I am writing this on Nov. 11; it’s Veteran’s Day and the 131st anniversary of statehood for Washington. Today it is clear that “United States” remains an aspiration.
Today I grieve that the norms of thoughtful deliberation, pluralism and reciprocity are being broken by some who are in power. Thoughtful deliberation based on science and a moral compass pointed toward the common good; a pluralism that recognizes that there are many sources of authority and that many perspectives are legitimate; reciprocity that says when you lose, you shake hands with the winner and move on. May we recover these norms.
Today I fear for the norms and future of our democracy. Ours is a country worth fighting for and protecting, and today we honor all who have done so by serving in the armed forces. We stand on the shoulders of those who fought for the right to vote for all citizens and we celebrate a historic voter turnout. May the will of the people prevail.
Today I pray for our present and our future. I call on our warrior spirits to set limits on those who seek to defy the boundaries of our democratic process and who jeopardize the future of our democracy. I call on our better, braver angels to move in the direction of justice. I call on our compassion for those who have been harmed and who continue to be harmed by abuses of power.
Today, I find inspiration in two things. The first is an article by Ibram X. Kendi in The Atlantic titled “A Battle Between the Two Souls of America.” Kendi is the director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and the author of several books, including How to Be an Antiracist. You can access the article here.
Kendi’s article encouraged me think about my theology and values. I hope it will invite you into reflection, too. I recognize that some of you will disagree with him. I invite you to consider what is challenging and would welcome a conversation with you. Please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
The inspiration is a recording of “God Bless America” arranged and performed by Kings Return, a Dallas based a cappella group. You can access the posting here.
In these historic times, may you be well, may you be safe, may you be free. Know that you are whole and that you are held in love.
Blessings on your week,
P.S. Our service last Sunday was “Healing Our Democracy.” You can find the recording here.