As a priest for forty years I cannot number how many times I have heard the phrase, “I never thought this would happen to me.” Living brings into our lives all sorts of events and occurrences we never thought would happen.
In my judgement, Cardinal Sean O’Malley wrote it best recently:
“Nations live and flourish because of their ideas and ideals, not simply because of their material wealth or power. Our ideas and ideals express our identity and set the standards for our behavior as citizens. For the United States a core statement of our identity is expressed in the phrase “E Pluribus Unum”, from many peoples we shape one nation. This treasured civic truth reflects and is rooted in the biblical heritage of belief in the dignity of all people, and a shared humanity.”
If you are reading this, chances are that you are a Christian. If you claim to follow Jesus, then in this country anything that smacks of White Supremacy, Nazism, Racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism violates our faith. We are compelled by the compassion and love expressed in the life of Christ to accept others, to respect the dignity of every human being and to oppose any group or any person who fosters hatred and violence. There are no excuses.
What is going on around us today may seem like isolated events unconnected in course of daily life but unless people are willing to stand up for the core of their faith we may be on the verge of a fractured nation that bears resemblance to Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s, or America in the 1850’s and 1860’s. As long as we believe it can never happen to us, or happen again, we are delusional. There is more going on that demands are prayers and attention than simply hoping and waiting for it to pass.
Make no mistake; this is not about politics, in the end it is about faith, your faith. My hunch is that it is all going grow worse, so we Christians need to value loyalty to Jesus above any political loyalty.