“Pay attention to what you hear.” (Mark 4:24)
I’ve watched or listened to each of the House Select Committee’s January 6th Hearings in their entirety so far. It’s been time-consuming as well as an emotionally grueling exercise. It was worse than I imagined, and I imagined it would pretty bad! Nevertheless, I feel it’s a necessary one for someone who cares about our country and the Church that resides in the middle of it all. While I already had a profound distaste for our former president’s performance, these hearings have done nothing but corroborate my view that Mr. Trump was the most contemptuous and unqualified for the job of any of the other forty-five to hold the office.
I’m aware that millions won’t follow along with the evidence to this effect, and instead let Tucker Carlson or some other talking head do their thinking for them. Others will argue that the hearings are a setup by the “libs” who “hate America” and all it stands for. Some, with their heads in the sand, consider politics an evil business incompatible with their “spirituality.” Like the tree falling in the forest, if they don’t hear it, it didn’t happen. It’s one thing to have no interest in social or political issues, and another to avoid it as so much “worldliness.”
So far, these hearings have relied almost exclusively on the testimony of conservative Republicans and members of then-President Donald Trump’s inner circle. While all but two on the committee are Democrats, the lion’s share of the evidence about the case are coming from inside his own party. Witnesses include former Attorneys General (remember, he had a bunch of them!), members of the Trump re-election team, Trump staff members, and his lawyers. Even his own children are quoted from their emails and texts on January 6th as having urged him to put a stop to the violence brewing in the capitol.
The plethora of evidence of his egregious mendacity is too much to recount here. You can watch the hearings in their entirety on your own on YouTube. My point is that anyone who pays attention to what they hear should simply and swiftly find the nearest trash can and toss in their MAGA attire! Their “Jesus is my Savior and Trump is my President” yard sign belongs in there next. It’s time to let go of this man. Though, for his riches and power, he’ll never be justly held accountable for his crimes against America, it’s time to put him in our rearview mirror and wave good-bye forever!
I speak specifically to my sisters and brothers in Christ. Pay attention to what you hear, to what you know in your heart is true. No matter how many false prophets predict his resurgence to the White House, no matter how many ridiculous Tucker commentaries you watch, or how many times Trump bloviates his Big Lie––it’s time to pay attention to what’s true about him and his malicious agenda. You know that he is a twice-impeached, narcissistic serial liar whose leadership style is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective. These hearings put him on display for the man he is and always has been.
It’s time to let go of all the “what-about” excuses you’ve made for him for the last six years. Comparing his sins to the previous and present leaders of the country is a fool’s errand. You know that he’s unfit for the office and is a danger to all Americans. Like Brian McLaren said, “There’s no shame in admitting you were conned. The shame is in refusing to see it so the con continues.”
Everyone is born with something called a “conscience,” a moral compass. Keep in mind that it only works if you don’t shut it out in order to believe and do anything what you want. Having watched Trump for all these years, it’s my opinion that he functions without the benefit of such a compass. If he has one, instead of pointing to truth, reality, and the divine, his compass, like a boomerang, only points back at him!
I know I sound terribly critical, but as Mort Sahl once said, “If I criticize somebody, it’s because I have higher hopes for the world, something good to replace the bad.” I believe that the example and teaching of Jesus is that something “good.” While I don’t expect any elected officials to act like Christians, I do expect them to display at least a modicum of simple decency. We should all know by now that Mr. Trump possesses little to no sense of what is good for anyone but himself.
If, in order to get conservative judges on the Supreme Court and overturn Roe v Wade, you voted for Trump once, or God-forbid––twice, news flash, he did it, and they did what you had hoped. So move on. You don’t need him anymore!
So many Trump-drunk evangelicals (White ones in particular) subordinated their faith to partisan loyalties and political power, ravaging our Christian reputation in the process. Trump apologists’ deal with the devil has profoundly damaged our efforts to point people toward our Jesus, not an Americanized Jesus or a partisan hood ornament Jesus, but the Lord Jesus Christ of our Bibles!
My concern is not so much what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency, but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of truth, civility, and a commitment to the common good.
I challenge you to pay attention to what you hear, to think outside your bias and party loyalty, and proceed into the future aiming to be more like Jesus. You certainly don’t have to agree with me or think like me, but I challenge you to be more like him with “the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5).
[You might (or might not) be interested in my 6-part series called, The Danger of Donald Trump: https://barneywiget.com/2020/09/24/the-danger-of-donald-trump-part-1/%5D