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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Clowns at the Gate

The catalyst that facilitated the violation of the Capitol was not simply the agitation of a few gathered at one minor rally; rather, it was a disordered and chaotic reaction from a small contingent representative of millions of voters suffering angry disbelief at the election results.  Yes, this shock went to the top of the ticket, motivating charges of election fraud. Instead of transparency throughout, and a lack of graciousness from the winners, President Trump and all who supported him were maligned as fools and racists.  Instead, there should have been caution in speech and action without partisan rancor.  Trump lost the election with more votes than had Obama when he won. Our nation was still deeply divided and the President’s supporters remained energized by the populism of a leader that gave voice to millions of Americans who thought they were not being heard, or worse, villainized by critics on the left.  Indeed, even many moderate and conservative Republicans felt their party had been hijacked, creating tension between the executive and legislative branches. After the loss it was evident that both parties were being manipulated by opportunists.

Just look at the debates where ideas were shunted aside and every calumny and name-calling was employed to destroy the other side.  While President Trump was an expert at such combative jargon, both sides were reduced to this style of debate that attacks persons to the detriment of ideas and policies.  During the Obama and Trump and now the Biden administrations, instead of working with each other as fellow Americans, those in opposition are caricatured as dishonest, abusive and traitors. Today, business is done by presidential edict and not through congressional deliberation and consensus.  The real danger to American democracy is not to be found in a crowd of crazies and drunks that trespassed upon the Capitol, but by an atmosphere of perpetual partisanship where voices are not heard and little to nothing of substance gets done.  President Biden may have won the election with 81,268,924 million votes; but we cannot reunite a nation while smearing the 74,216,154 million that voted for President Trump.  January 6 will be remembered as reprehensible but not as a genuine threat to American democracy; our country is too resilient to be taken down by such foolishness. But, having said this, there are far more dangerous problems that professional politicians either ignore or reinterpret for their own benefit. No one in his or her right mind would compare what happened to D-Day or 9-11, or so I thought.  Let us stop being silly and get serious.  We need statesmen that govern and not politicians who are engaged in perpetual campaigning.  We need sober dialogue, a respect for persons and a renewed regard for the truth.  We need to get control over national debt, resolve the pandemic, devise a sustainable policy about immigration, ensure the security of our nation and our allies from military aggression and terrorism, and put America back to work.  We also have to face the hard truth that government cannot solve every problem by throwing money at it. 

It is joked that we have the best politicians “that money can buy” but the joke is on us and it is not funny.  We need men and women with personal integrity and corporate responsibility to govern wisely.

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