As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough, this week the President of the United States co-opted sacred space for political antics and partisan pandering while jeopardizing lives and using the military as props in an ongoing drama that has turned into America’s nightmare. On Monday, military police were asked to unleash tear gas, rubber bullets and other weaponry on peaceful protesters at Lafayette Park across from the White House—an undeniable show of force all for the President to pose for a photo-op in front of a church, Bible in hand. It was an outrageous scene—unequivocally not Christian. All Christians should hold the President accountable for gratuitously violating sacred Christian symbols for political gain.
I imagine that Jesus was turn-the-tables-over-in-the-temple angry
at what transpired in front of St. John’s Church. A church. The place where there is sanctuary from the burdens of the world. The place where we find peace and refuge for our troubled souls. The place where we rejoice and give thanks, marry and nurture children in the faith and say our last goodbyes to loved ones. Churches are not meant to be used for political grandstanding in response to protesters demanding justice for an unarmed, handcuffed Black man whose life was snuffed out by those sworn to protect and serve.
My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a den of robbers (Matthew 21:13, NRSV). Those are the words of Jesus. Found in the Bible that was on display but not being honored. You see, George Floyd’s life was stolen from him, a church was robbed of its sacred space, and God’s people were robbed of their dignity and right to stand up and speak out. The sanctity of the lives of the protesters was callously disregarded for a publicity stunt gone wrong.
How will we recover from this?
At a moment in our nation’s history when there is a desperate need for leadership and healing, the person with the title and position most able to deliver both instead decides to further divide us while putting Americans in harm’s way and defiling sacred space. Surely, we have reached a new low where there is no bottom.
Sadly, that is not all. Amid the global crisis of COVID-19 is a parallel and equally deadly pandemic—racism. While we were equipping ourselves with masks and gloves, socially
distancing and washing our hands profusely to ward off the coronavirus, we never properly geared up for another round of racial incidents. And, now our nation is at a tipping point. Continue reading