The Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Harris
President and Professor of Biblical Studies
Ecumenical Theological Seminary
Lead Pastor, Detroit Bible Tabernacle
As the saga of the Trump Administration winds down, it becomes increasingly apparent this train was headed for disaster. Trump has flirted with danger from day one. His narcissistic feeling of invincibility was expressed early when he boasted he could shoot someone in front of witnesses and get away with it. He openly promoted his family businesses and diverted government and private business cash to his family accounts. He became “Liar in Chief” by blatantly lying almost daily without impunity. No shame! No regret! It’s not that he lived in his own altered reality, but he drew millions into that reality. Millions put ethical, moral and spiritual convictions on hold - politicians, Christians, white supremacists and others who allowed themselves to be co-opted by the rhetoric of division and hate.
On January 6 Trump’s disciples attempted insurrection and attack on American democracy at the Capitol; this was the last straw for many. The bi-partisan vote in the House to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time was in response to his treasonous and seditious rhetoric that incited the violent Capitol mob. Five persons died as the mob trashed the Capitol. Throughout his presidency, Trump nodded his approval of racist and violent groups. Domestic terrorism is alive and well!
I continue to see biblical parallels when observing Trump narcissism. In the book of Esther in the Hebrew Scriptures, Haman’s rabid hatred for Mordecai, the guardian of Queen Esther, built a gallows for him. In the end, Haman died on his own gallows and Mordecai prospered. The Capitol mob built a mock gallows on Capitol grounds for Vice President Pence, who loyally supported Trump’s nonsense the past four years. Trump distanced himself from Pence when he failed to obey Trump’s directive to derail the Electoral College’s validation of the Biden/Harris victory. Pence learned that loyalty with Trump is a one-way street. Trump even denounced the mob he dispatched to the Capitol. Pence, along with Republicans who voted for impeachment, now face death threats from Trump disciples. Law enforcement and military personnel who participated in the mob are facing the gallows of justice. Members of Congress and the Capitol police who turned their heads also face a day of reckoning. Trump also faces his day of reckoning as his legacy goes down in flames.
It concerns me that many in the mob wear badges and carry guns as they patrol, and sometimes terrorize, the streets of our communities. God help us!
At the top of this foul heap stands Donald Trump. The president has often expressed admiration for the “strength” of such dictators as Putin, Kim Jong-un and others. He has valued the word of Russians over the advice of his own intelligence agencies. He openly vilified the press and labeled them the enemy of the people. He suggested the arrest of his political opponents. He referred to those in military service as suckers and losers. He pretty much treated his mob the same by kicking them under the proverbial bus when he was confronted with fiery public backlash. Trump continues to show no heartfelt compassion for the hundreds of thousands of COVID -19 deaths.
Finally, let us not forget the murderous kidnapping plot against the great governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, or the immigrant children who remain separated from their parents.
In stark contrast to the events of recent weeks, we prepare to celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and legacy of service and sacrifice continues to inspire and uplift the global community.
The apostle Paul reminds us:
1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. NASU
As we seek that “tranquil and quiet life”, may God bless Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris as they prepare to lead this nation into a hopeful future!