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” They Came for …”

” They Came for …”

Aug 29
Beloved People of God,
On the heels of the most recent, hateful announcement to come out of the “2017 White House”, i.e., – ‘The Ban’ On Transgender Troops” – my feeling, unlike most, is not so much “surprise, anger or sadness”, but rather, just plain ole “fatigue”. For if nothing else, the one indisputable thing that the current Administration has conditioned us to is life in a state of perpetual chaos and constant crisis. So, “can things get worse”? Yes, they can – and typically do under “mis-leadership”. More to the point, quoting a colleague (Reverend Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson), “Transgender persons don’t need our gushing affirmation of their humanity. What is needed is for everyone else to get a grip on our own souls … No one is exempted from hatred’s target practice.” For this reason, a more pointed question, “What’s wrong with us”?
America is heralded as the greatest country on earth and the best place to live. Still, it doesn’t mean injustices that exist here should be overlooked. It’s even been said, out of D.C., “the assault is intersectional and universal”. Anyone of us could be next: women, lesbians, gay men, people of color, the disabled and the list could go on. But sadly, there are no easy answers or quick fixes. I do know, however, that we need to be prepared beyond mere “knee jerk” outcries every time some stupid/idiotic/hateful edict is issued by the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave who is consistently exhibiting abject disrespect for the institutions that preserve American democracy.
Presently, “alternative facts” rule the day. Landmark Civil Rights achievements of women, LGBT people and African-Americans, as well as our cherished democracy itself, are on life support. On the other hand, if we are truly mad “as hell” over what feels like a deliberate dismantling of what makes the USA great, guess what? We don’t have to take it anymore. Rather than loosing friends over fights because of streaming news feed, perhaps it’s time to explore one of the many other ways available to channel our anger over institutionalized hatred. In short: grab a checkbook; hit the streets; or engage our respective lawmakers: Senators, Representatives, et al. The point of it all is to not “sleep-walk into fascism”.
WE MUST NOT BE SILENT. One of the great heroes the Christian faith, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.” We must speak out when “they” come for others. The “they” are authorities, legally empowered and societally supported; decent people trying to do their best for the country; neighbors who are easy to agree with. We must be like Bonhoeffer because, as Believers, we are compelled to be doing something. Bonhoeffer further said: “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice,” but “to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”
Lastly, as we work to stem the relentless tide of the onslaught of hate, let us take comfort from these words:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? …37…in all these things we are more than conquerors through God who loves us. (Romans 8:31 ,37)
Yours in Resistance…. Reverend Gale Jones, Executive Pastor

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