My Thank You Note to President Trump

Mr. President, I did not vote for you and I never thought I would be saying this but I owe you a debt of gratitude. Less than a week into your presidency you have already done for me something I do not think Mrs. Clinton could have or would have done had she been elected president.

Your words and actions have inspired me. They have struck a chord deep within me. You have challenged me to be and do better. The violence in your words and actions have been a mirror before me. I do not like what I see. I do not want to be what I see. I may not have said or done many of the things you have; that, however, is not an excuse or justification for the violence that does inhabit some of my thoughts, words, and actions. In that regard, maybe we are not so different.

Regardless of what may come of the rest of your presidency, I consider it a success at least in terms of what you have done for me. You have awakened me to see more clearly the reality of violence and darkness that lives not only in America but in the human heart, my heart included. You have helped me see America’s addiction to and romance with violence – whether that violence is grounded in war, crime, poverty, economics, politics, language, discrimination, or entertainment. You have shown me that far too often violence is profitable and brings out the vote. You have reminded me that the way forward is nonviolence and nonviolent resistance. I already knew this but I now know it again, as if for the first time, and in a new way. I am grateful. Thank you.

Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr, Donald Trump, John Dear, Nonviolence, Social Justice, Politics, Justice, Injustice,

Image Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Your presidency has led me to create my own cabinet of advisers, a cabinet of nonviolence. I have chosen Fr. John Dear, Fr. Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and Mahatma Gandhi to advise, teach, chastise, and disarm my heart. Needless to say the Prince of Peace will head my cabinet. I am reading, listening, studying, and praying. I have chosen my way forward.

I will not do violence to you by my thoughts, words, or actions. I do not want to shame, humiliate, or harm you. I will pray for you, America, and myself.

I will not be passive. I will resist you with love and seek your good, not because I am especially fond of you but because I believe God loves you, even as God loves Muslims, immigrants and refugees, women, the disabled, and Mexicans.

I will not make my fight against you, other people, political parties, races, or religions. I will make my fight against injustice and the forces of darkness.

I will not adjust myself to your presidency or any presidency that promotes injustice, acts with violence, speaks hatred, or denies the dignity of another human being. I will answer Dr. King’s call “to be maladjusted to such things” (A Testament of Hope, 14).

My work will not begin with the violence I see around me. Rather, it will begin with the violence I see within me.

I do not yet know exactly what all this means for me or where this might take me. I trust and believe, however, that in some way “the universe is on the side of justice” (A Testament of Hope, 14, 16), and to not protest violence, speak out for justice, and resist injustice is a “crime against God” and a “betrayal of the Christian ethic of love” (The Nonviolent Alternative, 129). I want to be neither a criminal nor a traitor. I do not want that for myself, you, or America.

We are “at the crossroads” and must choose “between the law of the jungle and the law of humanity” (Gandhi on Non-Violence, 58). “Without the recognition of non-violence on a national scale there is no such thing as a constitutional or democratic government” (Gandhi on Non-Violence, 53).

I will work and pray for the Peace of Christ for all people, and for the grace and courage to refuse to say, “‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11).

Thank you Mr. President.

January 25, 2017
The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle


Referenced Books

  • Thomas Merton, Gandhi on Non-Violence (New York: New Directions Publishing Corp, 1964).
  • Thomas Merton, The Nonviolent Alternative (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1980).
  • James Melvin Washington, ed., A Testament of Hope – The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1986).

241 thoughts on “My Thank You Note to President Trump

  1. good for you – thank you for sharing in such a creative way Michael. Maybe you will inspire others to embrace the same philosophy and way forward. Blessings on you. Carolyn

    ________________________________

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      • 45 has revealed the inner troll in each of us, I reckon. For that is what he is in essence, a 3D troll come to life from the bowels of Twitter. And, it’s funny that you speak about our inner mirror because I was just chatting my brother who said the presidency will make him see himself as we regard him. We are his mirror too. From what I’ve hearing so far, mirrors are breaking throughout the Whitehouse at the moment… May Himself up above have pity on us and deliver us from evil, amen

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          • Dear Louise, Please take care of those immigrants. I want them to come here but they may be in your loving hands for safekeeping. Maybe you can all find a way to give them a home instead of a prison cell. Let’s all pray that the Christian hope and love will work in our world to bring them soon to peace and safety.

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      • Thank you from my very heart and soul! You have written Truth with a capital “T”. Your voice is the 1st voice of love and sanity that I have heard and felt deeply. I am humbled, touched, moved and inspired!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I love this letter! And I’d like to suggest one edit – Re this sentence: “…..I believe God loves you, even as God loves Muslims, immigrants and refugees, women, the disabled, and Mexicans” – be changed to place Women before Muslims, et all.
        Women are the most oppressed & repressed, murdered and abused in their own homes – group of people on Earth since the dawn of man and certainly since biblical times…

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    • Not sure how much of an expert on Jesus .. Ghandi was .. wasn’t he a Hindu ??? Irregardless … Jesus Didn’t get bent out of shape over a lil bit of violence … HE calmly rebuked Peter and told him to sheath his sword, when Peter removed the ear of the ‘roman’ who had come to arrest The LORD .. (unjustly) ….. The apostle Paul (main writer of the NT) exorted US to “Live peaceably with all men, as much as is possible” … As if to say .. what others Love .. and what WE Love … WILL produce conflicts !!! … STILL, Jesus ‘Loved’ and set about ‘correcting’ the ‘money- changers’ by wrecking their ‘utopian’ view of what REAL religion was about ….

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    • Where is our new “First Lady”? Does she not agree with what our new President/ her husband is saying/doing and has become? The new First Lady was reported as saying she was “first and formost a mom”, ; well she is both. Way back to Jackie Kennedy 1st. Ladies had children who lived in the white house and those “First Ladies”, where both moms and First Ladies. Those First Ladies filled both posts just fine.So where is Mrs. Donald Trump First Lady. Had we gotten another President Clinton, our “First Gentleman” would have been active in his new roll; so why doesn’t our new First Lady full fill her roll as “First Lady”?

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    • Thank you for this profound reminder. It has taken me awhile to see how what is happening at the White House is a reflection of we choose to not see in ourselves. It is human nature to deflect. And it is a bitter pill to show compassion for this man who is in power. I have much work to do.

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    • I am certain that your way to tell President Trump what you don’t agree in his attitude as aPresident of USA is very well said.
      I wish all citizens of USA see your message and be inspired as I am to speak to him. Thank you

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  3. This was beautiful. Your words have said so eloquently what I feel in my heart. Thank you for shining a light in the darkness. May God bless you and keep you. May He bless us all, especially the people who have been marginalized and persecuted.

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  4. Thank you for this. Thank you.

    The Rev. Irene Tanabe Rector, Epiphany Episcopal Church 1041 Tenth Avenue Honolulu, HI 96816 (808) 734-5706

    On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 9:13 AM, Interrupting the Silence wrote:

    > Michael K. Marsh posted: “Mr. President, I did not vote for you and I > never thought I would be saying this but I owe you a debt of gratitude. > Less than a week into your presidency you have already done for me > something I do not think Mrs. Clinton could have or would have done had ” >

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  5. Well said Mike. From an outsider ‘down under’ looking in, what I see in the USA scares me. So many tensions and all pulling against one another, violence in the name of justice and democracy and a President who sits atop the pile stoking the flames of intolerance, bigotry, hatred and racism. He tapped into the deep inner whisperings in the souls of so many who saw themselves as disenfranchised by the political system and shaped them into a political movement such as the US has never seen before.
    May Almighty God bless you in your endeavours of peace and may God bless America.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Deacon Mike, I think there are many on both sides that are scared. What scares me the most is that we seem to have forgotten or chosen to ignore that we are brothers and sisters, children of God, and, as the Book of Common Prayer says, “made of one blood.”

