I usually write on a narrow set of subjects — worship, theology and church administration — so leave subjects of national or international importance to those who have a greater depth of experience or better vantage point. Say, the merciless change in policy that means migrant parents in custody are separated from their children. I can’t imagine their horror, or the life-long damage this causes them all. The UUA made this statement; my heart is closer to this Greek Orthodox statement. There’s lots of religious objection from many quarters to this policy, and the Attorney General’s presumption of quoting Romans to defend his actions.
Of course I detest it. I want it to end. I want decency, democratic norms and accountability to guide national and international governance. But the list of the unbelievable and the unimaginable keeps getting longer. Defend against this, and the White House lobs that grenade into the crowd.
Overcoming these assaults will mean a lot of hard, wearing work, and success is not given. Things I used to care about deeply — employment rights for gay people, or the end of the death penalty — are (to me) now less important than the calculated and empowered de-humanization of target groups by the current Administration. God willing, we may step out of crisis in a few years, but I’m not banking on it.
I paused to make this statement because I was going to write a little post about automating and improving prayerbook typography, and that seems so small by contrast. Even a bit callous. But here’s part of my thinking: we will be called to fight and sacrifice for a very long time. There won’t be as much money or time to enjoy pleasantries, also because the economy is rigged against all but the very rich. We should make as much of what we can, that we might enjoy it the more. If the organ is broken or the plaster crumbles or can’t put a down payment of a church building of our own, we can at least have well-ordered services and (in this case) attractive printed material. We can have that much, and try not to be jealous for more. We must be careful not to be anesthetized to evil by heaping up things or meeting or processes. More than a policy change, the situation we’re in calls for a change in how we live.
So if the flower fund becomes someone else’s legal defense fund, we might better see the beauty of the Lord, and worship in spirit and in truth.