I’m processing what happened on Epiphany, January 6. I’ve gone from shock to anger. That will change to sadness and then something else after that. Time will move me along in my processing of this.
The hardest part for me is thinking back to my days working on Capitol Hill. I worked for a Member of Congress. Our office was originally on the top floor of the Cannon Office Building. And then we moved over to the Longworth building – to a larger and nicer office. I remember walking the halls of the Capitol Building. I would take the underground tunnels to go between buildings. I remember walking through the rotunda as a Congressional staffer. I remember giving tours of the building, identifying the unique characteristics of the building and the rich history contained there.
I remember taking people down to the “tomb” where Washington was supposed to have as his final resting place – directly under the center of the Capitol rotunda. He was to lay at the exact center of the city, which is where the center of the rotunda sits. Remember, early on, DC was a perfect square in shape. There is a high symbolism in the Capitol building being at the center of the city.
And on Wednesday I saw people breaking in to the Capitol, causing damage, desecrating the building and all that it stands for, and trampling over the space that Washington would have been laid, without having any knowledge about that.
On January 5, one day before the assault on the Capitol, I wrote about poverty – the many forms of poverty that exist. What we witnessed on Wednesday was an expression of that poverty. A severe and deep poverty in many forms. And we saw how destructive that poverty is. It has broken trust between people – some of which I doubt will ever be repaired.
The question becomes now what? What do we do going forward?
I don’t know. I don’t know that I’m really at a point yet that I can think clearly what the next steps are.
There should be consequences for such actions.
There needs to be an acknowledgement of the truth.
There needs to be a review of how the Capitol was broken into with out adequate protection.
There needs to be acknowledgement that if the people who assaulted the Capital Building had been black, then the result would have been different.
There needs to a clear sign that such actions are not acceptable.
And there needs to a honest look at our nation and who we are, and what we have become. And decide who we are going to be going forward.
I don’t expect there to be a consensus on this. And I don’t think there needs to be either.
And lastly, and most importantly, we Christians need to so some self-examination. We need to be crystal clear about what faith is, what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and how there is congruence between what we say we believe and how we live it out. No more excuses for convenient and comfortable Christianity. It’s not Christianity. It never has been.