It’s Thursday, the day after the attack on the Capitol, and I am asking myself, “do I need to say that trespassing, vandalism, intimidation, violence, and the attempted subversion of our legal election process is morally wrong? Or do we already know that?”
But in these moments, it is not necessarily about personal spiritual direction from one’s priest to a parishioner. It is about institutions, communities of faith, collective entities publicly decrying behavior as *not* being our values. I think the most disgusting thing I saw (and there was a lot) was people tromping through the edification of our national stability and commitment to fair, just, and free governance and threatening those within waving a flag with the fish symbol and the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
It is not wrong to protest. It is actually a human right given to us by God. It is not wrong to be distressed about the consequences of an election that does not reflect your understanding of what is the best of human nature. It is not morally wrong to be passionate, or even prophetic. It can even be moral and ethical to violate the law in order to do what is right.
But in the moment in which Peter, one of the foremost of the disciples, saw a terrible injustice about to occur in the arrest (and likely future killing) of Jesus, lashed out with a sword and struck the ear of one of those who came to arrest him, Jesus healed the man and said, “no more of this!” in the Gospel of Luke (22:50-51) and “put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” in the Gospel of Matthew (26:52). These figures Wednesday looked far more like the Crusaders who sacked Byzantium and the Holy Land than the peaceful but powerful followers who drew the fish with their feet in the dirt to identify one another in times of crisis.
Put simply: that was not my Christ, not my Christian faith, and not my Church. You may disagree, and that is your right and Trinity will continue to be your home, but I ask you to think about what the entire community of faith should be doing together in moments like these.
Yours in Christ,