The US midterm elections could be seen as “a referendum” on President Donald Trump and on Tuesday night, the Democratic Party seized control of the House of Representatives and won a few governorships, while the Republican Party increased their majority in the Senate.
More often than not, a fight is just a fight… Someone wins, someone loses. But this hour, we have a series of face-offs that shine a light on the human condition, the benefit of coming at something from a different side, and the price of being right.
3 Part Series:
- British Gameshow features prisoner’s dilemma, which one contestant solves by promising to always defect.
- Enneagram 1 confronts uncooperative bike mechanic and potentially schizophrenic man, to the growing appreciation of possible Enneagram 9, who typically tries to go-along-to-get-along.
- Why is left-handedness a 90-10 trait?
Alexander Hamilton, while still a university student, was a leader in the American revolution, but at some risk to himself he rushed to confront and stop a mob bent on attacking a pro-British leader of his university.
There are plenty of examples on both sides of the aisle of people who have inflamed tensions rather than soothed them, but President Trump is extreme in sowing discord. As I see it, his tax cut can be repealed and his damage to the health care system rectified, but it will be more difficult to undo the harm to the societal norms that govern us. And I worry that when Trump undermines those norms there is a real impact on extremists. I don’t believe that Saudi Arabia would have dared to murder a Washington Post writer under another administration, and I wonder likewise whether Trump’s demonization of opponents and of the press risks empowering some violent people on the fringe to take actions that they would not have taken under a different president.
.. We received a memo advising us that if our building is evacuated, we should be sure to take our laptops — so that we can go to work wherever we have to. But I do hope that anyone prone to violence understands that they’re not going to intimidate journalists into pulling punches or not doing their job.
It is hard to overestimate the storm that is brewing. Only penance and a complete housecleaning can restore credibility and trust.
I hope our bishops, especially the highest ranking and those closest to the epicenter of the Archbishop McCarrick case, hear just how angry the faithful are. I think it is hard to overestimate the storm that is brewing.
.. If any of our prelates think this latest storm will soon pass, they should ponder the more likely case that these are merely the outer bands of a Category 5 hurricane that is closing in and will likely make landfall in Baltimore at the November meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
.. I have never seen people so serious and determined to take actions of their own. Frankly, as the faithful often remind us, their real power is the power of the purse—that and voting with their feet. I have usually dismissed plans to refuse to give to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal or other such collections as the threats of a few on the fringes, but I am now hearing such things from far more mainstream sources who say that it is the only way to get the bishops’ attention.
.. I have learned from Church history that reform almost never comes from the top; it comes from religious life and from the grass roots, from among God’s people. Please stay faithful to the Lord and His Body the Church. Pray as never before. Realize that the devil would like nothing more than for you to walk away from the sacraments.
.. feel freer than ever to confront Church leadership and insist upon reform
.. I encourage each of you to write personally to your bishop. It is not enough to sound off on social media or in comments sections on the internet. Be old-fashioned: write a physical letter to your bishop and request a written reply, at least acknowledging receipt. Be brief and charitable, but also be clear about the crisis of trust in episcopal and clerical authority and your deepening concerns over what this means if trust cannot be restored.
.. Remember, too, not every bishop or priest is equally to blame. Some are suffering as much as you are. However, no one, clergy or lay, should exempt himself from the task of summoning the Church to reform and greater holiness.
.. To those who are inclined to use financial withholding as an expression of concern, I ask that you remember that much of these collections go to help the poor. Please consider such a method as a kind of last recourse. Use it only if you must, and as a medicine not an expression of vengeance. I ask that you consider giving an equal amount directly to those who help the poor. Also, if you choose to do this, write to your bishop explaining what you are doing and why.
.. I am grateful that many lay faithful love the Church enough to be angry. Sometimes one must be angry enough to be willing to act for change and to persevere in that work. I hope you will honor your anger and use it to creative ends: to tirelessly demand real reform in all the ways God gives you to see. Be careful to target your anger and speak it in love and for the good of all.