      May God’s peace and blessing be upon you and those you minster to.
      Mike+

      Liked by 1 person

      • A beautiful reflection on the “ideal”, if it were only that simple. Those of us who are resisting the antics of “the one who should be leading in truth and justice” are standing up for our brothers and sisters……the disabled, the Veterans, the Native Americans, the immigrants, the poor, the children, the elderly, the LBGT community, women and men who need our God’s benevolent Providential Care. I too admire and try to emulate those who stood and stand for peace. but a whisper and softness in speech will not be heard over the hatred and greed of the “leader” I lived through the sixties, marched on Washington and fought for the Civil Rights Movement. We had come a little ways but fear we have gone backwards to a time and place where only power and money can be heard.

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        • Thank you, Cecilia, for offering your insights and experience. I do not want to settle for a simple or beautiful ideal, nor do I want to respond to the hatred and greed of the leader with my own hatred and greed. As I said in the post I am not exactly sure what all this means.

          God’s peace be with you,
          Mike+

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    • “a President who sits atop the pile stoking the flames of intolerance, bigotry, hatred and racism.” Very inflammatory language and really not helping the situation. It would be more compassionate at this time to stay with factual information rather than name calling. The discontent of the American public started well before this President, it did not happen overnight. Likewise, Brexit.

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      • AMEN to what Carol Kershaw said!! Also, Michael, as you quote several famous persons, I would remind you of another whose words are famous, also written during turbulent and perilous times! If we heed the words of St.Paul in Philippians 4:4-7, that peace you speak of as being so elusive, will descend upon us as promised.

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  6. Dear Father Mike,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful, peace-filled words. I needed to hear this, to digest this and formulate my thoughts and actions based on this type of philosophy.

    I must follow my conscience, values and heart in resisting darkness, violence and discrimination. I pray daily for God’s guidance to help me maintain a peaceful heart.

    St. Philip’s is fortunate to have you as our priest and I am so grateful for your wisdom and friendship.

    Peace, Beverly

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Mike, this is profound, provocative, and courageous, yet plainly, simply stated, as you “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) regarding the horribly negative leadership the new president is exhibiting.

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    • Yes, Donald, he is certainly one to be included. You started me thinking about others: Thich Naht Hahn, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Fetullah Gülen. I am sure there are many others that can teach and guide us.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  8. Michael I am not surprised by your message but celebrate it being present at this time and in this media.
    I will strive to walk in the same path. peace to you. You have spoken for many voices

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  9. Mike, thank you so very much for this. You were always such a mentor and role model for me when we were in seminary. This post proves that you are still are! A few questions to you:
    1) I hope it is alright to forward this around, because I already have and many of the recipients have been so moved that they are now doing this same thing. If is is not ok…please accept my apologies.
    2) Given that this Sunday’s gospel is Matthew’s version of the Beatitudes, I am considering reading large parts, if not all, of this in my sermon (giving you credit of course). Do I have your permission to use this message?
    3)If I do the above, I am considering having an Adult Forum afterward to see if folks would be interested in continuing to read more from your “cabinet of advisors”. Do you have suggestions for adult study as follow-up?

    Again, many..many thanks….my heart has been so dispirited and this has given me new hope.
    Claudia Smith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudia, you are kind and gracious. Thank you. Please feel free to share the post. I appreciate you doing that. Also, yes, please use the post in whatever way might be helpful whether that in a class, sermon, or something else. As far as books for a class, I would look at ones by Fr. John Dear. He has one on the beatitudes and peacemaking, and one focusing on the Lenten journey as journey of nonviolence. I hope this helps.

      Blessings on you and your ministry.
      Mike+

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  10. Amen! I appreciate your thoughtful response to this dilemma that is the next four years. I kept trying to tell myself there is a reason that God out this man in office. It has opened my eyes to the brokenness of this country that I couldn’t see in my little bubble. I do pray that his presidency will not rip us apart in hate and feel moved to action. Of course this week’s homily gave rise to a little “homework” from Jesuit Fr. John Ridgway. His suggestions for reducing divisiveness and promoting unity: give people the benefit of the doubt (this is a hard one); listen; oppose and dissent against name-calling, racial intolerance, and sexism; offer and accept forgiveness; pray; advocate for social justice for the poor and marginalized; love and protect our Sister Earth.

    Thank you for adding your plan to my personal quest to figure out next steps.

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    • Sue, thanks for adding this comment to the conversation. I very much appreciate Fr. Ridgeway’s suggestions and challenges. I will make them a part of my work. I will pray for you, and I ask your prayers for me.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  11. My heart is comforted by your wisdom and will to enlighten the President and support us all in these next few months as it seems the only action to take is prayer. Thanks for being so present to this country’s challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like your words. I think we have all had to re-appraise who we are in relation to the world, and perhaps many of us have not reached any clear conclusions as yet. I can’t claim to be any great advocate for peace, or against injustice, but perhaps being a small advocate is a place to start.

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  13. It is easy to see darkness “out there” (like Trump). When I/we have an emotional reaction, it can be a great opportunity to be curious about the darkness “in here”. It is not a distraction, it is a call to healing and loving ourselves first. Only then can we act clearly. Otherwise we are playing “Whack-A-Mole” with darkness.

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  14. This was just what I needef yo read today. When I wad in school many, many years ago we sang a song that said “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” I loved the song then and I love it still. I am saddened by the state of our country and very concerned about Mr. Trump vitriol. However, I will not let that change my faith or hope. I plan to be one of Christ’s quiet revolutionaries. Thank you for the wake up call. God bless you.

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  15. Mike – thank you from a fellow priest in Australia. We stand amazed and aghast at the words coming out of Washington. Your reflection shows us a way forward, gives us a positive path for putting our faith into action. The New Testament urges us to pray for leaders. It’s easy in a country like Australia – necessary in every country – and especially in the U.S.A. I like your cabinet of advisers.

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  16. Thank you. Indeed, “My work will not begin with the violence I see around me. Rather, it will begin with the violence I see within me.” could be the pledge of all good-hearted people right now. It’s easy to jump onto the ship of self-righteousness but that is only to propagate numbing passivity of the higher nature in humanity.

    Professor Raghavan Iyer gives an outstanding exploration into Gandhi’s ideas on Satya, Ahimsa, and Satyagraha in this book:

    http://www.concordgrovepress.org/books/social_vision/Moral_Political_Thought_Mahatma_Gandhi.php

    Iyer points to the self-purification needed by the courageous activist as a critical primary step to awaken the noetic conscience of the perpetrator of violence, and this can only happen through deep self-reflection and sacrifice of the ego. (It’s also interesting to note his comments on appeals to reason – they are necessary but not sufficient for transformation…) Here is a very small excerpt :

    "In its appeal to public opinion, to the prevailing or potential respect in society for satya and ahimsa, and to the moral sensitivity of those whose acts are being challenged, satyagraha differs from the methods of rational persuasion and violent action chiefly in its unique reliance upon tapas or self-suffering. 
    "Gandhi argued that experience has shown that mere appeal to the reason produces no effect upon those who have settled convictions. 'The eyes of their understanding are opened not by argument, but by the suffering of the satyagrahi. The satyagrahi strives to reach the reason through the heart. The method of reaching the heart is to awaken public opinion. Public opinion, for which one cares, is a mightier force than gunpowder.' (M.K. Gandhi)  
    

    “In his early years in South Africa, he began by relying heavily upon petitions and memoranda, legalistic arguments and appeals to expediency, using to the utmost his training as a lawyer and the example of Gokhale in the patient study of the facts. The conviction rapidly grew within him that things of fundamental importance to the people are not secured by reason alone, but have to be purchased with voluntary suffering.
    ” ‘Suffering is the law of human beings; war is the law of the jungle. But suffering is infinitely more powerful than the law of the jungle for converting the opponent and opening his ears, which are otherwise shut, to the voice of reason. Nobody has probably drawn up more petitions or espoused more forlorn causes than I, and I have come to this fundamental conclusion that if you want something really important to be done, you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart also. The appeal of reason is more to the head, but the penetration of the heart comes from suffering. It opens up the inner understanding of the man. Suffering is the badge of the human race, not the sword.'(M.K. Gandhi)”

     Many apologies for the very long quote! Like you, I've been inspired to go back to the fundamentals of the principles of non-violence. I've really been enjoying this book; it brings some clarity to What I Need to Do Now.
    

