Dear Christians: Practical Ways to be an Ally in 2017 America

Alright, peoples. The board is set; the pieces are moving. If you’re a person of good will, and I know most of you are, you need to get real serious about your commitment to your own values. It’s time to cash them in for some hard currency. Christ said: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,” and:

 “Come, you that are blessed… for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:40, 34-36)

 This isn’t a matter of political ideology. It’s a matter of basic common humanity. I know I risk sounding alarmist — I’m not about to claim that the world is on the brink of collapse — only that this is not the best time to be a minority in the United States of America, and in many other parts of the world.

 Below are some basic things Christians can do to help minorities feel safe:

  1.  Pray for change – but don’t stop there.
  2. Have real messy human relationships with minority friends.
  3. If you have a spare bedroom, be willing to put it to use.
  4. If you can, signal to minority groups that you’re a safe resource.
  5. Use your professional skills to help those in need.
  6. Educate yourself.
  7. Volunteer.
  8. Use language respectfully, because it sets the tone for how a person will be treated.
  9. Stand up to bullies, even if it inconveniences you (even if they’re your family).
  10. Teach your children to stand up to bullies and defend others.
  11. Make your churches welcome to any person who needs a warm environment – so make your churches warm.
  12. Be the warm body that will stand or sit beside a friend. As in: sit yourself physically down next to a minority friend (in the pew – yes, in church) and help them deflect all those nasty stares they’re accustomed to.
  13. Donate to initiatives that actively help minority groups. If not shelters and charities, then to law centers. We need good lawyers more than anyone else.
  14. Publicly support us. Stop worrying about your social clout.
  15. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. This means, don’t expect to be given a ribbon for basic human decency. Thank you, really, but this isn’t about you. It’s just not.
  16. In summary, practice what you preach.

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