Nathaniel Emens has shared his response and some of the memories that shaped it in the days following the United States national elections.
How my experiences, history, and religious beliefs are drastically different then the Trump Style of beliefs. I am now 89 years old and grew up in the Great Depression.
At the age of five I was taken by my mother to the hospital to have my tonsils removed.Back then, when a child had a sore throat the remedy was to remove your tonsils. The next morning when I woke up, I was sweating profusely. My mother came to see me and immediately obtained a towel to wipe my face and head. All of the ten boys who had their tonsils removed had someone taking care of them except for the boy in the bed next to me. So my mother wiped his face and head and I noticed that he was black. My parents never talked to me about loving all other children. They just taught me by example.
Then, when I was 17 and in my last year in high school, I had a teacher who assigned us the job of researching and writing on a topic like I was already in college. It was not easy to do, but I did it and obtained an A grade. The title of my topic was “The Lynching Problem in the United States.” I could not believe that blacks were being killed for no other reason, but the color of their skin. In the years since then I have learned even more about this different way of treating people who are somewhat different in color, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, or mental health.
Over my long lifetime I have been able to meet, talk with, or listen to people such as Marcus Borg, Jim Wallis, and William Yale. As a long time Church Delegate to the Mass. Conference of the United Church of Christ I have met and discussed many topics with religious leaders and politicians I have been to the Holy Land twice. The second time, my tour guide was a Palestinian, an Arab Christian. His family may well have been converted by Peter at the arrival of the Holy Spirit.
Thus, the question is, What Have I Learned From All Of This?
I have learned to listen to that Holy Spirit. I feel that I must still love people who are supporting the new President of the United States, but also to voice my great opposition to any proposition that he makes that differs with what Jesus teaches. I have seen young college students who are opposed to Trump’s beliefs. Do we need to have a new Paradigm? It will be for the young and for those of us who are older.
Nathaniel C. Emens