Beloved First Parishioners,
I am angry, frightened, and disturbed, especially as Washington, D.C., is so familiar to me after a childhood spent in northern Virginia, where my parents, my brother and his family, and my sister-in-law and her family still live. I am angry, frightened, and disturbed — but I am not surprised.
The violence in Washington, D.C. — which some are calling an attempted coup — is the result of years of fake news undermining the integrity of our democracy, years of destructive and discriminatory federal and local policies, and generations of white supremacy and structural oppression against marginalized peoples.
There’s much to digest in the footage we’re seeing: that after a “stop the steal” rally led by the President of the United States and his supporters, unmasked rioters terrorized legislators, destroyed property, and attempted to overturn the election results. Those occupying the Capitol building truly believe that the 2020 presidential election was in some way rigged, because that’s what they’ve been hearing from the President of the United States and many other elected officials and public figures for weeks. I also can’t help but notice that these rioters occupying the Capitol are not being met with militarized police force. It’s too much to digest in a short time with incomplete information.
Jenna and I invite you to our regular Thursday Vespers tonight (January 7th) at 5:30 pm when we will continue to offer each other comfort and courage.
I am reminded of the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday and national holiday are later this month. He said, “There are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all [people] of goodwill will be maladjusted… I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self‐defeating effects of physical violence.”
Let us be maladjusted to this affront to our democracy. Our service begins when our service ends.
Rev. Catie Scudera