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The Resistance Prays

December 23, 2018
By Rev. Ashley Whitaker

Today's Top Story
NBC News: Mattis to leave two months early, as Trump announces Patrick Shanahan will replace him
  • Mattis’ resignation letter, critical of Trump, likely led to an early departure
  • Shanahan, former Boeing executive, to serve as Acting Defense Secretary
  • Many on both sides of aisle express worry about Mattis’ departure
Come, O children, listen to me;
   I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Which of you desires life,
   and covets many days to enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
   and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good;
   seek peace, and pursue it.
Psalm 34:11-14
Seek Peace, and Pursue It
  • I write for The Resistance Prays every other Sunday. Two weeks ago, I wrote about how Trump’s veteran, experienced, moderating Chief of Staff (Kelly) was about to be ousted, likely in favor of a self-made millionaire (Ayers). A day later, it turned out that Kelly was indeed ousted, but in favor of someone else entirely (Mulvaney).
  • Today, it’s a similar story with a different cast of characters. Last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced his resignation at the end of February, but now, Trump is forcing him out effective January 1, likely due to Mattis’ resignation letter, which was sharply critical of Trump.
  • The article relays that, on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said he was disturbed by how Mattis described Trump's worldview. “I think Gen. Mattis has put his finger on where the president has views that are very, very distinct from the vast majority of Republicans and, probably, Democrats, elected and unelected. … And I think the president does not share, I would say, my view that the Pax Americana of the post-war era has been enormously good for America.”
  • Out of all of this chaos, this is what struck me: the Pax Americana. Mattis may have believed in its power, and many across the aisle in Congress and across the country believe in it, but Trump seems to not be convinced of it. I’m not saying that America is perfect, but I believe that our alliances do more to promote peace than would alliances with Russia or Turkey.
  • As Mattis’ resignation letter says (emphasis mine), “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. …We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.”
  • Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria (against Pentagon advice) and also from Afghanistan (against national security team advice) seems to have been what spurred Mattis’ resignation. Turning our backs on the crises in Syria and Afghanistan does not seem conducive to our security and prosperity, and it is certainly not conducive to our values as Christ-followers. We must continue to seek and pursue peace, not only in our country but also around the world; we must learn the fear of the Lord even more so when we have had a hand in creating such crises. Seeking peace and pursuing it is necessary for all who desire life in the Lord.
Stay informed about the issues facing refugees in their home countries and as they arrive in the USA! Check out the UNHCR and/or support your local refugee resettlement organizations.
God of all, as we prayerfully prepare to welcome the Christ-child into the world, help us to make our world one of hope, peace, joy, and love. May our work and witness be centered in the Word of God; the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ. Help us to serve all people as your hands and feet, in this holy season and in every season of life yet to come. Amen. 
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