I don’t do work on Sundays because not working on Sunday is one of the Commandments.
I’ve made exceptions these past weeks because I felt Trump’s egregious behavior has required it.
If someone repeatedly sets fire to your house, you have to stop praying and bail water. If a monstrous evil president repeatedly tries to destroy American democracy, you may have to break the Sabbath to oppose him.
Things are a bit different today. It’s only 0830 and so far Trump has not done anything horrible today. The day is early, I know. But — thank God for this — Trump’s ability to do horrible things to America is waning.
The traitor — after doing everything he could to overturn the election he lost and install himself as dictator, including inciting an insurrection — is finally packing to leave our house and slither off to Florida. He wanted a parade — a counter to Biden’s inauguration — to mark his leave-taking. But that has been nixed by a military that is standing guard to defend the capitol from the Traitor’s insurrectionists.
We got to this place because the Traitor, rather than accede to his defeat like the man he’s not, spent the last two and half months lying and whipping up his braindead followers into a hate frenzy, trying to incite, not just an insurrection, but a full-on civil war. After inciting an insurrection and trying to overturn the election and have himself installed as dictator, he finally started packing to go, but he continued to stoke the fires of insurrection by continuing his charade that he’d been robbed of victory.
No one wanted to see his traitorous face at the inauguration, so it’s no loss that he refuses to go. But when he tried his best to stage some sort of alternative event to mark his leave taking, no one in responsibility wanted to play his crazy game.
Personally, I don’t like that he is leaving Washington in our jet. But it’s the legal thing and at least it will get him gone from our house. If he’ll just go without damaging this country any more, I’ll accept his leave-taking in Air Force One.
I think every sane American has their fingers crossed that this psychopath doesn’t do any more damage to us on his way out. Nobody except his brainwashed followers wants to give him a pat on the back for his obscene mismanagement of the pandemic which allowed the virus to get completely out of control and has killed 400,000 Americans in 10 months. Nobody wants to “thank” him with a parade for setting fire to our democracy with his lies and hate.
We’re not grateful for his destruction of our relationships by brainwashing our friends and family. We don’t feel thankful for him tearing our country apart and dragging us into ruinous divisions that resulted in an insurrection, an attempt to sieze our democracy, and a full-on movement to install this evil stain of a man as a dictator.
We’re not grateful for the corruption, the destruction and the lies. We are looking at long, hard work, trying to put down the racism, hatred and violence that menace our democracy — all because of him, his enablers in the Republican Senate and House, the right wing media and the extreme right wing billionaire club that has funded, fed and created this beast for the past 50 years.
Our churches, our friendships, the peace in our families have all been destroyed by the hate-filled rhetoric of the Republican Party in its blind quest for power. This culminated in the Traitor and his traitorous four year campaign of destruction.
Sherman’s march through Georgia was no more ruthless than the Republican Party’s support of Trump has been. This was a war, waged on America by her own president, and aided and abetted by the Republican Party and all the horses they ride in on.
No sane American wants to see this traitorous psychopath shown out of our house with a show of support and fealty to him. We’re just hoping and praying that he doesn’t do any more harm to us on his way out.
This is Sunday, and I’m breaking my own rules as well as one of the Commandments by writing today. But I can’t not.
In addition to all the other terrible things the Traitor has done to this country, the worst by far is that he — with the willing contributions of false shepherds all up and down the line — has damaged and sullied our churches as much as he has damaged our democracy.
Those of us who refused to bow our knee before the golden calf of the political heresy are the remnant of faith. Almost all of us are laity. We’re not religious leaders; far from it. We’re the pew-sitting sheep of His pasture who recognized the wolf for a wolf and refused to follow him.
But our Church has failed us so abysmally in this time of Trump that there is no one else but us with the clean hands to pick up the pieces. I am not saying that every priest and bishop fell into the sin of making Trump into a false messiah. But I will say that, with a few exceptions, they let the idolators have the field.
Almost the only ones who would stand up and speak were speaking evil. They were threatening and lying and bullying the flock to follow Trump instead of Christ. They were telling people they couldn’t be Catholic if they didn’t follow Trump. They were telling people they’d go to hell if they didn’t follow Trump. They were issuing catcalls and calling down lightning bolts and lying, lying, lying, lying lying.
There were a few religious leaders who spoke out strongly. The Episcopal bishop in Washington who stood up against Trump’s photo op in front of one of her churches comes to mind.
There were also a few — mostly Catholic — polite and frightened demurs from those priests — and two bishops I remember — who didn’t agree. But they were obviously too scared to do more than pop up, say something mushy in religious-speak, and then go back into hiding.
That left the resistance completely in the hands of those of us who merely come to mass with gratitude that anybody lets sinners such as us approach Jesus at all. Speaking for myself, I can say without any equivocation that I am the last person on the planet who should be telling anyone about sin. My primary qualification to speak on the topic is that I’ve committed so many sins myself that I’m well familiar with both the consequences and the totally unmerited love and grace of Christ which can get you out of what you deserve.
That hardly qualifies me — or any of us pew sitters — for the job that got handed to us.
Now, we’re the ones who have to sweep up the broken glass and try to figure out how to be the Church after the Church has failed. Because we know that our leaders will pretend that they never failed at all. Instead of repenting and converting, they’re going to lie about their lies and claim that they didn’t do what we all know that they did.
We’re at a moment here, and that’s why I decided to write today. The Capitol of our nation has 20,000 troops with orders to use deadly force if necessary to protect Joe Biden from other Americans who have been so brainwashed that they think attacking and destroying our democracy is the patriotic thing to do.
Our churches are being led around and controlled by heretical priests, bishops and preachers who are in the thrall of a racist, misogynous right wing straight from the pit of hell. Most of our priests and bishops are sane and well intended. But they don’t have what it takes to stand up to the evil ones among them. They’ve let them have the field.
That leaves us, my friend. You and me. We are ordinary Americans and pew-sitting Christians who, by the grace of God and, for many of us, prior experience with evil, recognized the Traitor for the psychopath that he is from day one. We didn’t know the particulars of what was coming, but we knew America was in terrible trouble when the vote was declared on November 7, 2016.
God willing, the Traitor is going to slither off to his mansion in Florida come Wednesday without doing further harm. If we are very lucky, the fact that Speaker Pelosi pushed through an impeachment and it is now sitting in the Senate, a live round, will keep him from doing any further harm to our country between now and then.
We owe our much-maligned Speaker of the House a lot for standing up to the Traitor. But this last act, this vital impeachment, may be the most important.
If all this holds, and we are lucky, we will get through to Wednesday without him harming us more, and the Traitor will get on our jet and fly away from our battered capitol and we will be done with his reign of destruction. Then, we can turn to the business of rebuilding America and our churches from what he and his enablers have done to them.
I’m not a religious leader. This isn’t technically my place to say this. But it has to be said by somebody, and I’m the one who will.
We have to rebuild the witness for Christ, almost from the ground up, in this country. That sounds scary and complex. But it’s actually simple and easy.
We will rebuild the witness for Christ by simply following Jesus. If Trump’s deluded followers had been following Jesus, instead of Trump, none of this tragedy we’ve seen would ever have happened.
Just follow Jesus. And do the work that is in front of you. That’s how we’ll save America.
And that’s how we’ll restore the witness to Christ in America.