Epiphany 2021 in our Nation’s Capital

Epiphany 2021 in Washington, DC.

The mob that descended on and attacked the Capitol this week was urged on by Donald Trump and protected by him. And as he told them, loved by him.

Most of them were probably ordinary people who believed Trump’s spin and lies and the power he was strutting. The crowd harbored some people infected with the demons of white supremacy, Neo-Nazis sentiments and patriarchal pride and aggression. Some carried Confederate flags. Men and women turning to violence to take back what they were told was a fraudulent Presidential election.

Five people are dead as a result of the attack. It is tragic that these lives were lost. It is amazing really that more life was not lost. The police and other security forces were certainly restrained and at several points, outnumbered.

The President watched events unfold and did not call out the guard. The rioters were his troops.

This all took place In the midst of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. As Legislators scrambled for their lives with the aid of the Secret Service, it is not likely that they were paying attention to social distancing. in the midst of sacred space being violated, meeting chambers, offices, all desecrated. A whole government was jeopardized by the attack of the rioters and also by Covid.

And the people who made up the mob, they seemed to be disregarding the Virus, putting their lives and anyone in future contact with them at risk.

This all happened on December 6, the day of Epiphany in the Christian Church. The day of Epiphany marks the coming of the Magi, the Wise Ones, to worship the baby Jesus, prince of peace. We need wise ones now.

I was so grateful when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke of the fact that this was all unfolding on Epiphany. Epiphany means revealing. The events of the day were indeed a time of revelation and reckoning.

In Jesus’ time, his life was in danger after the Magi returned home. Being warned in a dream, they took a route that avoided Herod. Herod wanted Jesus dead because he felt he was a potential threat to his power. Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled to Egypt.

The spectacle of the invasion of the Capital by domestic terrorists who see themselves as heroes is over. But the equivalent of malevolent King Herod lives on. Our leaders, going forward, are going to have to avoid future harm to themselves and the nation.

Twitter and Facebook have finally blocked the tweets of our sitting President. Up until now, they have provided a platform for the lies and propaganda and character assassination spread by Trump and his loyalists that left a significant portion of Americans questioning the validity of the Presidential election.

As a nation, we need a way to distinguish free speech from dangerous and incendiary speech. Democracy depends on an informed not misinformed citizenry. The electronic age and its institutions, hit before we knew what to do with them. Those institutions  need the same oversight other institutions do. It cannot just be controlled by a few wealthy people. Corporations, like government, are accountable to our democracy.

Epiphany 2021 in Washington, DC. Seeing people storm the bastions of democratic power, unrestrained, was horrifying. Their empowerment coming from Donald Trump’s maniacal need for power and supremacy was even more horrifying. It did not make America great again.

I am very proud of and grateful for our elected officials for returning to the meeting of Congress and completing the work of the day, confirming the votes of the electoral college that finalized the election of the next President and Vice-President of the United States.

In sadness, I thank God for that eruption that was such a revelation. A boil that has been allowed to fester has exploded. Now it can be addressed openly.  As speaker after speaker said last night when Congress resumed, we have to be respectful to one another across our divisions, “on both sides of the aisle.” That is true, but it is not going to be enough.

We need to remember what it took for some Trump loyalists to break away from him. Why was everyone silent until the insurrection, defending a tyrant who made no pretense at being anything else.

I puzzle over how decent people have been able to accept the insults Donald Trump hurled at everyone, entertaining as they were for a while. How could those in the know accept his lies around Covid that cost lives? Didn’t his instigating racial and immigrant hatred bother people?

Well, waking up now is better late than never. But remember down the road when new elections take place, who supported the man responsible for the Epiphany Invasion.

What has been cannot continue to be. We are trying to get vaccines against Covid into arms. Now we need to get ethical sensibility and respect for moral action into people’s hearts. We could even begin by reviewing the Ten Commandments.

We need the wise ones of long ago to speak to our time. We need a Holy star to guide us to righteousness. We need a proper dose of intense fear of authoritarian power. We need common sense to know that living together takes seeking the common good of all and accepting, even celebrating our differences.

Epiphany came with a great revealing this year!  

Ps. I went to the Post Office to mail our epiphany letters and it was crowded. I used the kiosk to get the stamps I needed. I was told they would be flag stamps. Fine, though I love the more interesting ones they come out with. To my surprise, the flag on the stamp was huge. It reminded me of the flags I saw waving at the epiphany invasion. I wondered if I wanted to use them. Then the phrase came to mind, “Take back the night.” It was coined by women who didn’t want to live in fear of going out at night anymore. So, “Take back the flag” seemed right. It is my flag, the flag of every American. I honor it, I don’t worship it, nor should anyone. Patriotism is not intended to be a religion in any nation.


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