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    • Thank you for pointing me to this book. I’ve seen in Gandhi and MLK, Jr, the need for self-purification. What you quoted reminds me of Jesus’ call to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  17. I am Transgender. I am a Lesbian. I am tired and beaten down and scared. But I’m not seeing a widespread nonviolent resistance against this growing movement, at the least I’m not seeing one that would stand up for me if the Nazis and the white supremacists came for me. Even some of the strongest opponents of this evil seem reluctant to expand their cause to include me. I’m still considered a pariah by many feminists, by most religious groups, by many democratic protesters. So I cannot protest in nonviolence and carefully chosen words. I must be ready to be marked for death, and I must be ready to stand against it alone, but for my trans siblings. In the Holocaust, the guy organizations in Germany sold out their transgender allies, helped burn their libraries, and we’re then surprised when the Nazis turned on them next. I’m afraid of the exact same thing. I’m facing this nearly alone, and I wish I could be calm and collected about it. I really do.

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    • While I deeply appreciate the words of Fr. Michael Marsh in his original post, it is the words of Erica that moved me most deeply – because she brings up my own deepest fear – that I will be too comfortable or too frightened to obey my own inner voice telling me that I need to be one who WILL stand up when/if my brown, LGBTQ, Muslim, Jewish, or any other “other” neighbor is targeted. I have asked my whole life how Christian Germans could have stood by and watched their own Jewish, gay, or differently abled neighbors be taken away and done nothing, how white Christian Americans could have lynched and castrated and otherwise tormented their black neighbors, how adherents of any religion could allow those in power to weed out their “undesirable” neighbors and not speak out. My fear is that I am also one who will stand by, will count my life as being worth more than that of my neighbor’s, that I face a future in which I will be able to blind myself to my own guilt.

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    • I am convinced that Americans are intrinsically good and would remember those that stood by and did nothing in Germany, and would know to rise up against government sanctioned tyranny, hatred and violence against certain groups. I hope I would. Please believe that you are not alone. We must all be ready to stand together.

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    • Thank you, Erica, for your brave and inspiring words.

      You: Tired, beaten down and scared. Invisible to most of the rest of us because we habitually participate in your marginalization. I know there are many more of you than I see.

      Me: A good person striving to be better. Usually an ally when I see the opportunity, but often blinded by my own naivety, laziness, or lack of perspective.

      I promise to look for you today, Erica, please look for me; I believe we need each other now more than ever.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Erica,
      You are not alone. Most people on this board would probably agree with me that we do care, and want to protect you. As has been pointed out, this is the challenge of our times – to instantiate the courage to stand against hateful policies. I suppose no-one really knows how they will respond when the moment comes, but if we are mentally and emotionally prepared for that sacrifice, the best in us has more opportunity to rise. I believe in the power of Love, as Tolstoy and Gandhi and King exemplified, and I hope you feel our support. I live on the west coast of California in a very diverse community, and we recognize and appreciate that diversity is the strength of our community.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Erica, please know that those of us labeled on the “right” are not hateful, prejudice and anything like we are being depicted. Just as there are those on the “left” who are garnering negative attention for their causes, most on the “left” does not at all condone the violence and their hateful words, same goes for the “right”. God is my choice and he expects certain behaviors from me. Do not judge, love one another. Your life is yours and yours alone and I don’t have the right to dictate your beliefs and actions any more than you do mine.

      Now I will get very cliche, which I’d prefer not to do but somehow it feels very right. Last night my husband and I went out to sing karaoke and were joined by our very dear, diverse friends. Omar who is married to our friend Mark runs over for our loving hugs and kisses, as usual. To my right is my dear friend, who happens to be black. Across from me my dear Philipino “brother”. We almost went to a different karaoke bar where I would have gotten to see my lesbian friend that calls my husband and I mom and dad. And did I mention, my husband only eats kosher??? Yup, that’s right! Give me my bacon all day long, I am a seriously white, older, Christian woman. There’s your cliche, I know gay and black people. But we are not cliche, we are friends, we are family and I couldn’t love them any more if they were white and sat next to me in church. I don’t know who they voted for or even if they voted, it is not an important factor in our relationship. I am pro life and as such I believe that abortion is murder, this alone keeps me from being “left”. But it does not make me any of the names that I have seen bantered around on posters, signs, Facebook, and on news media. I am sorry you are fearful, so am I, for diffferent reasons. But I will not wish our president (or anyone else) harm, will never condone hateful actions or words by anyone. I am praying there are a great many more like me, than those that we fear. Men of wisdom like Fr Mike need a voice, we can be united in our differences, we can have intelligent conversation. We can get there. I have hope.

      These words are heart felt but woefully inadequate to show you how much I want you to feel safe and loved, always.

      -From one human

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Erica, for putting the question before us: “What will I do?” I haven’t always gotten it right but I want to; for your sake, mine, and the world’s. I want to learn from my past and the history of the world. I want to hear your experiences. I want to be and do better.

      May God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  18. Thank you for this challenging and encouraging reflection. You are far more magnanimous than I am at the moment, but you have inspired me to something better.
    Fred Opalinski

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  19. Thank you,thank you, thank you! like so many people I am saddened, angry, bewildered and frustrated by the recent election. Your wise counsel has helped me find a positive way to deal with these emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. As a non Christian, but believing in Christ and His words, I found your article in harmony with the spirit of Christ and his mission and love. Religions have the talent to create the best and the worst people. Thank you and in my humble opinion you are among the best.

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  21. My Thank You Note to Father Mike – You put into words the more positive aspects of what I have been thinking and feeling. Thank you. Look forward to seeing your future posts – I’m not a blog person, but will make an exception. Cheryl

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  22. Blesssings, I had parallel thoughts at the march in Los Angeles, my intolerance, my judgemental spirit, and my disdain for my more conservative sisters/brothers. My work is to become more open hearted, more inclusive and to stand up for my vision of america in the same spirit as your article proposes.

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  23. Thank you ever so much for your beacon of Hope amidst this new rule of law we appear to have in our wonderful country. Your words give me the encouragement to be involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I cannot say anything more clearly or eloquently than what has already been said by others your words have touched. I will only add what I mentioned to you one other time and that is that in the midst of this din you are the clear voice of sanity. Thank you for teaching us through your own honesty, vulnerabiity and openness. You are such a blessing.

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  25. Didn’t have time to read all the comments, but I certainly agree with the article. I am like many people – I claim I am not racist or superior to other people – but when I take a serious look in the mirror I can see some remnants of ideas that I really need to work on.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. And were you blind to the already violence in the cities until trump? Did none of you speak up about all the black murders in Chicago and other inner cities until trump? Did any of you take a stand against abortion…or would your choice be to march with the earlier sometimes violent women’s march? Seems this is a little one sided attitude and judgmental. Let you without sin cast the first stone. End abortion tax dollars!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right Betty. I have, no doubt, whether through fear, ignorance, naiveté, or willfulness, failed to see, speak, and act when I should have. I do not, however, want my past failures to stop me from doing so now.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  27. I received this from my daughter who posted it earlier today. Very beautifully written. I spent the afternoon with my 14 year old great-granddaughter. Our local mosque had an open house and since I know quite a few Muslims I wanted to go and show them our love. It was a wonderful experience, and two of the men have the same feelings as you. They were very positive that all that has happened recently is for a reason, and we must trust God to bring us through this turmoil. There open house was very well received, and you could see the enlightenment in the visitors’ faces. From there we went to a near-by Episcopal church for their Celtic Spirit Night in honor of Saint Brigit/Brigid of Kildare. What a glorious day we had.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patti, it sounds like a beautiful and full day spent with the people of God. I’m glad you and your great-granddaughter had that day. Thank you for your witness to interfaith friendships.

      Peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  28. Yes! St. Francis of Assisi said “Can true humility and compassion exist in our words and in our eyes unless we know we too are capable of any act?
    While our elected leaders seem like a seperate visible manifestation they are representative of a constituency that exists within us and within those around us. It is not easy to sit with this vulnerabie, fragile imperfection however if we do not, we will find a scapegoat to make us feel better about ourselves. It is difficult work — “How will my mirror be polished if I am irritated by every rub?”– Rumi

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  29. Thank you, Father Mike, for your wise counsel and comforting perspective. This is a beautifully written piece which inspires me to form my own “cabinet of advisors.” I will count you among them.

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  30. And maybe, just maybe, if we pray for our President and not blanketly turn against him, we will be able to see how God can use this flawed man to the positive for our country. Imagine being in his shoes right now, with all the hatred, protests, and threats against him. This is a man who needs our prayers. Plus, he’s already standing up for the unborn, which all of us who profess the Catholic faith should be grateful for.

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    • Yes, he does need our prayers, even as we need each others. As I said in the post, I will pray for him, and I am. I pray he will lead with wisdom, justice, and compassion. I pray that he might be blessed with all the good I want for myself and those I love.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  31. MIke, My heart has been newly overflowing with anguish and pain for our world. I feel extremely heavy with guilt for not seeing and feeling any optimism for our future. Your words help lower this threshold of disappointment in 45. Thank you. Peace and Hope

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  32. Dear Father Mike,

    As a Border Patrol Agent, I believe that love (and protection) of my neighbors in the United States is not any different than love of my foreign neighbors.  That being said, I don't believe having a secure border and re-examing our past immigration policies promotes injustice, speaks of hatred, or denies the dignity of another human.....nor is it contrary to the teachings of Christ. Our government in the past said we can trust them to properly vet refugees that come into our country from Syria, the majority of Americans don't believe (including myself based on my professional experience) that the Obama administration was capable or willing to do that.  
    
    Peter 2:13-17 and Titus 3:1 implore citizens to obey secular authorities, whether the individuals in charge are represented by attributes of Godliness or not.  Our government carries the sword on behalf of those under their authority — they preserve law and order, protect the Homeland, and punish to those who break the law.  I think President Trump is deeply flawed, but I do believe a change was in order to the protect our neighbors that are not so far away- in our own towns and neighborhoods in fact.  I don't believe my sentiment comes from fear or a "force of darkness"- it comes from the responsibility I feel our government has to protect its citizens which I believe is confirmed in the Bible.  I think all President Trump is asking for is a pause to reevaluate these very important humanitarian efforts to make sure that we are not making some serious mistakes in the process.  
    

    As always you have spurred me to think about my own beliefs but more importantly- how those beliefs align with the word of God. I know I may have deviated from the main point of this conversation but I just wanted to offer a different point of view from someone who understands that “one slip” could have catastrophic consequences.

    Thank again for your very sensible and inspiring words over the last few weeks….please continue to hold some faith in the goodness of humanity…..including Donald Trump!

    God’s peace with you always,

    Ashley Taylor

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ashley, I am not sure why but part of your comment was cut off on the bottom and the right side. I’ve copied it from the e-mail I received and pasted it below for others to read.

      “As a Border Patrol Agent, I believe that love (and protection) of my neighbors in the United States is not any different than love of my foreign neighbors. That being said, I don’t believe having a secure border and re-examing our past immigration policies promotes injustice, speaks of hatred, or denies the dignity of another human…..nor is it contrary to the teachings of Christ. Our government in the past said we can trust them to properly vet refugees that come into our country from Syria, the majority of Americans don’t believe (including myself based on my professional experience) that the Obama administration was capable or willing to do that.

      Peter 2:13-17 and Titus 3:1 implore citizens to obey secular authorities, whether the individuals in charge are represented by attributes of Godliness or not. Our government carries the sword on behalf of those under their authority — they preserve law and order, protect the Homeland, and punish to those who break the law. I think President Trump is deeply flawed, but I do believe a change was in order to the protect our neighbors that are not so far away- in our own towns and neighborhoods in fact. I don’t believe my sentiment comes from fear or a “force of darkness”- it comes from the responsibility I feel our government has to protect its citizens which I believe is confirmed in the Bible. I think all President Trump is asking for is a pause to reevaluate these very important humanitarian efforts to make sure that we are not making some serious mistakes in the process.”


      I do appreciate and readily admit you have insights and experience I do not, and you have righty offered me another perspective and more to consider. I know also that you are much closer than I to the reality of that “one slip.” You let people like me live without having to think of that 24/7. So I do not disagree that we need secure borders and wise policies regarding our common life. I do not, however, think that every law or action of our country is necessarily just (whether of the Trump, Obama, or any other administration) simply by virtue of it being a governmental action.

      I do not doubt the goodness of humanity or of President Trump. I think we sometimes forget, lose sight of, and live less than that goodness – but I do trust it is there in each of us, and can be recovered. I have experienced that in my own life.

      Thank you for your thought provoking comment.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

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  33. Thank you Father Mike for these profound words. I told a friend earlier today that I would not be nearly as stirred to action under a Clinton Administration and I was using what’s happening to work harder for peace and justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I thank my friend, Rev LaGree, for passing on this commentary to me. It offers me a long sought set of parameters for me to use as we experience and protest these actions. It is a hopeful reminder of why we are here..and how we must fight this in a way that honors our commitment to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I appreciate you putting your words in a place where I could take them in … and I did .. to my heart. It is so difficult knowing exactly how to respond to what is going on so quickly in such a large scale. Thank you for reminding me to ground myself first in the plan of the one who created all that exists and all that is good. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Creator isn’t evil and we are created in that same image. Your reflection has reminded me of the importance of rooting out of myself my temptation to unleash my “worse angels” and turn to the only path that makes any sense. Like you, I have no idea what that will look like … but I know it will look better than the other path I am tempted to take. A profound thank you for that!

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  36. It is difficult for me to believe that a mature priest would have to have a “mirror” held up to him to see the “troll” or evil potential in his own heart by our 45h President who is attempting to put this country back on a course that the Founding Fathers set for it. Don’t the Seminaries teach about our fallen nature any more? What about all the evil that our 44th President committed? And others before him…. Had Hillary Clinton won, she would have forced Christians to “change” their morals and beliefs, she would have expanded the killing of pre-born babies, she would have tied our national interests to those of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, she would have “welcomed” the spread of Sharia Law, which contradicts every tenet of Christianity and reduces women to the level of chattel…. The formation of our priests has been diluted to the point where I can no longer trust just any priest to be a Spiritual Adviser. Too much “touchy-feely,” and not enough moral theology, history, logic, Catechism, realsim, common sense, and Biblical Studies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marisa, I’m glad you have such clarity and certainty about life, the priesthood, and our country. That, however, has not really been my experience. For me it has been much more mixed, paradoxical, and contradictory.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Marisa, Even though I can see that your feelings and beliefs run strong, and thus I imagine that countering just one of the misunderstandings in your note may be for nought… still there is the possibility that you’ve simply been misinformed. Whoever has told you that Hillary Clinton would ever contribute in any way to the enactment of Sharia Law knows nothing, not one single thing, about her. She is the very opposite of that, a proponent of women being independent and enjoying fully lived lives. She would, if necessary, fight to the death to keep Sharia Law from becoming the law of our nation. Thank you for listening, and for caring about our country as so many of us do.

