A word about defending others: This week Meryl Streep condemned Trump's mockery of a disabled reporter. She described being dismayed at "that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter." She noted:
This instinct to humiliate when it's modeled by someone in the public platform by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
These are not inflammatory statements. Most of us would agree that it's wrong to mock others. Most of us would agree that people in power should use their platform for good. Most of us want our leaders to lead by example.
It's baffling to watch my Christian and Republican leaders rush to defend Trump even from words as gracious as Streep's. For example, Franklin Graham's post-Globes statement read,
I say, let's get behind our new President-elect and Vice President-elect Mike Pence and move forward together as a country. They've already made a lot of progress before even officially taking office, and let's pray they continue to make positive changes for the future of America.
Why not just agree with Streep that Trump was wrong? Why are we using our voices to defend Trump (who, as the most powerful person on earth, presumably needs no defense) instead of defending the reporter, or anyone else Trump has bullied?
He's big. He doesn't need our convoluted explanations of how mockery really isn't mockery or sexual assault really isn't sexual assault or lies really aren't lies. For our part, let's rush to the defense of the powerless before we sacrifice our integrity defending the indefensible.