Sunday, January 15, 2017

#Institutionfail

In Masha Gessen's widely distributed article on Rules for Survival in the illiberal, managed democracy into which our election has delivered us, one item is this: Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.

The authorities (a bishop and a dean) at the Episcopal Church’s Washington National Cathedral are demonstrating the truth of that admonition. Not only will their imposing edifice be used for its traditional interfaith prayer service the day after the inauguration, but they are sending their choir to sing at the ceremonies on Friday.

They have no excuse for sending the choir. Trump will undoubtedly treat the inauguration as a coronation; by sending the singers, they are blessing a man who promises only bigotry, cruelty, and misogyny. Whatever happened to their baptismal promise to "respect the dignity of every human being"? Sure, Trump is apparently human, but he spews bile before breakfast.

There might be some excuse for offering the interfaith service. After all, the building was designed for such civic exercises and probably depends on the prestige of them for its costly upkeep. But apparently the event will

... not include a central preacher or a customary sermon...

Would the Trumpkins only schedule this if promised either one of his sycophantic preachers like Franklin Graham, who was probably too far a stretch for the Bishop of Washington, or no preacher so there was no danger that he'd be challenged in any way? I would not be surprised.

As I wrote on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington Facebook page, I guess church authorities don't mind that, in fifty years or so, if any of us are around (which seems more and more questionable), the Episcopal Church will be generating another round of headlines like this from 2008:
Anyone interested in the Episcopal Church's historic equivocation on matters of slavery and race might want to look at this paper in Louie Crew's archives. This time around, I guess the word is -- so sorry, we abetted the coming of a foul fascist regime ...

By the way, I have no quarrel with the Episcopal Presiding Bishop's call for Episcopalians to pray for the civil authorities. I've found it healthy to pray for my enemies. I don't know if it does anything for them, but it seems to be good for me ... for my equilibrium. I can pray that God heal the Donald's obviously broken soul, as much as I can pray for such healing for mine.

Meanwhile I'll couple that prayer with offering up this from the Book of Common Prayer:

Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations ...


1 comment:

Hattie said...

I say it's important to identify your enemies and fight them. Any step in their direction is read as capitulation. This is the problem with Christian forgiveness.

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