Let’s start with two dictionary definitions:
Patriot: one who loves and supports his or her country
Christian: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
You can probably see where I’m going to go with this. The mob of mindless deplorables who stormed the Capitol on January 6 was certainly not there in “support of our country.” I say, “our,” because the country also belongs to the majority of people in America who accepted that the election was over and Joe Biden had won fairly. While there were American flags being waved by that crowd, with some actually being used as weapons, the overwhelming preponderance of banners and wearables was only showing “love and support” for one evil demagogue. These were patriots in wolves’ clothing.
The recent testimony of Stephen Ayers, the poor sot from Ohio, proves that. He admits to having been brainwashed by MAGA misinformation and propaganda and that it was Trump’s call that led him to travel to DC and participate in the insurrection. As a result he was prosecuted, lost his job of 20 years and was forced to sell his home. He now realizes he should have “taken off the blinders” and looked at all the information that was available to him. Mr. Ayers likely thought of himself as a patriot. But he never thought through to what responsibilities that title entails.
Regrettably, there’s a similar problem with people who proclaim themselves Christians without considering what emulating Christ really means. Recently, our local paper revealed a movement afoot to make Pennsylvania a “Christian state.” I’m sure that has to have William Penn spinning in his grave. That same local paper also has a very high percentage of its Letters to the Editor quoting Bible passages and claiming the word of God to justify all manner of regressive social injustice. God’s pretty forgiving, but I doubt He approves of His words being twisted to justify the white-nationalist sentiments being exhibited by so many self-proclaimed Christians today.
American is at a crossroads at this very moment. There is so much evil coming into focus, with much of it revolving around those two corrupted terms. At the same time, the response from the vast majority has been the silence of disbelief. No one thought Trump would be elected president. No one thought the institutions of our democracy could become so degraded in such a short span of time. And no one thought that very democracy could ever come as close to crumbling as it did on January 6. But, now we know.
Hopefully some common sense will re-emerge in the upcoming mid-terms–that we will have reached the bottom and be headed back to being a country based on the rule of law and with a basic commonality embraced by its citizens. It will take time, since so much damage has been done. But, maybe then “Patriot” and “Christian” can stop being dirty words and those who claim to be one or both can begin getting back to being what they’re supposed to be.
©2022, David B Bucher