mary_j_59: (mug)
[personal profile] mary_j_59
Sorry! It's another political post. As I say below, I was inspired to write this by our readings at Mass these past two weeks. They were almost scarily relevant.

Before our current president (I suppose we must call him that) took the oath of office, I had a brief conversation with a friend. “Young women I know are in tears,” she said to me. “I can’t understand it. I think it has to get worse before it gets better.” At the time, I was rather shocked and startled, but I’m starting to agree with her.

It’s not that Trump isn’t awful. He is. He is even worse than I imagined he would be, and the appearance of Swastikas on public property is absolutely chilling. All the bullies, racists, and neo Nazis seem to have been greatly encouraged by recent events. And yet-

I’ve said in my last posts on this topic that both the Democrats and the Republicans have served the culture of death. Both have served Empire. But Hillary Clinton is a sane woman. Donald Trump, seen from the outside, looks like a malignant narcissist. His grasping at power and contempt for the law show exactly where this country has been headed for decades now. Hillary Clinton, though she is also a servant of Empire, would not have shown this so clearly, precisely because she is sane. Here’s what I mean.

Over my lifetime, the power of the executive branch has grown to a frightening extent. Consider this: In his botched raid on Yemen, Donald Trump killed a little American girl. That is an outrage and a tragedy. But president Obama, in a drone strike, murdered this child’s big brother. I repeat, both these children were American citizens. We, the people, gave our president the right to be judge, jury, and executioner of an American child. There was some outcry over the death of young Abdulrahman Al-Alawki, but not much. After all, he was the son of a terrorist. And he was killed in Yemen, not on American soil. So most of us ignored it. Many probably didn’t even know about it.

And then there were the executive orders. President Obama was generally doing good things with them, for example, protecting the Arctic from drilling. But now Donald Trump has the power to pass executive orders. And look what he has done with them! His awful, unconstitutional anti-immigrant order is the most glaring example so far, but it’s not the only one. The thing is, governing by executive order is a problem even if a good man or woman is doing it. Bypassing the balance of power and the people’s elected representatives is a problem. It was okay, perhaps, when Obama did it, because he was sane and meant well.* But still. The Donald now has the power we gave Obama.

And, as Alison Weir has pointed out, the executive order against immigrants did not come out of a clear blue sky. Please read this link. Please! It’s important. If you haven’t heard about “securing the realm” or the “project for a new American century”, please read what they entail and then consider what we actually see happening in the world. Empire is moving fast, and causing untold harm to millions of innocents.

But, precisely because Trump is now in charge, and is so coarse and cruel in his directives, people are waking up. That may be a blessing. Because, in the end, Empire will not be victorious. Not in the long run. Love really does trump hate, and, for those of us who are Christians, we must strive to live and act in the love of Christ.

I’m writing this because, last week, we had a whole series of readings that were almost scarily relevant. Paul to the Corinthians, and then the Beatitudes. Madeleine L’Engle quoted the reading from Corinthians in her classic, “A Wrinkle in Time :

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are..” (First Corinthians, King James, 26-28).

And I thought at once of this warrior God has chosen to confound the mighty!

There are so many other innocent, good people caught up in this ban--the college researcher who'd lived and worked here for seven years and now cannot get home to her job, apartment, and dog; the five-year-old boy held for hours at Dulles, and so many more. But this case is especially outrageous. That baby, in her innocence and vulnerability, shows us exactly who and what the Donald is.

Our Lord came to this earth as a baby like this one. Our Lord was a Middle Eastern refugee. In the long run, Empire will not win out over love.
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