In the Meantime,
History is a lot more fun to read than make. This past week has been the most troubling in America since September 11, and ultimately is even more momentous. A comic strip from long ago, written during another turbulent era, parodied the words of Commodore Perry in the Era of 1812, saying, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” That says it all.
The animus of many Americans that overflowed last week was not inevitable but it was not accidental. The forces behind it have been around since the nation’s founding and erupt periodically in reactionary ways. The question is how to respond. Part of that must be to hold violence and its sponsors accountable which is why the House of Representatives is impeaching the president. But without a deep commitment to addressing the dark forces summoned by those in leadership the danger will not abate.
I spoke on Sunday of the need for religious leaders and communities to act. Not that we can fix the problem, but we are a part of it. And by ‘we’ I mean the communities of denominations that range from UU to Evangelical, Muslim to Buddhist. This week I will attend a seminar on how that could happen, but one thing I know for sure: though only “some are guilty, all are responsible” (Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel) and includes us.
I believe we as a community have a duty to confess and grieve and hope (Prof. Walter Breuggemann). My mind and heart are hard at work imagining how that might come to pass. Be ready. – FW –