I do not often step away from the Revised Common Lectionary and speak out of the weekly cycle I have created. But I am feeling that now, today, I need to speak up. I have been reading Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” and have been intrigued and impressed by what I have read. It has been a revelation, hearing what happened before his presidency and what was going on behind the scenes. The book was written, I am guessing, in 2017, and was published in 2018. The year and time of its publishing will become significant as I continue.
I have just finished the part of her story when Trump was elected president. Her and her husband’s shock and dismay at his election match my own – at the time. But now, reading this book in these current days, I look back at the time and mourn the innocence we had then – thinking that it was just an overall poor choice by the voting public. We had no idea, beloved reader, what would happen in the years after Trump’s inauguration. I don’t have to remind you, I am sure, of the increasing “debris” of poor choices, statements, and tweets he has made – to delicately state the issue. Comparing then, as Michelle narrates that time in the country’s life, to now – the tragedy of our current situation is made so clear.
I am not usually politically minded; I do not talk about politics nor let it sway my pondering or meditations. That may tell you, my longtime readers, how much Trump’s presidency has effected me. And reading about the days following Trump’s election, seeing it through Michelle Obama’s eyes, has settled a lead weight in my thoughts. Reminiscences of the past four years streak across my thinking, and I am shocked to a standstill and am moved to mourn.
I live in Oregon, about 3 hours away from Portland. The events in Portland sear across the headlines, here in Oregon and I have to assume across the nation. And, if the news pundit are correct, other cities are set to experience the same thing. This has to end, beloved reader. It has to change. We have endured coming close to four full years. And it is threatening to tear our nation apart. Not to mention how the rest of the global community sees us. If you did know it before, reading her book, you will realize how our national imagine rose under former President Obama; and now, how it has fallen.
Back in 2017 I thought, as long as Trump does not do anything that cannot be undone after four years – we will be okay. Then I thought, what has happened thus far – we can mend. Later still I thought, I just hope there is enough of the United States left that we can salvage. Now, it just feels like so much is lost. So many people, through so much violence and illness. So much natural resources, gone and more being threatened. And our image – well, it was bad enough when we were hated as a nation. I think now that we are pitied, the hurt is worse.
I am actually not an American citizen. I was born and still am a Canadian citizen living in the United States legally since 1982. My opinion may not matter much. I have the “privilege” of paying taxes, but not the “privilege” of voting. That is one of the reasons I try not to wear or portray any political motif. And you know, really, my written statements in the past year or two have not been politically motivated; I speak out from humanitarian and Christian conscience. Because to stay silent would be, well, unimaginable.
This has to end, beloved reader. It just has to end. I do not have a vote to cast. And even if I did, my one vote would matter little. But I do have a voice. And I will speak up. I will speak against aggression, hatred, and violence. I have spoke against it before. But now I will give it a name. There is this impression that one’s words do not matter. That when one speaks hateful demeaning words, it does not matter, because words are just sounds from our mouth. But as Jesus rightly said, the words of our mouth give evidence of our inner thoughts. And our inner thoughts motivate our actions. And our actions can create an environment where aggression, hatred, and violence are tolerated and even encouraged. Words then, in a direct trajectory, create actions. Where hatred in isolation, confined to one or two people may not amount to much; but when hatred leaps into a larger group, the results can be devastating. It does not matter, or should not matter, who is speaking the hatred to who. The results can warp and destroy anyone it comes in contact with. Protesting hatred, speaking up that hatred cannot, should not, and will not be tolerated, is a noble thing to do. But when protesting crosses the line to aggression, hatred and violence – we have all lost out and we will all suffer.
This has to end, beloved reader. It just has to end. Let me be very clear. A second presidency by Donald Trump will destroy us in ways we cannot imagine. In fact, I do not want to imagine it. But at the end of 2016, I did not want to imagine what the next four years would be like. I am not endorsing any candidate. What I am doing is raising my voice to clearly say is that the last four years should be a wake call for us to be very careful who is the next US president. Words matter, beloved reader. The thoughts and opinions behind the words matter. Words can reveal the nature of a person, especially someone who had not learned or refuses to assess their words and their communications.
I comment on scripture because they are illuminative, pointing us to Christian thoughts and deeds. We can hear the voice of the Divine through scripture, and with the guidance of the Holy Presence we can discern what is best to do. Those whose words, thoughts, and actions going against the Divine’s Word should be held in wariness until their true personality is revealed. And it will be, beloved reader. If I have learned anything in the past four years, it will be.
May you beloved reader, where ever you are, discern wisely those who are around you, and those who seek your support. And may the Lord God be with us as we entire into the election season. Shalom & Selah!
P.S. This post is making a special appearance on the blog site, “A Simple Desire” as well as here. Now that I have raised my voice, I want it to be heard!