Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Agreeing with Michael Coren. Sort of.

Pope Francis. A pope loved by the people. (ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Pope Francis. A pope loved by the people. (ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Christianity could address political chaos

It is a rare occasion that I agree with Michael Coren but I do think he is bang on in this Toronto Star article, Perfect time for the church to show leadership. In it, he argues that in the political chaos we see arising both south of us and across the Atlantic, might be addressed by a Christianity focused on social justice issues.

The liberal Christian church has focused on social and economic justice issues for decades, beginning with the social gospel movement at the turn of the last century. Those interests expanded over the decades to include race, gender, environmental, sexual, and gender identity justice issues as well. Indeed, my United Church of Canada has been a leader in every one of those areas and I’m proud of the work we’ve bravely undertaken over our history.

Late in the game

But it is late in the game and mainline churches are dying. Those intent on focusing on beliefs rather than the values proclaimed by the life of Christianity’s “eponymous founder, who would have seen the current tide of anger, retreat, hysteria and blame as the hellish product it is,” are able to engage fewer and fewer in the work they once championed in the halls of power. The mitigating effect they had on our social norms has mostly disappeared. And we are watching the effects of that disappearance play out for us in viral youtube videos of Americans shouting they voted for Trump as they spew xenophobic slurs, the common citizen’s equivalent to the shocking appointments of racist, homophobic, misogynist, evangelical fundamentalists to some of America’s most powerful posts.

Christianity’s role

Christianity most certainly had a role to play in these debacles of democracy gone wrong but it will be scored on the wrong side of history’s ledger. At least I hope it will. After all, most history is written by the victors and, in the immediate future at least, I don’t think those Coren and I are rooting for are going to be doing much writing.

 

Trentham: A Hymn for My American Friends

An election night like no other

The night ended late. Scott and I stumbled to bed after too many hours of the American election and hearts that were heavy with the result. We weren’t shocked. Not as shocked as some. Perhaps watching it unfold from this northern vantage point had already scared us more than those steeped within the polls and election rhetoric. No, we weren’t shocked. But we were deeply, deeply saddened about the choice that has been made for what I can only imagine will be a meaner, uglier, more tightly wound spring of anger as Donald Trump takes the Office of the President and the House of Representatives wherever he wants.

OMGoodness. The Promises

Trump has a lot of promises to keep and every one of them a blow to those who don’t belong to the demographic that still has the numbers to defeat racial minorities, women, members of the lgbtq community, migrants who perform 6% of the country’s most servile jobs with no security or benefits. Perhaps Trump’s promises will so change the face of America that those numbers will never change. I do not know. But I lament the loss of dignity and rights, so many will experience in the coming years.

keep-wide-your-heartFor you, my American friends

Today, preparing for Sunday’s service as I always do on Wednesdays, I wrote these words to the tune Trentham. It is best known as “Breathe on Me, Breath of God.” In “Keep Wide Your Heart”, I hope to encourage my American friends and those around the world who feel the blow of last night’s election. May we find ways to reach out to one another and built a wall of human resistance that will go down in history. No matter what. Know that I love your hurting hearts.

Keep Wide Your Heart

Tune: Trentham
Traditional Hymn: Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Keep wide your heart to love,
all it might ever be.
Count not the cost love may impose;
to pay it, our deepest need.

Keep wide your mind to truth,
all it might ever mean.
All self-delusions, let them go
and truth, it will set you free.

Keep wide your life to dreams
easing the fear-filled night,
until each possibility
glows with a persistent light.

Keep wide the road to hope.
Clear off its weed-fill’d way,
that all might walk it, side by side,
toward a more perfect day.

© 2016 gretta vosper

As with all my lyrics written for traditional hymn tunes, please feel free to reproduce, with proper attribution, for use in groups and congregational settings. All other rights reserved.