I watched the first congressional hearing on the January 6th Insurrection last night, and once again was saddened by what I saw and heard. The never-before-seen video was shocking – it literally triggered me – and the testimony was heartbreaking. Watching American citizens, many of whom say they support the police, attack the Capitol Building and, in the process, try to kill the police protecting it, was horrifying. I watched Officer Caroline Edwards (my new hero) struggle to keep her composure at times as she described what she and her fellow officers went through. It is estimated that over 3000 people attacked the Capitol, and over 800 have been charged with crimes. January 6th was one of the saddest days in my life, and it continues to haunt us.
And still – there are people defending these traitors. Have we gotten to such a low point in our existence as a nation that we can’t even agree that what they did was treasonous? I think there are some things we should be able to agree are wrong, with threatening a Supreme Court Justice or allowing 18-year-olds to purchase weapons of mass destruction. But no – there are zealots everywhere, proclaiming their opinions and giving no quarter to others. There are scary people defending ludicrous ideas and calling them logical. And while I have never believed in moral certitude, I have always hoped for a modicum of common sense that might allow us to transcend our differences. That seems to be a pipe dream too.
I believe in 2nd (and more) chances, but I also believe in doing the time if you’ve done the crime. I hope a lot of people end up in prison for their part in this act of treason. And I recognize that many of the people at the pre-attack rally were there peacefully; they have the right to do that and shouldn’t be found guilty by association. Any person, however, who used violence and entered the Capitol Building should do time in prison. Their pleas of contrition are nice, but not enough to save them from their fate. Is that harsh? I don’t think so, and I feel the same way about other protestors in other places who committed violence. Unless we have, as a nation, truly have devolved and have decided that violence is our first and only option. It that has happened, it is clear that the shining light on the hill that once burned so brightly has been snuffed out.
Prayer – Forgive us, God of new life, if we have participated in anything that has brought harm to others. Show us better ways to live, and help us learn from our mistakes. Amen.
Today’s art is “Depiction of Loss” by Ramzan Jafari.