Enough For Palm Sunday

Enough For Palm Sunday March 30, 2023

Enough. Fed up. Tired of it. Disgust overload. Guns are the drug of choice for a sizable portion of the population of the USA. And fear is the unstated reason for this violence to continue. The recent rampage at The Covenant School in Nashville is the latest outcome. The right to bear arms is confused with the right to sell weapons of war to any one with a credit card. Legislators appear in Christmas cards holding these weapons along with other members of the family holding these same type of weapons. It is sickening, disgusting, and devastating to the psyche. I have had enough.

Enough With Cowards in Pulpits

Hey Preacher! What are you going to preach about this week? I heard about one minister who sent out words of comfort to the congregation asking people not to turn the tragedy into a political issue. Should we preach peace when there is none? Are we going to wave palm branches and imitate a disturbing parade in the gospels without rocking the boat? Please! Why do so many clergy opt to be Pontius Pilate? I will not wash my hands and declare my own conscience clean. I heard that “we can’t do anything” nonsense from my congressman. And it is enough.

We have been guilty of missing the point of Palm Sunday for many years. What happened then? A crowd gathered to welcome Jesus to the great city. They cried out for salvation. What did Jesus do? He cleansed the temple as the beginning. Jesus made room for the poor to pray. And he called out the thieves. Don’t turn the mass murder into a political issue? What about the fact that mental health services are cut? Can that be a political issue? How about the fact that cars are no longer the number one killer of children? How did we reduce the deaths of children in cars? Governments mandated safety measures. Surely safety is a political issue.

Force Is Weakness

Ammon Hennacy said, “Force is the weapon of the weak.” In our country that is proven over and over again. I will tell you how weak someone is by how much they talk about doing violence to someone else. That is the kind of person to whom I would not give a pocketknife. We weaken the male population by constantly feeding them a diet of violent imagery and propaganda. Masculinity becomes toxic when it is based on violence. Threat becomes the primary method of communication. “Do this or else.” When the only acceptable response is to lash out with anger, we see the mutual hardness of heart. The transman who attacked the school believed he needed an arsenal just like many cis-males I know.

The constant hardness of heart weakens people. Fear and terror sap their strength. They lose creativity and take no pleasure in their own labor, because protection is their primary concern. This breeds other forms of weakness by violence. One’s convictions are lost because they do not seem real. Consider how easily churches and their leaders gave in to fear and supported Donald Trump who purposely sowed the seed of civil strife. The way of the cross was exchanged for the sword.

Enough With Violent Words

Dystopian science-fiction is full of violence. Violence is both the result and the primary cause of social collapse. It is only until people have enough of the violence that life for a civilization turns around. We do not solve our problems in this way. We cannot heal society until we stop using violent rhetoric against every thing and everyone. Preachers need to stop catering to the people who would act in these ways. It is time to stop trying to instill fear. If our state government ever stops attacking the vulnerable, it will be because we told them to stop it, sit down, and do some decent legislating. Or better yet, we should tell them to go farm, learn a craft, build houses, schools, and clinics. Give us all something more and better than advising us to make money and buy guns.

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