      Like

  37. Thank you for the beautiful and thoughtful reflection. I appreciate what you’ve written here. You’ve articulated what has been in my heart since this president was elected. I join you in loving resistance and wish you peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Pingback: I UV | My Thank You Note to President Trump

  39. From today’s lectionary: “and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6

    The gospel was the Beatitudes. There’s some sort of cosmic irony going on here and you don’t even have to be religious to know it.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Dear Ms. Clinton. I did not vote for you, and I never thought I would be saying this, but I owe you a debt of gratitude. Less than a week into your presidency you have already done for me something that I don’t think Mr. Trump would have, or could have, done had he been elected president.
    Without you I could never have motivated myself to stand up to protect those helpless children that you proudly and defiantly stared into the camera and told us that you would abort on the day of their birth. How would I ever get the energy to endure the insults and bigotry hurled at me for defending the life of a child hours before her birth? Thank you Hilary, for your commitment to ending lives so early.
    Thank you, Mrs. President, for inspiring me to fight for the woman who suffer genital mutilation, cannot legally be educated, are not allowed to drive, and endure legal rape at the hand of intimidating husbands. Your acceptance of tens of millions of dollars of campaign funding from countries who practice and promote this type of behavior has truly inspired me. Who knows, without your victory I may have never thought to stand against such obvious and blatant disrespect for the most basic of human dignity.
    We owe you so much for putting such incredible role models in front of us to inspire and lead our children boldly into the future. The powerful and meaningful words from such well-spoken and enduring figures as Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna can only serve to reveal the actual underbelly (no pun intended) of all that you stand for.
    Ok. I’m sorry. I can’t keep up such silliness any longer. I hope you understand my point in all of this. I supported neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton; neither would have been my choice. But I’m sick of the hate. I’m tired of the endless (and mindless) posts designed to manipulate (and deceive) my opinions. I watched the election cycle like Americans watch the Kardashians! I didn’t miss a word or a minute. Most of what is said about the new President is based in hype and misstated, out of context, sound bites. He may not have been my choice—but what is being said about him is far worse than anything that he has said for himself.
    I plead with all of you; stop. Just stop.
    Scripture is not unclear. No leader is in power without God’s allowance. God is in control. Not Trump, and not Clinton (or any other world leader). We cannot pretend to pray for our leaders (another command) while we are busy tearing them down with hateful and hurtful accusations and insults.
    Let’s be better than that.
    Pray. Trust God; and pray.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brent, thanks for sharing your criticisms of and disagreements with Mrs. Clinton. I wonder, though, what this has shown you. What have you learned about yourself and is that learning helping you to live more deeply, more authentically, with greater alignment to the values and life of Christ? And if it isn’t, why not? I certainly do not have it all figured out, neither do I claim that my way is the right or only way. But, as I said in the post “I have chosen my way forward,” and I do so with hope and prayer that it is faithful to the gospel of Christ, and if it isn’t that I will have wisdom to see that, the courage to confess it, and the grace to change.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Liked by 1 person

  41. I am from the UK and your moving letter to President Trump is being circulated here too! It is not good to think there is the same kind of violence within me, but you have reminded me that is so, but that my response to it can be different. I am awed by the number of deeply thoughtful replies you have had, and want to add my great thanks to you. The world has had a huge wake-up call by this Election, and i add my voice to the prayers, hopes and good intentions for the future. Let us be fully who God created us to be.

    Like

  42. Brave, wise, beautiful words. You have chosen and shared wise counsel. I am moved to remember all I can truly change is myself, and to focus on that so that I can respond to what’s happening in the world consciously and with compassion. Thank you. Blessings, Harula xxx

    Like

  43. This is wonderful. Thank you — I’ve been sharing this on Facebook…. It’s startling to see how many of my friends are saying how much they “hate” Trump, not seeing how this talk, this thought, and God forbid, any actions that stem from this way of thinking . I follow Dr. Michael Ryce’s Aramaic Forgiveness, which gets to the root of fear and hatred — in our own minds….Thanks once again, Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy, thank you for your words and for sharing the post. I too am concerned and disheartened by the hate and violence in some of the words spoken about President Trump. Peace and violence cannot be limited to or assigned to any one particular person, party, group, or religion. They live within the human heart. That’s, I think, where our work begins and the struggle takes place.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Like

  44. Thank you for giving voice to my heart. Yes, thank you Mr. Trump for showing the depth of our wounds through your sad belief system and awaken us to the work needed to heal. Then we come together in celebration. Now we come together in unity & love for possibilities of truth & justice FOR ALL.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. EXACTLY what I wanted to say, but could not find the words. Gratitude is the wellspring of hope and positive change, and that change has to start with ourselves. Thank you so much for this, and may its message spread ever more widely among those of us who also want to fight what really threatens us and our world.

    Like

    • Thank you, Lory, for the reminder about gratitude. It is a powerful and life changing way of living. “From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace” (Jn. 1:16).

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Like

  46. I agree with what you say, however, terrorism and ISIS is something we need our leader to keep us safe from. It seems however, that calm is needed at this time, there is a lack of tolerance for other peoples beliefs within America.
    God Bless.

    Like

  47. Pingback: Reviewing Your 5D Global Actions – elizabethsadhu

  48. Thank you Michael for expressing so well what I have thought and felt. I too am called to pray for the president, and to see him in the light of the Divine. I too have looked deep within myself to confront the shadows that reside in all of us. I have worked hard to forgive myself, and will continue to use love and peace as my “weapons” in this time of change.
    Peace,
    Valerie Sargent

    Liked by 1 person

    • Valerie, thanks for your good words. They remind me that my life is too often filled with contradiction, and that both the light and the darkness are a part of me.

      May God grant us wisdom and strength to live with peace and love for all.
      Mike+

      Like

  49. Hi Michael

    I do hope you wrote to the previous president about how you were equally passionate & in opposition to his work to further safeguard the killing of the unborn. I hope you wrote to the previous president about your opposition to his arming Mexican drug cartels that used those weapons to kill innocents in Mexico and enforcement officers here in the US. I hope you wrote to the previous president to express your disgust with his fete-ing of rappers & music industry moguls who make their incredible wealth off the backs of feeding violence & misogny & drug-glorification to inner-city youth. I hope you wrote to the previous president about your opposition to the public education system’s failings in educating inner-city children and its rampant corruption & anti-Christian values that undercut the moral finer of our country. I hope you, living in Uvalde, the home of LBJ, have expressed similar opposition to his successful efforts to plantationize black voters for 2 centuries with his Civil Rights pandering.

    I could go on…the previous president made one hell of a mess in the Middle East, and you could get pretty worked up about that, but I’m pretty sure you did none of that…or at least did not feel it essential to post that here.

    I appreciate your pastoral sensitivity…your hypocrisy, not so much.
    I know President Trump needs and appreciates your prayers. But prayers are not to be offered in condescension. Jesus had something to say about that (Luke 18:9-14).
    So…pray especially for the log in my eye & then together we can pray more faithfully for President Trump and his administration.

    Liked by 2 people

    • John, I don’t much appreciate my hypocrisy either. I do not, however, believe that my past failings ought to be reason to continue down the same road, to not change, or to not try live with greater integrity and authenticity. Whether I can and will do that is still to be seen. That, however, is my hope and intention. Your prayers would be appreciated.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent! The transforming work of the Holy Spirit continues in each of us! But I would expect to see you writing about the horrors of the abortion market & baby-part selling. Will you support the court decision against the Obamacare mandate that tried to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide child-killing services…and write something about how horrific it must have been to have the full weight of the previous administration fall on a Christian charity?
        I expect you to advocate for genuine education reform & an end to the disastrous non-choice inner-city kids and parents face in failing schools that more money will not fix.

        If you are serious, and I have every reason to believe you are, greater integrity calls you to do something more than reflexively hammer a right-leaning candidate you don’t like.

        Peace
        John

        Like

  50. Wow. So much praise for such a pretentious article. If this truly represents your heartfelt self-examination, that’s unfortunate. I think you need to look a little more carefully in that mirror of yours and spend less time watching CNN.

    Amazingly, you have connected all this violence and darkness to Donald Trump, who only wishes to protect American citizens from criminals and terrorists, who have and will continue to pose a serious security risk to our country. What is more incredible is you purposefully leave out any mention of the infernal violence of Islamic terrorism. You also fail to mention the violence of the “tolerant” Left here in America. Their “protesting” over the election of Donald Trump has been anything but peaceful, bordering on complete lunacy and mayhem.

