Minister’s Message for July 17, 2020

Kindness in response to violence.

The Dalai Lama has told us repeatedly, “essentially, my religion is kindness.”

Judith Martin, who writes as “Miss Manners,” also treasures kindness, as one of the primary goals of etiquette.  Her perfect hostess is one who “makes us feel that we are both quite wonderful.”

The famous verse from Saul of Tarsus’ First Letter to the Corinthians, 13:13:  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.  I believe that the future St. Paul understood Jesus’ teachings better than most.

All three of these expressions are encouragements for us to be kind.

Can we consider President Trump, and be firm, but kind to him?  As M.K. Gandhi and M.L. King taught, the best reply to hate and cruelty is stout, but peaceful, loving kindness.

Our popular hymn “Spirit of Life, prays “Spirit of Life, come unto us.
Sing in our hearts all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;  move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.”

The President did not create himself.  Read the memoir by his niece, Mary Trump, and you will see that the Trump family values bent young Donald near completely out of the shape of justice, and decency.

We object when we are told that the the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons.  We know that it is not fair to blame the sons for the sins of their fathers, but we do, we do.  What happens is that habits of violence, selfishness, and cruelty are inherited.  They are visited upon the children.  That’s not fair, but that’s what happens.  Who has the right to hold the children accountable for what their forebears bore and were bent by?

May we then, keep from hating Donald Trump.  He did not plan to be the way he is, which is selfish, greedy, and cruel.  The capability to throw off one’s inheritance and become a person free of evil parental influence, is very rare.

Let us instead think of the President as having a birth defect.

The strain is starting to show in his ramblings and lashing out, and it looks like it will get worse.  He doesn’t know what to do, and he does not seem to have the inner peace and resources and true friends, to withstand the flood.  Imagine how he is feeling: caged, sinking, helpless.

We can celebrate the better leadership coming, but It makes us ugly when we hate.  Mr. Trump’s greatest joy seems to come from taking revenge.  Let us not copy his example.

May we who could find joy in his fall, find it in our hearts to pity Donald Trump.  His worst nightmare–total, abject humiliation–is coming true.  And in a primal sense, it is not his fault.  As Paul wrote elsewhere in his Letters, “everything is given to us.”

 

P.S., Update a few hours later on Friday:  I neglected to mention that in his desperation, Mr. Trump is capable of just about anything, and must be restrained from evil-doing as much as possible.

 

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