My Confession

Time for the church’s leaders to dispel lies and protect life.

Kenneth Tanner
3 min readJan 12, 2021

Time for some honesty. For five years the President has said and done things that I felt we should not tolerate in a leader of the nation.

I used to be quite vocal about it but there was always a pattern in response: that’s not what he said (though I heard him say it), that’s not what he meant (when his meaning was unambiguous), that’s not what he did (but I’m watching the video and, well, that’s what he did).

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

At some point I brought these things up less because the price for bringing them up was too high in relationships with people I love.

At some point, after so much feedback, it’s not that you doubt your ears or eyes, or your judgment or discernment, but you do wonder — somehow — if you’re being fair or perhaps you’ve developed an innate bias, and you try real hard to see the other side of the coin, grant the doubt.

And now we’ve arrived at this moment: the President asking a Georgia state official to “find” votes for him.

I heard him say it and I want to ask his supporters what legitimates that conversation. But I hear their defenses in my head and it’s just not worth the energy to ask.

And so I realize that this is how it happens, this is how discourse founded in reality dies. And how something in a nation dies. And how something in me dies. And it’s not something that I should allow to die. And so I guess I’m just confessing my own brokenness.

And a prayer that all of us would have the courage to start naming realities again and to start waking up from all of this for the sake of my grandchildren.

The events of January 6 and the President’s complicity in them, empowered by the lie that the election was “stolen,” make this more urgent now than when I wrote all of the above on January 4.

There are many who see the problem but put aside their concern because he grants them X or Y in the social or political equation.

I was raised we cannot allow things like that to muzzle our concerns when we are convicted of the truth. I have been as vocal as I felt I could be without being misinterpreted as partisan but I was less vocal and that, I now realize, was cowardice.

There’s almost nothing more urgent in the present moment for ministers of the gospel than to dispel the lie that the President won the election if not for the machinations of the “deep state” and other nefarious actors.

We have a unique role in people’s lives. They respect and sometimes listen to us when they won’t listen to others, perhaps especially when we have things to say that they may not want to hear.

Three things: He lost, there is no conspiracy of pedophiles who run the world and hate the President, and our chosen echo chambers of bias will never help us find the facts.

We need to repeat these things early and often because people’s lives are at stake.

I’ll keep taking all of this to those who love me and to the God who loves me and ask for wisdom. Thanks for listening.



Kenneth Tanner

Pastor | Contributor: Mockingbird, Sojourners, Huffington Post, Clarion Journal | Theologian l Author “Vulnerable God” (forthcoming, Baker Books)