    President Trump is not advocating violence and hatred, it is his opponents who have responded to his calls for sanity and common sense leadership with violence. To suggest otherwise is ignorant and unfair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am afraid you have read into the post more than I wrote or intended. I do agree, however, that I need to look a little more carefully into that mirror of mine and continue to root out my thoughts, words, and actions of violence. That seems to be the way of Christ and the teachers of nonviolence.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, you’re much more gracious than I, I’ll give you that, but you still have not demonstrated to me how Donald Trump appeals to violence… and especially when placed alongside Hillary Clinton. I suppose that wasn’t really the point of your article, but its very troubling to see that this narrative is so pervasive.

        Like

  51. I tell myself that as hard as I thought I was working to keep Trump from being elected… I deserve this outcome as much as those who believed his rants and voted for him.
    I chose not to learn about what they have been going through.
    I chose not to insist that their children had better schools,
    I chose not to work to get them even the minimum of healthcare.
    I chose not to provide them and their children with the resources need to fight drug addiction.
    I chose not to learn about and act on on the injustices in courts and with police.

    I brought this on all of us …
    I am guilty …

    Like

    • Me too Cathy. I am guilty and I have been blind, fearful, ignorant. I no longer want to live that way. As Rabbi Tarfon said, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it” (Pirke Avot 2:16).

      May we together work for God’s peace and justice for all.
      Mike+

      Like

  52. I was totally with you … up until you started to list the groups that God loves. As a married, gay, Christian man, I am left wondering if you think that God loves me. I feel God’s love, but question the exclusion of the LGBT community from your list.
    Does God love us?

    Liked by 1 person

    • H – harms others
      A – attracts like
      T – terrorizes everyone
      E – excludes all

      Bill – I work with people from all walks of life and I am sure God loves you all, regardless of race, creed, gender – he loves all xx

      Like

    • Bill, I do believe God loves you and all LGBTQ people. The listing of the groups was an attempt to enumerate the specific categories of people President Trump has tried to exclude, mock, and denigrate. It was not an exclusion of LGBTQ people anymore than listing only Mexicans was an exclusion of any other nationality. I apologize that that was unclear. I think if you read some of my other writing (Praying for Orlando, and Advent in America: Politics and Baptism, for example) you will find that I include all people in God’s life and love.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Like

  53. Dear Mike+,

    Thank you for being a child of the Light in exercising courage to open dialog that no one is to be demonized, past or present. We are all human and woe-fully inclined to act out of fear and defensiveness. Everyone shares in responsibility for the current state of our democracy and for the way forward in non-violent paths. Scapegoating is a human practice since the beginning of time with no value except to be a student of history so that we don’t suffer its repetition. Gratefully, along the way we have Christ’s light and love that enlightens and produces the modern days saints of Gandhi and M. L. King, Jr. We are all human and share in the Confession to ask for forgiveness for what we’ve done and what we’ve failed to do, and to ask for the humility to be honest with ourselves. May we be enlightened by God’s grace to take action to be part of the solution with Christ’s radical love and equality that is so countercultural to the human race.

    I’m grateful to have found your blog. God bless and keep you and make His light shine upon you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Denise for your wise and gentle words. As you say, we are all responsible, and the way forward has to be without violence in our thoughts, words, or actions. So yes, this letter in part is my confession of that violence.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Like

  54. Brilliant! spoken in the manner of the Prince of Peace. It is often said that good can come from evil. You have clearly done that in your writing. You brought calm to a tragic situation. It is so gratifying that you include John Dear in the list of God’s faithful proponents of nonviolence. John’s persevering quest for nonviolent measures in a light in the darkness of these days.
    blessings,
    patti normile

    Liked by 1 person

  55. I’m struggling with this post that showed up on my news feed. I understand how light reflects the dark and evil reflects good, we see this play out daily so thanks for the reminder.
    What troubles me is what you’re referring to as “violence” and. “Darkness”!
    I’m not sure that could even be possible after a week of a president sitting in office. We’ve had numerous marches in various cities and no headlines of any streets being taken over. Unlike in recent times.
    My other problem is you seem to have a few folks from other countries reading your blog. These words you write have consequences for them. I would hope you pray a little more about what you write. You’re responsible for your words. We all have read the dangers of the tongue.
    With respect,
    Jim.

    Like

    • Jim, I apologize that I was not clear in my use of the word violence. I do not limit it to physical harm of another – but include in it our words, thoughts, and actions that, even without physical harm, are still destructive of another’s dignity, well being, and life. Yes, we are all responsible for our words, and our silence. Certainly, I could use more prayer in my life.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Like

  56. The hatespeak and violent actions from the left are far, far more dangerous that that which you perceive to be coming from our President. What about their wishing to kill him? To violate and behead his wife? Yes, the protestors had these signs, and spoke these words. What about those vile speakers at the march? What about the billions of babies murdered by the Godless, babies murdered as they floated helplessly in the protective waters of their mothers’ wombs? The liberal left advocates hate, murder, violence, wanton sex, and irresponsible behavior. And you are worried about the President? I believe that you need to pray for way more clarity.

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    • Because one perceives the hatespeak and violent actions of one group as being more ‘dangerous’ than that of the other group does not mean that the first group gets a pass for their behavior. People protesting, making signs, and even speaking threats (and what president has never gotten death threats?) does not give someone a pass when it comes to tearing families apart, and taking away the security and stability that people thought they had. And none of that excuses name-calling and being judgmental toward those who are peacefully discussing their opinions.

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  57. Hmmmmm.
    Respectfully….
    Although I understand the intention behind this piece, to me it is deeply indicative of the author’s privilege. If he were truly threatened by this nightmare he would not be “thanking” DT.
    No Jew, to my knowledge, has ever “thanked” Hitler and the Nazi regime for “awakening” anything within them or anyone else.
    It makes me feel a little sick, truthfully. But I am a woman. I would rather not be sexually assaulted and treated as a second class commodity while I watch my rights revoked. And I have NO words of “thanks” to the predator-in-chief. Not now, not ever.

    Like

    • Well, I saw a short quote said to be found in a concentration camp that is in the spirit of this piece. Looking for something I could post here I came across this prayer, which has evidently been set to music. Long excerpt plus a link to the site I found:

      A prayer from women’s concentration camp Ravensbrueck.
      Since 1938 the SS deported numerous female prisoners to Ravensbrueck in Mecklenburg, Germany, where they were forced to work for the weaponry of the Nazis. Between 1938 and 1945 132000 women and children had been registered in Ravensbrueck.

      Thanks to David Daniel Ball (ddball) for providing an English translation (see the “Lyrics” below). It’s highly recommended to read the lyrics while listening …

      https://avoxx.bandcamp.com/track/a-prayer-from-the-concentration-camp-ravensbr-ck

      English Translation by ddball:
      Peace to all those who are full of evil intent
      and an end to taking revenge
      and an end to speeches about punishment and scolding.

      The matchless cruelties defy description,
      they exceed anything that may be learned,
      and the martyrs are numerous.

      Henceforth, o God,
      don’t weigh their sufferings on the scales
      of your justice,
      Don’t ask for cruel reckoning,
      but weigh it in a different way:

      Let the hangmen,
      traitors and spies,
      and all evil peoples benefit from their crime,
      and forgive them
      for the sake of courage and the sacrifice of the others.
      All good shall be reckoned, but evil spilt and lost.

      And in the remembrance of our enemies
      we shall not live as their victims,
      not as their nightmares and terrible monsters,
      but rather come to their rescue,
      that they abstain from their delusion.

      Only this will be claimed from them,
      and that we, when all this will be over,
      may live as humans among humans,

      and that peace may again reign on this poor earth
      for all with good in their heart
      and that this peace shall extend to the lost ones, too.
      credits
      from Poetical, track released April 14, 2009
      Music, Vocals, Instruments, Production: Andreas Herrmann
      Artwork: Maria Hiszpanska (who had been a prisoner in Ravensbrueck)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Forgiveness and thanks are perhaps not the same thing, but this story told by Jack Kornfield came to mind.

