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The Resistance Prays

November 1, 2018
By Rev. Posey Krakowsky

Today's Top Story

The Washington Post reports this morning that President Trump has disseminated an incredibly racist ad about immigrants ahead of the midterm elections next Tuesday.

Please don’t watch it - I have, and I assure you, it is every bit as objectionable as the Post reports. It is reminiscent of, and yet even worse than, the Willie Horton ad that was used by the campaign to elect George H W Bush in 1988. It is a toxic brew of race baiting, cops being killed, and the caravan conspiracy all bundled into one.

The use of racism to stoke white fear is nothing new on the political scene, especially for the Republican Party in the last 50 years. What is new is that the ad was not sent out by a group that supports the president but by the president himself on his Twitter feed. The president is using the full power of his national bully pulpit to spread malicious racist demagoguery - and this just a few short days after two incidents of white domestic terrorism. Both of the domestic terrorists subscribed to the white-fear scenarios which the president is now further amplifying. One of the incidents resulted in the deaths of eleven Jewish people during a worship service in Pittsburgh last Saturday. And yet, in response, the president has turned up the volume. Folks, it really doesn’t get much lower than this.


Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.” For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever.

Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are safe!” - only to go on doing all these abominations?  - Jeremiah 7:4-10

When the Power of Love is Greater Than the Love of Power

The prophet Jeremiah was speaking to the hypocritical powers of his time, just as Jesus spoke to the hypocritical powers of his time, and we now must speak to those of our time. The poisonous love of power infects all religions, all nations, and all communities. Those who love power more than their fellow human beings have existed in all places and times. Jeremiah was calling his own community back into right relationship with a God who stands on the side of the oppressed, the marginalized, and the poor. He was exhorting them to re-examine what they were truly worshipping - because their actions said that they were more about power than they were about justice.

Last night I had the joy of hearing the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, preach at St Paul’s Chapel in New York City. The bishop reminded us that even though our forebears who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution did not always live out their own ideals, those basic ideals are still embedded in those documents. And those ideals are the vision of a country where love and community are the foundational pillars on which we stand together, as one.

To quote the bishop:
“America will be America when we learn the sacrificial, selfless way of love, when that green lady, here in the harbor of New York, ‘Bring me your huddled masses, your tired, yearning to be free.’ That’s America! That’s America! The soul of this nation will be saved - when we live again, by the way of love.”

As I wrote last month, naming and describing the kind of democracy we want to achieve is a powerful and necessary way of creating community and supplying the adhesive that binds us together. Do we want to live in a country dominated by the kind of fear that the president is stoking? Or do we want to live in a country that celebrates the extraordinary diversity of God’s creation - a diversity that is literally embodied in the marvelous complexity of our fellow human beings who come here from all over the world?

In response to the shootings in Pittsburgh, CNN reports a call to Americans of all faith traditions to show up for Shabbat services Friday evening or Saturday morning in solidarity with their Jewish sisters and brothers. Please consider joining in this effort to combat antisemitism, to stand against hatred, and to show our solidarity with the Jewish community.


Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease: that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer)

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