Emily C. Heath is senior pastor of the Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire, and author of Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity (Pilgrim Press). Heath's blog is part of the CCblogs network.
During the earliest years of my ministry I served as a hospital chaplain, shepherding both religious and non-religious patients and families through the worst days of their lives. I quickly specialized in trauma, mostly because others didn’t want to, and so often found myself in emergency rooms and trauma ICUs.
The realization came to me while watching the “Mothers of the Movement” speaking at the Democratic National Convention. These mothers of children who had died too young and too violently, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and more, had come to Philadelphia to speak. Sandra Bland’s mom was leading them off with words of faith and grace.
And that’s when I thought about Donald Trump’s speech at his own convention last week, and about the overarching message of fear, intolerance, and negativity that has come to define his campaign.