More on Why I Support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2020 (and a suggestion if you can’t)

As I explained in an earlier post, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Joe Biden because I believe we need an honest leader with a good heart and proven competence to lead our nation at this dangerous time.

We need someone with decades of experience to challenge and undo the catastrophic damage done to our nation, its people, and its institutions by the current administration.

Joe is a man from working class roots who has suffered heartbreak and loss, and his suffering has made him more genuine, generous, and kind than so many politicians.

He is tested. He has made and admitted mistakes, and learned and grown from them.

As a committed Christian who grew up in Fundamentalist, Evangelical, and Charismatic circles, and who then served for twenty-four years as a church planter and pastor in a non-denominational congregation, I respect Joe as a man of faith and moral integrity. Joe is a Vatican-II, Pope-Francis Roman Catholic, and his immersion in Catholic Social Teaching prepares him to seek the common good of all Americans – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, of any faith or no explicit faith.

His faith doesn’t narrow his moral vision to one or two wedge issues. Instead, it gives him a broad and deep moral vision. He affirms the dignity of all people, no exceptions, with a special concern for the “least of these.” He knows that we must become good and regenerative stewards of this beautiful, fragile earth. And he has the character and empathy to unite our nation that has been driving drunk for four years, intoxicated by lies and the manipulation of a malignant narcissist, its judgment clouded by racial and class divisiveness and misled by Trump and the toxic media who support him.

I had the honor of visiting Joe Biden’s home as part of a large group of faith and justice leaders when he was Vice President. As he spoke to us, I felt both his sincerity and his intelligence.

It’s no secret, Joe was not my first choice during the primaries. But I am enthusiastically on board in supporting him now, especially since he chose Kamala Harris as his running mate. A vote for Joe and Kamala is a vote for honesty, decency, fairness, compassion, and the Constitution. It’s a vote against racism, corruption, nepotism, and deception.

It’s a vote for democracy over authoritarianism.

It’s a vote for a better future for my adult kids and their kids.

I hope you’ll consider joining me in supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2020.

If you are one of those Republicans who can’t bring yourself to vote for a Democrat, no matter how good and decent and qualified, I understand that party loyalty and political identity run very deep for a lot of people. I invite you to reconsider, but at the very least, I urge you not to cast your vote for Donald Trump.

Here’s why.

I was in Charlottesville August 11-12, 2017, part of a multi-faith clergy witness for justice and peace for all people. I saw hundreds of young white men (and a few women, along with some older white guys my age) marching with Nazi and Confederate flags that weekend, chanting Nazi slogans and carrying baseball bats, and promising to “take back” America for white supremacy. I was there in the crowd after a young woman was killed (and many others injured) by a white supremacist using his car as his murder weapon. In the days after, I was given access to screenshots of the secret communications among the white supremacist neo-Nazis who organized the event. I may have thought I was “woke” before, but that experience woke me up in a whole new way.

Then I heard Donald Trump refuse to unequivocally condemn them.

Before that, I knew that our president lacked honesty and basic human kindness. He had built a reputation for decades of being sleazy and self-seeking. Before the Access Hollywood tape, I heard about him bragging to Howard Stern or someone similar about how many women he had bedded, etc. I had known that he was happy to use racist dog whistles as soon as he started his birther hoax. (Is it any surprise he likes to accuse others of what he routinely does?)

But since Charlottesville, I knew in my bones that he is more than just dangerous. He poses a threat to our hard-won democracy.

Like so many authoritarians in history, he has a con artist’s ability to get inside of certain people’s heads, to make them believe any lie he says, to make them defend him at all costs. He has won over large sectors of white Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, and Catholic Christianity, remaking them in his own tawdry image. Many bow the knee to him overtly; others support him by their complicit silence, perfectly following the script condemned by Dr. King in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

So of course I will publicly do all I can to oppose Donald Trump. And of course I will publicly support all candidates who provide a better alternative, starting with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

But again, if you can’t bring yourself to vote for Biden/Harris for whatever reason, I urge you to consider voting for Mark Charles. Mark is a personal friend, a gifted teacher, a good man, a member of the Navajo nation and a committed Christian who is running a campaign you should know about. I have learned so much from him and I respect him for running in 2020. Although I’m an enthusiastic supporter of Biden/Harris, I hope Mark’s candidacy influences our entire nation to learn our history and to build common memory in a quest for lasting truth and conciliation.

Note: I offer this endorsement as an individual American citizen, and not as a representative of any organization. I am using my time and my equipment on my property to make this endorsement. If you are a religious leader or non-profit employee, and wonder what is permissible for you to do in an election season, I encourage you to check out this helpful resource.