Trump announced yesterday that his administration is going to “acknowledge the obvious… Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Beyond the discussion of foreign policy, there are two major domestic concerns that persons in the U.S. should pay attention to in this moment.
My approval of the Mueller investigation is that I know the more political space being devoted to these investigations and their immense political fallout means that there is less space being given to codify the harm this administration seems hell bent on causing people. But I also find myself wondering to what end are all of these investigations coming to. Is it faithful, as a follower of Jesus, to hope for significant jail time for trump or the members of his cabinet or campaign team?
One year ago we, like you I am sure, were still reeling from the image of donald trump in the presidency. And one year in one thing we know is that the reality of him in the Oval Office is far worse than any of us could have ever imagined. But still, in the face of the most horrendous leaders to ever sit in the presidency of this or any other country, I am so thankful that all of us has countered his every step.
Typically, the role the United States has played in the world, though admittedly without consistency or authenticity most of the time, is to remind nations of their responsibility to uphold human rights. This issue has been raised by all presidents since President Jimmy Carter, who was the first to make it a centerpiece of his foreign policy, until now. As I have watched donald trump on his two major trips abroad there are two words that he has yet to mention: human rights.
Right now, the supposedly pro-life, pro-family Republican Congress is considering doing something that will be devastating to future adoptive families. In an effort to save money for massive tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations, Republicans want to eliminate the Adoption Tax Credit. This is so horrifying and will make adoption virtually impossible for all but the richest of families.
When faith leaders and faith organizations write out their long church statements and resolutions expressing their grief at more unnecessary deaths, their rightful outrage that this killing continues unabated, and even their call for certain policy changes, these statements and resolutions are simply playing their part in the new national ritual that is the new normal. The killings continue and nothing is changed.
I am concerned that because trump's presidency is so immeasurably corrupt, so incredibly incompetent, and that because he is such a soulless and heartless person that we are distorting history. Simply put, we cannot allow trump's utter lack of leadership to blind our hindsight from the tragic mistakes of our past presidents.
As I listened to Flake’s speech on the floor of the Senate and saw snippets of Senator Corker who talked to every news crew he could find sounding off about the Liar-in-Chief, I resonated with their newfound sense of freedom. To no longer be bound to defend something (or in their case, someone) they no longer believe in, provides a sense of freedom that is almost intoxicating. Liberation from systems that bind us, that stifle innovation, and that force conformation to impersonal and institutional expectations is like oxygen to someone who is drowning.
We are writing because we see great promise in you and in your passion, though misplaced it might currently be. You seem to have a connection among those people directly impacted by injustice that those of us serving the Institution fail to have. We may have even once felt something similar to that passion, though we have seen the need to contain that passion and direct it for the good of the Institution; for from our Institution we derive purpose and identity.
What I find so refreshing about Rainbow in the Word: LGBTQ Christians’ Biblical Memoirs, edited by my friend Ellin Sterne Jimmerson isthe personal and theological reflections on Scripture though a collection of writers. LGBTQ people are not only our sisters and brothers in Christ; they are our pastors, teachers, theologians, and prophets. Right now the only viable path forward for the church is to listen and learn. Not to do so only creates more harm.
donald trump’s visit to Puerto Rico was so much more than rudeness or an example of bad behavior, as some pundits on TV described it. His visit reveals an especially virulent and violent kind of racism and misogyny that he has displayed relentlessly for years now, and certainly since he took office. It has not dissipated at all.
And breaking the chain is what we can do this week. The NRA and Ed Gillespie is counting on this uproar fading by October 10. You and I can ensure that they do not go quietly. Starting today and every day this week, we are going to flood Ed Gillespie with calls and emails demanding that he publicly condemn the NRA for their support of unlimited access to guns and for running this ad in support of his campaign.
You know how you can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when some tragedy happened? I remember what I was doing when I found out about 9-11, when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up in 1986, when the Columbine shooting happened, etc. Those events and so many more are embedded in my memory and on my psyche. It is truly instructive to see what Congress is up to regarding preventing gun violence when the deadliest act of gun violence in US history occurred.
I believe the United States has tremendous potential for good and justice and I have seen it in small ways from time to time. But I refuse to pretend that we are living into that potential with our current leadership. The potential and the reality are, once again, irreconcilable for me. And so I will not stand for it literally or figuratively.