      “…Forgiveness is also not for anybody else. There’s a story of two ex-prisoners of war. One says to the other, “Have you forgiven your captors yet?” And the second says “No, never.” And the first one then says “Well, they still have you in prison, don’t they?””

      http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_ancient_heart_of_forgiveness

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Loisann, just a quick question, Has DT already made new policy or law that revoked your rights ?
      I just read 101 pages of Trump-plan of cutting down governmental costs and only found 1 reference to abortion-clinics that use women and their foetuses (of which they sell parts of foetuses) for their own gain and Trump wants to cut their funding.
      I am aware that some people will fall through the cracks when the disabled are re-examined to see if they can work but after reading 101 pages I didn’t find many anti-women funding-cuts.
      Now this paper I read was all about government spending so I couldn’t find any civil-rights that are eliminated or revoked, but perhaps you could tell me or point me towards documents that do talk about this ?
      thanx,
      Alain
      http://rsc.walker.house.gov/files/uploads/RSC_2017_Blueprint_for_a_Balanced_Budget_2.0.pdf

      Like

  58. While most posting here are expressing their beliefs and wishes for peace and value of all, we cannot love our way out of the wickedness and evil that surely exists today within this world. Many would throw the identity of wickedness and evil I refer to upon America’s newly elected President.
    The wickedness I speak of exists within the entirety of the world. It has reared it’s ugly head in numerous countries, peoples, and religions.I have witnessed the evil with it’s face comfortably covered as beheading innocent souls, opening gun fire upon groups of unarmed innocent, using manmade carriers such as planes and trucks as missiles fired into crowds of innocent, planting explosives on roads used by and therefore killing our sons and daughters trying to build a peace where no peace exists, blowing up bombs in areas where innocent gather for peaceful joy and entertainment.
    The evil at hand is not made up of a single man of power, responding to the multitudes of people who empowered him. He does not have un-checked power to perform evil. God give us the wisdom to keep evil in perspective. The evil at hand are people without a face, without a heart, without a soul, without peace, and without a fear of God. Our President is not evil. Controversial? Yes. Having ideas of how to serve this country’s people of which all do not agree? Yes. It is not possible to satisfy all. Our President, Congress, and Supreme Court have checks and balances to keep their power in control and in the ultimate direction of freedom and good, not evil. This is our system, it has worked for almost 250 years. It is still in place, and will continue to work. Those that don’t allow it to, and/or those that don’t believe it will work, why? What would you replace it with? There were many that did not agree with or like President Obama. He was still our President. How many protest and to what degree took place during his Presidency? Few. We all accepted him as our President. What we all did the last 8 years, is what we need to do the next 4. We are after all still,
    the UNITED States of America! Long may we stand! Long may WE stand against evil!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Terry,

      I agree there are many people throwing their ‘evil’ towards an exterior victim/perpetrator because they have a need to deny that they are part of the same whole that lets evil exist.
      It may even sounds strange in my mind but I do not see one single wrong assumption in your text and that cheers me up !-)
      I even had a little revelation of how our ‘evil’ will assist humanity when we must defend against an hostile species that wants to invade our beloved earth and kill us … kill us all !!

      So if we would all agree on your way of thinking we could become a united Gaia and from thereon out we could strive to become Galaxia which would end the need for evil in the universe….
      .
      We are the world, we are the children … and I choose my own parents to guide me , just like Mr. March chose his cabinet-of-advisors to advise him.
      You & I as well as Mr. March have chosen to accept the existence of evil, yet we are all different people who are using each his own unique capability to stand against evil — common goal, different strategies !

      BTW. Your text Terry reminds me of a song by James Blunt but what I think differs in me, you, Mr. March and others commenting here, from the concluding text in this song, is that we all are so brave to stand up for what we think and want to convince others by setting the example so together we will create a better present and future for all living beings….

      Thank God for this amazing global revelation that many, many people were/are experiencing since the moment we became aware of the end-result of this election. Now for those that are or were not afflicted by this, God will provide other events (perhaps not as massive and globally) that will inspire them to go that one step further. But off-course there are those and I think, you Terry are one of those, who were already putting in an extra step long before the Trump-event had hit…

      James Blunt – No Bravery –> [youtu.be/EYdf97ukRDw]

      Thank You Terry because you’ve made me see there are many possible ways for wayseers to exist together.
      Greetz & Love
      Alain

      Like

  59. “You have helped me see America’s addiction to and romance with violence – whether that violence is grounded in war, crime, poverty, economics, politics, language, discrimination, or entertainment.”

    Where was your article as Hollywood created this love and romance with violence? Colin Powell was interviewed by Barbara Walters shortly after his retirement and asked him ” A few days after your retirement you made a statement that America has no shame”. Can you explain what you meant? Colin Powell sighed and said “have you watched American television, the shows on now have us showing off the poor, misguided, broken families in America and we use that as entertainment, not to mention the violence” ….he was spot on……as for the rest of your statement about America, we have been the one nation to keep 52 countries economies going in the world, and we should be honored and respected for that….the rest is the spill over of men and women who lost their way and did things to hurt others and this great country….but sadly that is also part of the human side of us, greed, discrimination, language….we endeavor to persevere and each of us must work to be as good a human being as possible….I do not like how Trump expresses himself, but he is our president and you would do better to offer him advice and prayer than to blame America once again…..

    Like

    • I’d like to correct that “we have been the one nation to keep …etc” into “53 countries are caged by the petrol-dollar of which America has the greatest debt of them all”
      .
      and perhaps you’re correct in saying Mr. March is blaming America ; I didn’t read it that way but humans are meant to differ and be unique.
      .
      Since mr. Trump became president, I’ve had a similar ‘visionary moment’ as mr. March and it compelled me to see the better side of mr. Trump, I will pray for him daily if he would offer me sufficient incentive to do so and for that matter will I not damn mr. Trump and neither does Mr. March I have concluded.
      .
      We should be as good a human being as possible – I wholeheartedly agree mr. O’Brien
      .
      If humanity would stop killing animals , I recon that all wars soon after will abruptly end and humans would start respecting each other and life in general, in a ‘jiffy’ (real time unit)
      This thought inspired me to become a vegetarian.

      greetings & I hope you will enjoy each new day !

      Like

  60. Humble yet powerful words. You might like to add to your cabinet Te Whiti and Tohu, two brave men from Aotearoa/New Zealand whose faith inspired them to non-violent resistance of colonial oppression in the 19th Century.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Pingback: My Thank You Note to President Trump | maryelizabethtrevino

  62. O my brother – what a fine, sensitive, and truly compassionate statement of True Spirit you have made here and now – amidst this historic Time of Great Purification. Tis the sort of inspiration we all need just now – a view that reveals we are all one of us. – Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Pingback: Is It A Good Or A Bad Thing? | Interrupting the Silence

  64. Pingback: Patchwork of Peace | wordsthatserve

  65. Pingback: My Thank You Note to President Trump | Interrupting the Silence | AGR Daily News Service

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  67. Thank you! I shared this to Facebook and it is probably my most “re-posted” item.
    Trump…some of the time I can interrupt my fear/anger/righteous indignation. Bannon I find much harder. Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Pingback: My Thank You Note to President Trump | Interrupting the Silence – JoAnn Chateau

  69. Thank you for your words Fr. Marsh. I agree; non-violent resistance is the only way to move forward, rooted in the spiritual traditions that keep humanity always moving toward love. It swells my heart that for so many people, this has been an awakening to evil that has long gone ignored (except by people of color and people on the margins who had tried to warn us but were not listened to).

    But I will not thank Trump for this awakening; just as I will not thank Hitler for the holocaust and his “awakening” of good women and men.

    Instead, I thank my siblings of color who have been crying out for hundreds of years, saying “We are the same; we are hurting; why do you hate us?!”

    I thank the cis and trans women who have forever rallied against direct and systemic misogynistic violence.

    I thank the field worker and the labor organizer who have said “NO NO NO! We are human!” in the face of oppression and enslavement.

    I thank the priestess and the prophet that have spoken truth to power, whether it was from the top of a mountain or the confines of a Birmingham jail.

