Why Can’t I Mourn?

I will remember 11/9/2016 for the rest of my life. It was the day that many of my white Christian friends, and much of evangelicalism, told me I couldn’t mourn. It was the day I was told, once again, to pick a side. It was the day I was told to either weep for the unborn or weep for the racially oppressed. It was the day I was told to grieve over the images of aborted fetuses more than the the images of black bodies, the so-called strange fruit, which have hung from trees. There is a scar on my heart whose date will be marked as 11/9/2016.

For many, it appears that it is unacceptable for me to grieve racism and abortion equally. That for many, a Christian only has the capacity to grieve one or the other but not both. If I choose to grieve racism, than I have abandoned the unborn. If I grieve for the unborn, then I must rejoice or at least be content with the fact that a racism prevails in its place. I will never forget the corner “Evangelicalism” as sought to place me in and I refuse to allow myself to be placed in such a corner. I will seek to thrive in Paul’s Philippian prayer which calls me to abound in love, knowledge, and discernment so that I can approve of what is most excellent: Christlike mourning. I will not limit my degree of mourning over sin. I will strive to mourn sin as my God mourns sin, comprehensively. If Hillary were in office, I would mourn for the unborn. Trump is now in office, and so I will mourn with people of color as a person of color over not only his own racism but the bigotry he has stirred across this land. While I mourn the racism, I will continue mourning abortion.

Please, if you have not lived under the yoke of racism all of your life and have had to live with the reality that your children will too, don’t tell me how to mourn. If your experience of the yoke of racism is limited to your imagination, don’t tell me how much worse abortion is. Racism is responsible for almost every major war and the act of genocide in this world. Racism lead to the mass slaughtering of Native Americans. Racism resulted in slavery (mass killing and rape), the Civil War, and WWII. Racism today has robbed children of their fathers and has destroyed families. Racism has led to genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia. Racism is the most oppressive yoke one can live under and if you don’t understand that, its because you have never experienced it. You have no idea what it does to a person’s mind, heart, and even body. I will not pit racism against abortion as if they need to fight it out to prove which is more evil. I will look the two most evil institutions this world has ever known square in the eyes and declare that they are both from the pit of hell.

If you do not know why people of color are grieving right now, could it be possible that you have been complacent in the midst of racism? Could it be because it likely hasn’t affected you? Could it be that you have told yourself you understand but your cluelessness to why people are mourning right now is revealing to you otherwise? I chose not to vote for either. You may have chosen to vote for one or the other. That’s fine. But can we not mourn racism, misogyny, and abortion? I will mourn all sin and in so doing seek to be like my Savior.

It’s my Birthday, allow me to be sorrowful and yet always rejoicing.

 

You can follow me on Twitter @KyleJamesHoward. Also, check out my podcast “Coram Deo Podcast” which focuses on Practical Theology. You can search podcast on any major podcast catcher or follow updates @CoramDeoPodcast

 

About Kyle James Howard

My name is Kyle, I am married to my “high-school sweetheart” and we have 3 children. I have a 7 year-old daughter (Hadassah), a 2 year-old son (Jonah), and 1 year old (Kesed). I am 32 years old and I am currently a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have an Associates degree in Biblical & Theological Studies, A B.S. in Biblical Counseling, and I am finishing up an Advanced M. Div in Historical Theology. Click on the "About Me" link at the top of my home page to read my full testimony.

13 Responses to “Why Can’t I Mourn?”

  1. Thank you for this. I am dealing with such rudeness on my FB feed, but I am trying to be a bridge builder which means you have to talk with the people who disagree with you. Your words express what I need to say!

  2. Kyle, this is probably the best summary of how I’m feeling post-election. As a pro-life American who loves minorities and feels great sorrow along with them it’s been hard to find many white believers who find themselves in a similar place.

  3. Let us pray

  4. Kyle, My skin looks different and for that I do not receive the cruelty you experience but oh how I mourn for the racism exuding in our culture. Thank you for leading, teaching, and bolding proclaiming truth in our selfishly wicked culture.

  5. Thank you for posting this message! I’m also a pro-life, anti-racism, Catholic, Christian. And I share your feelings on this. We need to stand up and begin to develop a middle ground!

  6. Thank you for writing this. You have put words to that which my troubled heart has not been able to communicate. May many people listen, and in so doing, begin to understand.

  7. Mourn on. I think it perfectly accurate to say that every loss is unique and personal–and we give space for each other, in grace, to mourn.

    The best phrase someone shared with me, after a loss, was: “I lost the me, I was with you.”

    I’m just not clear why the Presidency means so much to us. Are we taking too much of our public hopes and fears and projecting them onto a “King” or “throne?”

    I wonder if the extent of pain we have in loss is not related to the depth of attachment–and the meaning we assign to a loss in that relationship.

    When couples divorce–that person who they once desired to ‘become one’ with for the rest of life has become the Devil incarnate.

    If we had just elected the Bestest Possible–the world remains a place of much goodness and much brokenness and evil. It groans in loss. We minister a good news that incarnates in the midst of pain. I appreciate the way you describe this as thriving in Paul’s Philippian prayer.

  8. Thank you for writing this. My heart has been heavy this week and what you wrote explains it so well.

  9. During my struggles/attempts to make sense of my anger, a dear friend from my Bible study, turned me to your writing. I am so angry at my family and church friends for voting to put this horrible person in office, that I have cut myself off, for a week now. I have two grandsons of mixed race, who have been treated wrongly. Please pray for me.

  10. Thank you for writing this. I am so angry at some of the churches because of their views and you explained it so well. Pray for me and others that are having a hard time because racism is real and so is the taking of a life.

  11. Please do mourn! And please pray for the ministers trying to teach that both evils must be mourned.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 76 – Glen Davis - November 19, 2016

    […] Why Can’t I Mourn? (Kyle James Howard, personal blog): “For many, it appears that it is unacceptable for me to grieve racism and abortion equally. That for many, a Christian only has the capacity to grieve one or the other but not both.” […]

%d bloggers like this: