There are six things that the Lord hates, even seven things that are an abomination:
a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that are swift to run to evil,
a false witness who pours out lies,
and a person who spreads discord among family members.
Proverbs 6: 16-19
43: the number of senators who were too scared or too shortsighted to vote in favor of conviction.
Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that the vote did not pass. More interesting is that there were actually 7 brave senators who did the right thing. In the modern USA, tribal affiliation & licentious grandstanding are much more important than truth, liberty, or justice.
“This is not who we are”, people said after mobs attacked congress. But unfortunately, it is part of who we are. And the result of this vote is another signal that it is part of who we are and who we will continue to be.
That is why I said “shortsighted”: far too many people are continuing to normalize lying and violence as acceptable means to achieve political goals. This is the road to ruin.1
This vote (and continued denialist behavior) all-but-guarantees that we will have more political violence. Further, the next populist & would-be-autocrat is unlikely to be as bumbling as 45, and much more capable at helping the powerful & politically-connected at the cost of everyone else.
All with good will towards humanity should seek to prevent the rise of the next dangerous populist, and to limit the harm that they can do if they gain power.
Here are some of the things Christians are called to do:
- Speak truth and refuse conspiracy, lies, and false witness2
- Love our neighbors and the people we encounter, especially ones unlike us3
- When we feel a loss of power & privilege, feel maligned, or have been harmed: love our enemies & persecutors and pray for them4
- Seek the good of the poor, the prisoner, the ailing, the oppressed5, the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner6
- Dismantle our weapons and create tools that support life7
Lying and violence are especially being normalized for groups that already have great power, with peaceful protests from among the marginalized being attacked and labeled as terrorism. This combination is not only the road to ruin but the road to fascism. ↩︎
Exodus 20:16 ↩︎
Luke 10: 25-37 ↩︎
Matthew 5: 43-48 ↩︎
Luke 4: ↩︎
Zechariah 7: 8-10 ↩︎
Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 ↩︎