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The Resistance Prays

October 31, 2018
By Rev. Holly Clark-Porter

Today's Top Story
President Trump visited a grief-stricken Pittsburgh on Tuesday in a trip meant to unify after tragedy, but his arrival provoked protests from residents and consternation from local officials in the aftermath of the synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead. - via the Washington Post.
Scripture 
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. - Psalm 9:9
Halloween's Most Gruesome Mask
Like many of you, my wife and I have been confused lately about how people we love can still support the current administration, especially in light of the hate crimes carried out on the Tree of Life Synagogue and the following actions of President Trump. So we watched Fox News to hear what our conservative loved ones are hearing.

In this particular video, the reporter grossly downplays the number of protesters present, saying there were “only a couple dozen” even as a few seconds capture more than 50 people walking across the screen. They shame local leaders (politicians, police, and other city officials) for not greeting the president and his family, yet many other news outlets (such as the article I’ve referenced above) report that local leaders received no advanced warning or notice that they were coming.

Another point made over and over is that Rabbi Jeffrey Myers welcomed the Trump family. I originally thought this was false; however, it is true that Rabbi Myers was welcoming, even though several Jewish leaders overwhelmingly were not, a fact not mentioned in the video. I’m glad I did my research and learned where I was wrong.

And, even though I did learn one fact, watching this video confirmed for me that many people are finding their stronghold not in God but in misleading news that continues to support a false picture of America and our political leaders. Worse, the president thinks he is our stronghold. Despite this mask he wears, and knowing his presence would cause further disruption, he insisted on traveling to Pittsburgh. His narcissism compelled him once again to place himself and his image above the needs of the people.

And instead of calling for unity or denouncing white nationalism, he continues with watery commentary that further fuels violence. Why, why will he not call out to his followers and ask for unity, for violence to stop? I imagine that doing so would lessen his strong hold over so many, and he just can’t have that.
Act
Explore Bend the Arc Pittsburgh, a branch of “a national Jewish movement to help build a country that lives up to our values of justice and equality for all,” focusing on progressive social change in the US. They are the ones whose voices insist that the President is not welcome until he denounces white nationalism. Let’s support our siblings as we all resist together, unified in the knowledge that our stronghold will never be found in anyone but God.
Pray
Stronghold of the oppressed, graft in us the will to speak up and out even when we’re tired, even when “well, I’m not racist or anti-Semitic” seems enough. Help us to see all you have given us to resist evil. You have given us minds to analyze what’s around us, and yet we pass over story after story for fact. You have given us hearts to reach out to one another, and yet often our hearts stay guarded. You have given us hands to hug, yet we hit. You have given us voices to cry for justice, yet we’re often too lazy to lift them up. You have given us You, and yet we find strongholds elsewhere. Bring us back to our minds, our hearts, our hands, and our voices as we look to You while we take action for faith, hope, and love. Amen.
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