It’s been a crazy 36 hours.
Yesterday morning, we witnessed the peaceful passing of political power between two men who shared very little in common. It was awkward and touching and a little frenzied. There will forever be debates about how many people attended, and oddly, it doesn’t really matter. Donald Trump is the President of the United States and however many showed up or stayed home does not change that fact.
Later that day, in protest of some of his more crass and hurtful speech, protesters threw rocks, lit fires and beat a few people up. Read that sentence again and think about it.
Today, across the nation, women marched in solidarity for their own protection and according to the event promoters, in support of abortion rights. Speaking to a massive crowd in Washington, pop star Madonna admitted that she’d thought about blowing up the White House, but that it wouldn’t be a good idea, then went on to drop three harsh F-bombs in the matter of a few minutes before I shut it off, including two emphatic “F*** YOU!”‘s to those who she considers her opponents. With each F-bomb, the crowd roared.
Late this afternoon, the President’s press secretary took to the podium and told some really doozies about crowd size...I mean, not even (as Larry Harvey once said to me), “in the vicinity of the truth.” I’m not a PR expert but I recognize panic when I see it, and if he lasts six months it will be a miracle. It may be that he was just stretching the truth, but he was doing it about something so obviously incorrect that it concerns me deeply. The man who will lie about what can easily disproven will lie even more quickly about things that we can’t verify.
If it sounds like I’m suspicious of both groups, it’s because I am. And even more saddened by believers who are quick to declare their unquestioning allegiance to one group or another. I don’t mean leaning one direction or the other, but signing up to defend their side at all cost. It’s one thing to tolerate a big one – it’s an entirely different thing to defend it.
There’s a story in the Bible about the people of God making a treaty with the Gibeonites under false pretense. They regretted it almost immediately, but they were stuck with their covenant. The lesson is clear – who you make peace with is often as damaging as who you make war with.
We are called to pray for our leaders – and as my friend, Carl Thomas, reminded me, to speak truth to power. In coming months, don’t let your frustration with whoever you perceive to be your opposition get you to a place of making binding peace with the wrong folks.