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[personal profile] mary_j_59
If they do these things in the green wood, what will they do in the dry? (Our Lord Jesus Christ)

I went to a funeral a week ago exactly. It was for a good friend of one of my aunts, a woman who was also a friend of my parents'. A brilliant Indian summer day; a little wooden church by the sea. The woman whose life was being celebrated was a WWII vet, so she received military honors. Four fellow veterans honored her. Two older White men carried rifles, and one of them played taps. Two Black men folded and unfolded the flag. The blue sea, the sun, her family and friends gathered around, the respectful acts of her fellow veterans--it was beautiful. To me, that moment in the garden outside a little church represented the best of America. So do the courageous protestors at Standing Rock, and so, honestly, do all the people who took the time to vote.

But there's also this. The same priest who urged his parishioners to examine their consciences carefully before the election spoke briefly the Sunday afterward. Someone had left an anonymous note in his driveway. It read, "Vote for the democrats, vote for abortion". An anonymous note! In a priest's drive! Compared to the rash of hate crimes that have followed this election, this is a very small thing. But it was still an act of hate, IMHO. The priest urged all of us to set aside hatred and anger and realize that we were all brothers and sisters. We certainly do need to work on this.

Because a large minority in this country voted for a man who preached hate and consorted with racists. Why did they do this? Certainly, his campaign has encouraged racists in America. It has encouraged violence. His supporters have attacked others physically, and this man has urged them on. As others have said, you don't need to have been a racist, or a fascist, or a misogynist, to have voted for Trump. But, if you voted for Trump, you voted for a man who is all of these things. Then why did people do it?

If LJ will let me, I'm going to link to an article that explains the situation better than I could. It's by Glenn Greenwald, and you can find it here.

A story or two in support of this: in New York State, the powers that be have decided that little children do not need libraries in their schools. As a result, many school librarians have lost their jobs. This happened under a democratic governor.

I've also seen union-busting, also under democratic administrations. And President Obama, though he has certainly done some good things domestically (to take one example, it's been said he's been our best president environmentally, probably, since Nixon. And the affordable care act, though flawed, is certainly better than nothing), has failed to keep many of his promises. He's blown away children and old people with drones; he's failed to close Guantanamo; he's increased the chaos in the Middle East and failed to do anything for the Palestinian people, and so on. For all these reasons, people are scared. They wanted change, and voted for change. What some probably don't realize is that they are going to get more of the same, only worse.

Hillary Clinton, who helped manage Obama's disastrous foreign policy, may have been a very flawed candidate. She may have been a servant of the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower rightly deplored. But so is Trump. Voters may have rejected her because they thought her corrupt. So is Trump.

As for the right-to-lifers, I agree that abortion is an evil. But what will Trump and Pence do for children once they are born? What will they do to preserve all life on earth? Will they safeguard our environment? Will they oppose all war, and the death penalty? No, I don't think so. So they have no right to claim that they are pro-life. They are not.

As I said in my first post, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are servants of empire. Both are servants of the culture of death. Trump does not represent change. At least, not in any positive way. The "change" he does bring will most likely only make things worse for people who are already fearful and suffering. Democrats and Republicans (or, to be more accurate, Neoliberals and Neoconservatives) are not very different. But the Republicans are harsher and more open in their cruelties. As our Lord said, "If they do such things in the green wood, what will they do in the dry?"

One more thing: it was a minority who voted for Trump. Not only a minority of the country, but a minority of voters. We must now work for election finance reform, to eliminate the electoral college, and for a cleaner, fairer, and more peaceful world.

And, whatever our politics, let's all remember we are all sisters and brothers.

Date: 2016-11-27 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anne-arthur.livejournal.com
That's a very sane, balanced comment, in these crazy and alarming times - thank you for it. I don't think I could have managed to be so reasonable, or so charitable!

On the subject of being pro-life, I have been looking for, and failing to find, an interview with a nun who said that she did not think that people could really call themselves pro-life if all they were interested in was restricting abortion - in her view, to be truly pro-life, you had to be in both against abortion, and in favour of giving every child as full and worthwhile a life as possible; and you had to fight for both. Which is pretty much what you are saying above.

Date: 2016-11-27 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mary-j-59.livejournal.com
Thank you so much, Anne! I love Sister Simone and the nuns on the bus; they, to me, represent the heart of Catholic social teaching. I think this may be the interview you're looking for:

https://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/29/nuns_on_the_bus_at_the

And yes, these are crazy and alarming times. Not to say tragic--I am lucky to be in the U.S. rather than, say, Palestine or Syria or Libya. I do hope the world will survive this guy we've elected, and I'll do all I can to make sure we do!

A blessed advent to you. How is Tora Naprem coming?

Date: 2016-11-28 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anne-arthur.livejournal.com
Yes - those were the nuns I was looking for! Very impressive women - thank you for finding them for me. And yes, we are indeed lucky not to be somewhere like Syria, Palestine or Libya. What a world.

Date: 2016-11-27 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mary-j-59.livejournal.com
Oh - I just saw you have another chapter up! Yay! Will read on your blog and comment later. :)

Date: 2016-11-27 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Well said.

Date: 2016-11-27 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mary-j-59.livejournal.com
Thanks, RJ! Did I tell you how much I loved A Little Taste of Poison? Like my sister, I'd like a sequel!

And a blessed Advent to you, also. Not sure it's quite such a big deal in your church as it is in ours, but I expect you celebrate?

Date: 2016-12-01 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you for loving POISON! I'm happy to hear it. Not currently planning a sequel, and still a bit surprised to find so many readers wanting one (writing accidental cliffhangers when I only meant to wrap things up nicely-though-not-too-neatly seems to be an Ongoing Issue with me -- or perhaps it's just that I keep writing duologies when people expect trilogies?) but flattered to hear of your interest nonetheless...

(I am not sure how embarrassed I ought to be about admitting that I don't even know what celebrating Advent would involve? My particular church tradition is... very non-liturgical, perhaps at times to a fault. We certainly spend a lot of time talking about Christ's birth in the weeks leading up to Christmas, though, even if we don't follow a church calendar as such.)

Date: 2016-12-01 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mary-j-59.livejournal.com
Duologies are good! It's just that the twist at the end was so powerful, and I want more Esmond/Quiz and Isaveth!

As to Advent celebrations, they are pretty low key. We always have an advent wreath; you're supposed to light a candle every Sunday. This is done in Church, as well as at home. The candles are purple, except for the third, which is pink for rejoicing; the third Sunday of advent is Gaudete Sunday. Then we often have an advent calendar; you open a window for each day of advent. We also have advent booklets with Bible readings, and you're supposed to go to confession at some time during advent as well. (This is all in the Catholic church). And there are special carols that get sung only at this time of year; "Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel" is probably the best known. And, of course, there are concerts of lessons and carols! But it's meant to be a meditative, contemplative time, like Lent, really. You're supposed to give things up and focus on the spiritual aspects of life. Pretty hard to do in the hurly-burly of Christmas shopping, etc.!

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