    Because these people have helped lay the foundation of our salvation with their own blood, sweat and tears. They have labored to bend the arc of humanity toward justice. And they are still leading the way now, and it is their wisdom that is keeping this resistance alive and from which we most benefit.

    Trump is just the most recent excuse for action; and more so now only because now he threatens those people who have been opiated by their privilege and passive to justice in their comfort.

    I will not thank evil for evil; even if it is for some kind of good. I will not serve two masters. My thanks is toward those who choose peace and justice, that my eyes have finally seen and my ears have finally heard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Justin,
      to judge your comment : I understand you completely and agree almost wholeheartedly with all your assessments
      .
      almost because : and I answer with one of my ‘self-made’ quotes and one generally accepted way of providing someone with a mirror…
      “To separate is to discriminate your Self”
      “judging someone says more about yourself….”
      .
      I wish you a very happy & beautiful day today & tomorrow !-)

      Like

    • Thanks for your question Greg. One example would be “only America first.” When I write of violence I intend more than just acts or verbal threats of physical harm. “Only America first” means that someone has to lose, that at best someone else can only be second. It sets up a zero sum game. To live with an attitude of “only America first” means that we must always be on guard, defend against, and defeat any who would threaten our status of “only America first.”

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  70. Violence begets Violence, throughout all of history empires invaded others for their riches their land and enslaved, KILLED and raped them of their freedom. Today if people are poor and downtrodden paying bills month to month barely getting by, is basically the norm. But all the true heinous criminals who we all hope are behind bars. The one good way to look at life – 1- I woke up this morning. Remember everyone will LIVE with EVIL all around them every day. THE LORD OUR GOD please LEAD us from EVIL AMEN…!!! spell LIVE and EVIL backwards, what’s it spell. freaky! So be good to yourself and others, and hope the GOLDEN rule, RULS…!!! Poppy— Ralph.

    Like

  71. Dear Mr. March,

    1st off all, I bookmarked this story because I want to further investigate who all the people in your cabinet-of-advisors are since I don’t know many of them. 2nd. I trust your choices completely, not because you’re a minister or chaplain but because you support (now more than before) non-violence actions to enable any change that is worthwhile.

    I surfed to your blog after I had just replied to a comment beneath your blogpost on the website http://www.upliftconnect.com and I am so happy about 1] the comment of Mr. O’Brien but also by a new revelation I had while writing my reply to Gaynor….
    You can read this I now copy-pasted here below, I hope you enjoy both Gaynor’s keen sense and my joyeux scribbles that leave me happy and more motivated to continue on this road.
    .
    Gaynor O Brien • 2 days ago
    Mysterious that no one explains this rubbish.
    .
    Alain Bos to Gaynor O Brien • 8 minutes ago
    I understand what you are saying and agree completely !-)
    When Trump entered the race for presidency I didn’t want anything to do with him, especially telepathically. That and I was sure Americans were too clear-headed to let this man become even a serious candidate.
    Time progressed and even while I don’t have a TV or listen to radio-news, news of Trump entered my facebook-wall and again I thought :’nah, no way that the American people will elect such a %$#%# as president.
    Than all of a sudden, he was the new president-elect and I was baffled. After regaining consciousness I started to pay attention to Trumps video’s and factual-opinion and discovered that he wasn’t ½ as bad as I thought he should have been.
    To compensate for this difference a certain revelation entered my thoughts : “because at least 100 million citizens were supporting Trump, he himself must have been overwhelmed by such massive loving of so incredibly many people and I concluded that that was the reason he moderated his initial views or just mellowed down. Logic -> First he was just an owner of a company and a tv-icon on a freak show called the apprentice (I don’t have a tv for almost 15 years !-) where he could fire people – and the election confirmed to him that all the support he was feeling during the campaign was no hallucination or narcissistic high but real love from a 100 million people of all walks of life (or do you want to stigmatize one group of people ?-)
    .
    While writing this reply to your question , I found the explanation for this mystery !-)
    The whole world, everybody was flabbergasted when the results of the election appeared and announced Trump had won. Trump-supporters and Trump-protesters alike had a momentary lapse of loosing consciousness and in that awkward “time-out” the whole of humanity became one for a freak moment in time.
    A whole lot of people took a good look inside the moment after they started thinking for themselves again and felt the urge to change their own ways and are now all searching and craving for that feeling of oneness again…
    .
    Does this in anyway satisfy you mr. Gaynor O’Brien ?-)

    Well, I am impressed that you Mr. O’Brien are perhaps one of a minor few that noticed the lack of explanation for this and I am happy I was triggered by your remark which gave me an opportunity to soulsurf for an answer and I say, if anyone has a better explanation , please do not hesitate – click reply and scribble any or all of your thoughts into the comment box.

    an insurrectionary process can only be an explosion of negativity against everything that dominates and exploits us but also against everything that produces us as we are…

    don’t blame humanity for being pushed into a corner

    we are creating totally new possibilities for humanity’s progression into another state of consciousness… This goes slow but then again, plants do the same and plan their development years in advance… so why should humanity rush all of a sudden ? because you want to witness the transformation ? You are in the middle of humanity’s transformation-process, but hélas, your body only spans a century at bests so cheer up, enjoy life and think like a plant !!!

    thank you for reading Mr. March, I wish you a beautiful day today & tomorrow !-)

    Like

  72. I found your reflection through a facebook post, and copied it to my hard drive. When I re-posted it, I received many responses, all positive. It has become a part of my prayer, and I am discerning how to make it a part of my preaching. I would add one name to your cabinet, Francis of Assisi. His life of non-violent resistance to the culture and the church of his time is the touchstone for my life and ministry as a Franciscan Friar and a Catholic priest. I am working on connecting your note to the story of Francis going to the Sultan at Damietta, Egypt during the Crusades – a brilliant story of speaking the truth to power in a non-violent manner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Friar Peter. Yes, St. Francis should definitely be included. I was not familiar with the story of him going to the Sultan of Damietta. Thank you for sharing that. I’ve since read a couple of versions of that story – very inspiring and an example for today.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Mike+

      Liked by 1 person

  73. 5 days into the Presidency of a man you neither know or understand, you write an article basically condemning him even before he has begun! I find that rather intolerant. You take rhetoric spoken during a rather heated and nasty campaign and attribute that to the whole of another human being. I wonder Father, did you also apply that same reasoning to Mrs. Clinton? Who it seems, had done much worse only privately? Of course, we don’t really know that for sure, just gossip and innuendo by those who know her. I am going to be interested in following you this month on Forward Day By Day. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Reblogged this on Streaming Dan and commented:

    Despite being a Jewish American, this piece really made me think and do some introspection of my of my own. Going forward, I still believe in active resistance to injustice and tyranny. Yet, I think to ignore our own nature and tendencies is foolhardy. I would also say that branding the Resistance movement towards peace and making efforts to avoid anger in our own dialogue is not a wholly bad thing. Do we really want to become more like Donald Trump in our resistance to his administration. Thought it was worth sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. “And still I rise” trump has awaken the “hero” in all of us who love freedom, justice and equality, for all of us Americans. We will resist and we will persistently do everything we can to nullify his egregious actions. I also pray for him everyday that God will extract vengeance for all trump, Ryan and the GOP hurt. The children losing school lunches, the seniors losing meals on wheels, those who lose medical care for lack of insurance. I also support ACLU and SPLC to fight his e ecutive orders in courts. I am not yet as forgiving as you are Rev.Mike. I know many who are going to be hurt or already hurt by trump. One Muslim friend suffered a heart attack. She is an American citizens but she fears for herself and her family. She has lived here more than 45 years and has three beautiful intelligent children. This should not happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Pingback: Reframing the negativity… | Zenkatwrites's Blog

  77. NEW SEEDS OF MOTIVATION. These powerful words by an Episcopal priest and fellow recovering lawyer, Michael K. Marsh, perfectly capture my frame of mind in these Trumpian times. Thank you, Mr. President, for giving me NEW SEEDS OF MOTIVATION. And thank you, Rev. Marsh, for giving me a road map to navigate the bumpy journey ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

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