a remarkable indifference to negative feedback. For the next four years, he really won’t have to listen to or answer to anyone else. I hope I’m not the only one worried about that prospect.

      • Ritchie Christianson

        As a Christian, I think it is crucial to remember that God does set up and take down leaders. He chose Nebuchadnezzar, a brutal heathen leader to subjugate God’s people, Israel, and take them into captivity after they rejected God with idol worship and other evil. But God also arranged to put Daniel and his 3 committed friends into positions of leadership. God even kept Daniel on board after the Medo Persians conquered Babylon. Certainly we can pray for who we think should lead the country, but it is comforting to know God has the last word.

  2. Thanks for addressing this. I feel comforted there are indeed true Christians like you.

  3. Yes! I am struggling to understand how anyone, regardless of race, faith or gender, was able to look past the awful rhetoric and behavior of this man and his campaign and vote for him, believing in promises that obviously cannot be kept. Thank you for speaking out so clearly to remind Christians, and the rest of us, that we can and must treat our fellow human beings with love and respect. I will be following your postings from now on.

  4. Thank you for your article, and thank you for not claiming he is also an anti-Semite as others have claimed.

    As a white, Christian female in my 50’s, it is disheartening to deal with misogyny in our culture as well as the disheartening discourse on both sides of the political spectrum.

    For all the reasons you dislike, disfavor, and discourage a Steve
    Bannon advisory position and Donald Trump as President-Elect, I could also use your words to describe Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. If you cannot see how many of your fellow Christians view the Clintons and the Podestas in the same light as you view Trump and Bannon, then we will always have a divide in the church.

    Thank you for listening. And blessings on your future studies.

    • Thanks Julie, and I absolutely do have similar strong feelings against the Clintons. And if the Hillary were elected, and she were making poor decisions or evidence of her fraudulent activities were coming to light, I’d be ready to speak up against her as well. I couldn’t stomach voting for either of them. The point is no matter who is Caesar, Jesus is King, and we must be courageous to stand up against any oppressor.

      • Your last post pretty much sums up the divide. You seem to be a genuinely thoughtful, compassionate, and loving man. You’re also wrong.

        If you are white, male, Christian, second or later generation American, straight, then you are not the direct target of Trump’s message of bigotry. You will not be attacked by those racists, misogynists, Islamophobes, anti-Semites, xenophobes, or homophobes. To you, those horrors are visited not on you, but on other targets. I suppose that’s what they mean when they refer to “white privilege.”

        If you could truly empathize with those targeted groups, then you would see that the difference between Trump and Clinton is not an academic issue. Although both have flaws, Trump’s message is a clear attack on specific groups of Americans. You would see that not supporting Clinton is supporting Trump and putting him in power. If you could put yourself in the shoes of persecuted minorities, you would see the stark difference and the threat. If you could see it from the viewpoint of the oppressed, I hope you would have the stomach and courage to do all that you could to keep a monster and his hateful message from being accepted.

        You are a religious leader to whom people look for spiritual guidance. You have a moral obligation to look deeper than do the laity, to make difficult choices, and to provide true leadership.

        When you declined to support Clinton, this was not a morally superior choice. You refused to get your hands dirty, so to speak, and now we’re stuck with Trump.

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