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January 07, 2021


My response to the attack is similar. People did act, for many, perhaps for the first time in awhile: they voted. We can say the victory should have been a landslide, but still. That event will not reverse systemic issues and decades of malfeasance. But it has, and will continue, to protect the battered and compromised democracy the US still has. When I speak to my American family, I hear how many issues trouble them, and how many of them have come to 'land' on a key cause (immigration, the environment, reproductive rights, the prison system). Otherwise it's overwhelming, so I will suggest, pick your spot and work for change from that place.

Thank you for your cogent thoughts that so many of us share. We need to look to the example of the many Black women in Georgia who organized voter registration and turnout. They are helping people believe they can make a difference. The work is not just in the streets (nor do you suggest that) but everywhere: communicating to one's member of Congress, working for change at local and state levels, sharing with friends thoughts about white privilege, supporting groups working with immigrants or Black farmers or or or. The opportunities are many and give me hope.


Bravo Beth, very well said. I also think that Trump has to be held accountable, immediately, for the havoc and the deaths that he has caused. Those rioters and all those who support them and think like them need to see that justice is done and that Trump is not allowed to get away with this outrage. I am seriously worried about what more could heppen beforehe leaves office. There are some dangerously insane people out there besides the President himself.

Those images have been lingering with me too.

I am fearful and sick at heart, and I know I have to do everything I can to make things better, I just can't yet see what that is or how I will do it, especially given pandemic. It's paralyzing. And who am I that I should have the luxury of feeling paralyzed? but here we are. Barely slogging through.

Duchesse, thank you for writing. I agree with your advice: pick one place to "go in" -- one issue that is the most meaningful to you, or where you've got an opportunity to do something concrete -- and work from there. We need to be clear on what's our responsibility and what is best left to others; where our money is needed, where our hand and feet are needed, where our heart is needed. And part of the work we need to do is helping other people through this time.

Gretchen, yes, so true. Look at what was accomplished in Georgia! And much of the effort was done by a lot of people each contributing some postcards, letters, calls. It is actually possible, as we've now seen. I have Canadian-American friends who did this as well.

Deborah, thanks.

Natalie, I think we are seeing action by people in power who agree with you and see the same danger. Let's hope this week is decisive and that Trump is removed before he can do any more damage through the office of the President, but you are quite right about other people and an ongoing threat. Still, the worst is what comes from him.

Rachel, right now we need to take care of ourselves and realize the limits on what each one of us can do, otherwise it is truly overwhelming and paralyzing. As I wrote to Duchesse, above, once the dust clears each of us can choose an issue that matters to us and work on that -- we certainly can't address everything. Trump is going to be gone very soon, one way or another. There is not going to be a civil war, because finally people have woken up to the real danger. Yes, there will be unrest and violence -- as there has been against certain groups and minorities for a very long time -- and it will finally be clear where it's coming from. I feel guardedly hopeful, now that I see desertion happening and Republicans finally shaken into admitting the truth. Please take care of yourself and your flock. One good thing about the pandemic is that we are NOT meeting in groups, so a congregation like yours is much less of a target. We need to remember that these hateful elements have been around in American society for decades upon decades, but until this presidency, they have not been given permission to come out in the open. Until they're seen in the light, the way they have been this past week, too many people have refused to recognize the danger they represent. I feel confident that we are going to see a major change in how hate speech and violence are treated.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.