My purpose here is not to comment on the unspeakably tragic, mind-bogglingly ugly shootings in El Paso and Dayton. As a nation, we mourn and grieve.
And until we have more facts and information, I don’t believe it is wise to comment on the motivation of the shooters.
But I believe it is an opportune time to renounce white nationalism.
It is unAmerican, it is unChristian, and it is deadly.
America’s greatness is not color-based. It is not ethnically driven. America’s greatness is derived from the vision of our Founders, a vision that was largely Christian, driven by biblical principles.
Because of those principles, the Founders could write, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These truths were only “self-evident” to the extent that there was a benevolent and just Creator. Without Him, this entire sentence, which forms the philosophical lynchpin of the Declaration of Independence, would disappear.
It is because of these biblically-based principles that we were able to break free from the horrors of slavery and push back against the evils of segregation.
And it is based on these principles that we can continue to fight against injustice, oppression, racism, and whatever other evils remain present in our country.
But none of this has to do with skin color or ethnic origins.
Instead, it has to do with people coming together to live as Americans, not primarily as Europeans living in America or Asians living in America or Africans living in America, but simply as Americans.
That means that whites should not have a vision of a white America or blacks of a black America or Hispanics of a Hispanic America.
Do I want to see our nation become Muslim?
Certainly not. That is not the foundation of our national heritage, nor has it ever been the dominant religion of our country. I much prefer our foundations and liberties to those of, say, Saudi Arabia or Iran.
Do I want to see our nation become Hindu?
Certainly not. Having been to India 26 times since 1993, I much prefer our Christian heritage to a Hindu heritage.
Do I want to see our nation become Jewish?
Certainly not – and I say that as a Jewish follower of Jesus. I wholeheartedly affirm Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but that is for Israel, not for America.
Do I want to see our nation become atheistic?
Certainly not. Atheists nations like North Korea (with its emperor worship) or, in the past, Albania or Russia (and with it, the Soviet Union) produce bondage rather than freedom and oppression rather than liberty.
But my vision for a predominantly Christian, democratic republic called America has nothing to do with race or color.
To the contrary, all the first Christians – think “followers of Jesus” rather than “members of a religion” – were Middle Eastern Jews.
And at this moment, the majority of Christians worldwide are not white.
In fact, according to Pew Forum, among 18-29 year-olds worldwide, only 14 percent are white, as compared to 22 percent black, 25 percent Latino, 32 percent Asian, and 24 percent “other/mixed.”
So, my vision for a God-honoring, largely Christian America has nothing to do with color or race.
As such, it is the opposite of a white nationalist vision.
In short, as a Caucasian follower of Jesus, I would have rather live in a God-honoring America that was 90 percent black or Asian or Latino than in a God-mocking nation that was 90 percent white. In a heartbeat!
White nationalism is based on hatred and prejudice and bigotry. (That’s why it also hates Jews as much as people of color.)
It is based on the unbiblical notion of white supremacy and on the unpatriotic notion of American whiteness.
I categorically renounce it in spirit and word and deed.
Do I want to see secure borders?
Of course. That is common sense, despite the current political controversies.
Do I want immigrants to learn English (or, at the least, have their children speak fluent English)?
Yes, I do, but that is for pragmatic reasons alone, having nothing to do with race or color.
Do I want immigrants to become good citizens (as opposed to wanting to destroy our culture and overthrow our nation)?
But that does not mean a white America. And it equate to a hate-filled, xenophobic nationalism.
It simply means an honoring of our country’s heritage and a healthy respect of our uniqueness.
And, to repeat, it is a vision that affirms our nation’s Christian heritage, one which allows freedom of religion for all (including the right to be non-religious).
As classically expressed by George Washington, “For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”
That is the opposite of white nationalism.
Join me in renouncing it and working for a better America – a better America for all.