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The Resistance Prays

October 24, 2018
By Rev. Benjamin Perry

Today's Top Story
Yesterday, a bomb was found at George Soros’ home. This morning, news reports broke that someone also attempted to send bombs to the homes of Bill and Hillary Clinton and of President Obama. CNN’s offices were also evacuated due to a bomb threat.
“See how they conceive evil, and are pregnant with mischief, and bring forth lies. They make a pit, digging it out, and fall into the hole that they have made.” – Psalm 7:14-15
Violent Words Sow Violence
While news of these attempted bombings is shocking, if we’re honest, it should not be surprising. When right-wing media, conservative politicians and - indeed - the President of the United States repeatedly vilify the same people for attempting to destroy America, it is only a matter of time until this violent rhetoric crosses the line to physical violence. Chants of “Lock her up,” allegations that President Obama is a Muslim terrorist, and blatant antisemitism about George Soros’ control over world events are not just words: They shape how millions of people view the world, blaming complex problems on convenient bogeymen.
Violence, rhetorical and otherwise, has undergirded the Trump candidacy and presidency since their inception. From exhortations to “knock the crap out” of protestors, naming press the “enemy of the people,” and dehumanizing rhetoric about migrants to policy violence against poor people, family separation, and deadly, racist neglect in Puerto Rico, vicious white supremacy is the clear throughline. We should not be shocked when people begin to escalate and commit personal attacks on those our government demonizes on a regular basis.
There is a tragic irony, too, in these harrowing events coming on the heels of a week in which President Trump has repeatedly called the Democratic party a violent “mob.” There is a crisis of political violence in this country, but it lies squarely on the shoulders of a Republican party that has repeatedly enabled and promoted its most savage demagogues. The Bible reminds us: We reap what we sow. When words of violence are planted daily, deadly blooms will sprout.
Amidst daily political violence, we must be doubly committed to peace. This isn’t an empty call to civility, or a request to pretend that we operate in a political arena where everyone acts in good faith. Instead, it is a recognition that - as Dr. King so wisely put it - hate cannot drive out hate. So, as you go about your day, be careful with your words. Speak fiercely out of love for those who are threatened, not out of animosity toward those who do the threatening.
God, protect those who find themselves the targets of this cavalcade of violence. Shield them from the harm our leaders so willfully sow. Soften the hearts of those driven by hatred, and help each of us respond to this horror by renewing our commitment to channeling your fierce love. Work through us an active peace, one that protects those who are threatened and defuses words that propagate death.
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