We had a shameful demonstration at the State Capitol this week. God knows that I’ve taken stands in the past in favor of protests. But this protest against our Governor over stay-at-home orders was ridiculous. Perhaps a better word is shameful. I saw photos of
-a man swarming the capitol in tactical gear carrying a high-powered weapon
-a guy (mask-less) screaming in the face of a police officer
-a demonstrator carrying a sign calling our Governor a “bitch”
-a person waving a confederate flag
-someone throwing a noose over a branch!
At the end of the day, all of these people went home. Freedom of speech, we call it. Something we all have the right to do.
Today, President Trump urged Governor Whitmer to “make a deal” with those protesters. Claimed the President: “These are very good people!”
Now let me give you a few examples of some other folks who, at one time in their lives, did not get to go home. These are some of the people we deal with on a daily basis.
-A woman who killed her husband, as he was trying to take her life
-A mentally ill child who tried and failed to hold up a pizza joint with a toy gun
-A black man wrongly identified as the killer in a hold-up
-A front-seat passenger, accused as the driver of a truck in a fatal accident
-A reformed robber who has spent the last 40 years mentoring young inmates.
Matt, Susie, Melissa, Holly and I insist that these are very good people! Yet, they’re still behind bars.
I conclude with these questions.
Does something seem “bass-ackwards” here?
When does freedom of speech activity turn into terrorism-like behavior?
Can you imagine what would have happened if a group of black people armed with assault weapons stormed the capitol building? Would they all be allowed to go home?
Where can we find state and national leaders who might be willing to define our friends as very good people?
That’s it. I’m tired of fretting over that Lansing episode. For this weekend, I’m quitting my bitching and joining with Fr Greg Boyle:
I want to be prophetic and take stands and stand with those on the margins, and I want to laugh as much as I can.