Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year of Resistance

Not many hours from now, the world will welcome in a new year, 2017. At midnight, when I intend to be fast asleep, people at parties and in public places will be exclaiming, Happy New Year! For people in Japan and other parts of Asia, that will already have happened by the time this is posted.
So, I join in wishing you a Happy New Year! But especially to those of you in the U.S. and of like mind, my greeting is this: Happy New Year of Resistance!

Concerns about the Trump Administration

Soon after the presidential election in November, several times I said, Things won’t be as bad as most of Trump’s strongest opponents think, but they will be a lot worse than most of his supporters think. I still believe that will prove to be the case.

But given the PEOTUS’s picks for his closest advisors and his Cabinet, many things may be pretty bad—especially for discriminated-against people and for the environment.

Concerns about Trump’s Nominees
Many people are justifiably considered these nominees/appointees, such as the following:
Rex Tillerson – Nominee for Secretary of State – CEO of ExxonMobil and with close ties to Vladimir Putin as well as with large financial interests in countries around the world.
Jeff Sessions – Nominee for Attorney General – Senator from Alabama who has a long history of opposition to civil rights and was once blocked from a judgeship because of racist statements.
Andy Puzder – Nominee for Secretary of Labor – CEO of CKE Restaurants; among other things, he is an opponent of raising the minimum wage.
Rick Perry – Nominee for Secretary of the Department of Energy – Even though he temporary forgot the name of it, in a Republican primary debate in 2011 Perry said he wanted to do away with the DoE.
Betsy DeVos – Nominee for Secretary of Education – Businesswoman who advocates private schools; her support for vouchers, including for Christian schools, is a threat to the separation of church and state.
Scott Pruitt – Nominee for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; he wrote in a May 2016 article that the global warming debate “is far from settled.” He adds, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”
Steve Bannon – Appointed as Trump’s Chief Strategist; until recently he was executive chair of Breitbart News, which he claimed was the platform of the Internet-based alt-right.
Leading the resistance
There are various groups working on resisting problems that will probably become explicit under the new Administration. The Sojourners, a group I have learned from and supported for 45 years, is one such group. I encourage you to take a look at this article: “10 Commitments of Resistance in the Trump Era.” 
Two of the best books I have read this year are by Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers, pastor of the Mayflower Congregational UCC Church in Oklahoma City. His stimulating book The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus was published in 2012.
Meyer’s book Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance was published last year. It was based on his Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School in 2013.
Those two books were written before the Nov. 2016 election, of course, but they are especially relevant now.
I also recommend careful consideration of “Joining the resistance: A 100-day counter-agenda for the Church” (see here) by Rev. Dr. Cody Sanders, pastor of Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Massachusetts.
These are but a few of the individuals/groups leading efforts of resistance to injustice and the political misuse of power. Let’s join together in this important endeavor. 
Happy New Year of Resistance!

7 comments:

  1. Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Teach us to once again follow the commands of Christ to love the Lord our GOD, love our neighbor, love our enemies, and love our fellow believers in You. Draw us away from the anathemas, especially that of schism within Your Church, that we might once again be one. God save the President, and all leaders around world. Forgive us of our evil ways and save us from the evil one. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of GOD, have mercy on me a sinner. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I too am very concerned about what the Trump administration may bring in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. His immediate post election conciliatory comments gave me some hope. His appointment of Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist, and his cabinet nominations have dispelled any optimism his immediate post-election comments engendered. Shortly after the election I contributed to ACLU (a regular continuing contribution) and to the Southern Poverty Law Center--two organizations who are positioned to take on the Administration over civil liberty encroachments. I think we need to put pressure on the Senate over his most egregious cabinet appointments. I can see the possibility of three GOP defections on Tillerson and possibly Sessions. Sojourner above: Yes, we pray in church (where I attend at least) every Sunday, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven." I fear we have our fingers crossed on that one. Charles Kiker posting as anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thinking Friend Glenn Hinson shares these comments:

    "I share your concern, Leroy, and pray that thinking people in the Senate will really contest these nominations. Then we must resist on issues of critical importance not only to our country but to our planet."

    ReplyDelete
  4. We are entering a very dangerous time in American history. Things might end up OK, but the potential downside is unfortunately almost unlimited. The pushback on environmental issues, especially global warming, is terribly dangerous. The loss of civil rights on many fronts is likely. Parallels are being drawn to a host of unfortunate times, from the days just before World War I, to the fall of the Roman Republic.

    Here is a link to an article by a Hungarian about the rise of illiberal democracy in his country, and his fear for America: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/i-watched-a-populist-leader-rise-in-my-country-and-that-is-why-i-am-genuinely-worried-for-america/2016/12/27/6b4cf632-cc65-11e6-b8a2-8c2a61b0436f_story.html?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.da90eb41a78c

    For a more general look at illiberal democracy by Fareed Zakaria, look here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/america-is-becoming-a-land-of-less-liberty/2016/12/29/2a91744c-ce09-11e6-a747-d03044780a02_story.html?utm_term=.7d89a79b8705&wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

    For a look at the parallel to World War I, read here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/29/the-world-today-looks-ominously-like-it-did-before-world-war-i/?utm_term=.6e3f90acfadd&wpisrc=nl_evening&wpmm=1

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yesterday afternoon my faithful blog reader and Thinking Friend Eric Dollard shared these comments:

    "Thanks, Leroy. I agree with your observations.

    "Where Trump and his cabinet may encounter the most resistance is within federal agencies. Many, maybe most, of the employees of those agencies are not sympathetic to Trump's proposals, or the proposals of Congressional Republicans.

    "Note also that a substantial number of federal employees (one-third?) are now eligible to retire, or will be eligible to retire next year. So we may see some chaos in the Trump administration. The failure of some of these agencies could be disastrous. The coming year may be a long one."

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also received this comment from a local Thinking Friend:

    "Thank you, Leroy, I will look up the references you mention. With 'he who cannot be named' leading our country, resistance is our default position."

    ReplyDelete
  7. Here are significant comments by Thinking Friend Virginia Belk in New Mexico:

    "Tillerson --I am less concerned about ties to Mr. Putin but I am extremely concerned about his close involvement in corporations and financial enterprises around the globe.

    "Sessions -- I agree 100%.

    "Puzder -- I agree 100%; the current minimum wage is merely a subsistence wage.

    "Perry -- Not only did he say he'd do away with the DoE (before he forgot) but he also wanted to do away with the Department of Education and another, which I have now forgotten:-)

    "DeVos -- Vouchers for Christian schools is constitutionally illegal. Furthermore, vouchers for charter schools have done irreparable damage to our free public educational system. Parents withdraw their students to enroll in a charter school; their financial support goes with them. When kids can't/don't succeed, they are re-enrolled in the public system but their funds remain with the charter institution for the remainder of the year. Public schools have to provide services without the apportioned funds. That means there is less money for all the other students. Allowing private schools to also receive vouchers from public funds would further cheat the rest of the students even if the private school were not affiliated with a Christian church."

    ReplyDelete