The recent inauguration of Donald Trump has exposed many hypocrisies. Not least among them is how intolerant some Americans who preach tolerance are to their fellow citizens. Consider the example of Elizabeth Poe.
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Poe owns a yarn store in Franklin, Tennessee. Her business relies on her relationship with her customer, almost all of whom are women. Yet Poe felt conflicted about the Women’s March that followed Trump’s inauguration, and decided she didn’t want to support the women who were knitting genitalia shaped hats for the protest march.
She posted this message on Facebook:
With the recent women’s march on Washington, I ask that you if you want yarn for any project for the women’s movement that you please shop for yarn elsewhere. The vulgarity, vile and evilness of this movement is absolutely despicable.
That kind of behavior is unacceptable and is not welcomed at The Joy of Knitting. I will never need that kind of business to remain open. Two wrongs will never ever make it right.
As the owner of this business and a Christian, I have a duty to my customers and my community to promote values of mutual respect, love, compassion, understanding, and integrity. The women’s movement is counterproductive to unity of family, friends, community, and nation.
I do pray for these women. May God work out His love in their hearts and continue to heal and unite Americans.
Poe’s message wasn’t received well by women in need of some pink yarn. Her phone began ringing–hundreds of calls a day–and her social media channels filled with vitriolic hatred. Some even threatened to rape her.
Yet there’s an irony here, in that Poe’s message doesn’t, in any way, express support for President Trump, or excuse any of his actions that helped inspire the symbolic head gear.
Instead, Poe borrows from the old idiom “two wrongs don’t make a right.” She wants to use her position to help her “community to promote values of mutual respect, love, compassion, understanding, and integrity.”
This was completely lost on her critics. Some of the comments show just how little thought people put into empathy, as this one illustrates:
“Oh, honey. If you were a real Christian, we’d know you by your deeds. As it is, you’re showing us that you’re a hateful, judgmental hypocrite who knows nothing about the teachings of Jesus. But hey, we’ll stay away from your store. You know, the one you’re able to own only because our foremothers fought and marched for your right to do so.”
The most encouraging news from this is the strength Poe is exhibiting in the face of the haters. She told the Federalist that she’s even answering the her phone now by saying, “Trump Tower, Franklin.”
Her message is being heard. And even if she isn’t directly supporting one of the wrongs that she subtly names in her original post, he is supporting her.