Joe Biden has been elected as the next President of the United States, making him the second Catholic to hold that office; while his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, makes history as the first woman and woman of color to become Vice President.
Trump’s four years in office brought many fractures to the U.S. Christian church, particularly along lines of race.
Despite President Trump’s appeal to white supremacists and his own record of racism, many White Evangelicals remained among his staunchest supporters over the years. White Evangelicals often pointed to Trump’s restrictions on federal dollars to fund abortions (with controversial results at home and abroad) and his appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court as justification for their support of an otherwise corrupt president whose handling of the COVID-19 crisis remains questionable.
However, Christians of color were among those who remained appalled by the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children, restrictions on refugees (including persecuted Christian), and antipathy toward racial justice and acknowledgment of the nation’s complicated racist history.
The Associated Press exit poll data from the November 3 elections reflect that division.
A large number of White Evangelical/born-again Protestant Christians, many of them regular churchgoers, voted to re-elect Trump and Pence, while most Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Asian voters cast ballots for Biden and Harris.
When news that Trump’s term had come to an end broke, Christians of color did not hesitate to speak out.
“President Trump was deeply dangerous, irresponsible, foolish, racist, misogynistic, and deadly to millions of Americans. Don’t let post-election decorum soften that reality. We should be peacemakers, but we should not cry ‘peace, peace’ where there is none,” Tyler Burns, president of The Witness-Black Christian Collective tweeted.
“As you watch the celebrations know that for many this was about more than politics. For minorities & the poor today means hope for better days. Hope for a leadership that grants all Americans the full weight of their citizenship. Hope brings jubilation,” Sam Won tweeted. Won is the associate director of Ministry Formation Dallas Theological Seminary.
Ameen Hudson, a writer and podcast host, was more than relieved over Trump’s defeat.
“I have folks at my church who are DACA recipients. I have friends who were deported (after living here as law abiding citizens/leading a church for 20 years) and fam ripped apart all under Trump’s rhetoric and policies. So yes I’m glad he lost,” he tweeted. “Get this man outta here!!!”
While some Christians were simply relieved to see the end of a Trump administration, others critical of the White House expressed a commitment to be just as vigilant during Biden’s leadership.
“Today is hard. Y’all know I’ve been bearing witness against Pres. Trump & VP Biden. So today I rejoice the immanent removal of a racist neo-facist that’s devastated our country and the Church; but I don’t celebrate Biden. His racist, hawkish policies speak for themselves, too,” wrote Nathan Luis Cartagena, a philosophy professor at Wheaton College in Illinois.
In addition to celebrating what they anticipate would be a change of tone in American politics, Christians of color also encouraged prayer not only for the new Biden-Harris administration, but also for Trump and a peaceful transition.