This is what happens when you incite war. And yes, Trump’s cronies have been inciting war for some time now. This is Father Frank Pavone’s Twitter feed right now:
This is what happens when you decide that any evil somebody commits is okay, because that person is on “your side.” Our nation’s capitol has been breeched. White supremacist rioters waving Confederate and Thin Blue Line flags are looting the building. Congress has gone into hiding. The president is still insisting that he won the election in the total absence of evidence. Catholic traditionalist leaders are congratulating the rioters:
Raymond Arroyo, the darling of EWTN, is comparing the thugs to the revolutionaries in Les Miserables– and this less than a week after EWTN fired Gloria Purvis because her radio program addressed racism one too many times and was considered “a spirit of contention:”
A bombing, an attempted terrorist attack, was foiled at the RNC headquarters while all this was happening. The last time I remember threats of a pipebomb at the capitol was twenty years ago on 9/11, though it turned out to not be true at the time. That was also, to my memory, the last time that Congress had to be locked down and the congressmen and women rushed to safety.
President-elect Joe Biden appeared in a passionate speech, pleading that the the rioting and terrorist threats “do not represent the true America,” and he is dead wrong. He’s wrong. This is America. This is who we are. These crazed zealots are Americans. Their movement is an American movement. Their paranoia and obsession is an American-grown phenomenon. We own them. They’re our national disgrace, and we cannot save what’s left of our democracy unless we face that.
Last summer, we watched in horror as George Floyd was strangled to death by a police officer in broad daylight for allegedly passing a bad twenty. Earlier last year, we reeled in shock and anger when Brionna Taylor was murdered in her sleep by the police because she had once dated a man who sold drugs, and the only officers charged in the incident were the ones who shot a wall instead of her body. We watched as the police acted with breathtaking excess of force to quell the resulting protests, whether they were violent or not. Some were and some weren’t, but it was all the same to the authorities. Today, our nation’s capitol building was invaded by armed white rioters attempting a coup, and the police by all accounts have handled them with kid gloves. They weren’t even in riot gear in the first place. The National Guard weren’t activated until more than an hour into this crisis. This is America. This is our history and our present. This is who we are as a nation.
The religious right has been coddled for far too long. They no longer have any claim to moral superiority, let alone being the party of “law and order.” And as for the so-called pro-life movement, it’s time to stop treating them as anything other than what they are. They’re not interested in saving lives. They’re doing all of this in the name of a would-be fascist despot who by all accounts has driven up the abortion rate the entire time he was in office. Their actions have killed God alone knows how many unborn children. They have killed or maimed God alone knows how many people of color and their allies. They have spread the coronavirus pandemic like in no other country in the world. They have caused terror and chaos. They may well have murdered our democracy.
We pray for peace and an end to the chaos. I don’t believe that Joe Biden is the man to handle this, particularly if he won’t admit that this is America. But a peaceful transfer of power may well represent the first step toward actually fixing the country.
This remains America’s problem, and the problem of American Christians most of all.
If we don’t own this, denounce it and fight against it, it’s never going to go away.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross.
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