“We will be okay”

Well, it happened. Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the President of the United States on
Friday, January 20. As close as I could tell, the sun rose on January 21st.

In his final press conference Barack Obama closed by saying “We will be okay,” exhibiting
some faith in the resiliency of his country and even more faith in the people of that
nation.

I have no doubt that the next few years will be challenging, full of face-palming moments
and possibly even worse. But as most of you know by now I am an optimist by nature.

That philosophy teaches me that the worst you can envision does not often come to pass, (sadly neither does the best). In fact, unfortunate turns of events often bring out the best in people. A couple of weeks ago Erica and I went to see Henry Rollins speaking. He started as a Punk musician, but is now a writer and raconteur. Rollins is also a dedicated liberal. In this presentation he called people to mobilize and promised to go back to the US and mobilize his fellow musicians. He sees 2017 as a positive year of activism. Here is a clip recorded elsewhere on his tour with the section that caught my eye.

https://youtube.com/iohBRft4Fok

As I said in my January 22nd sermon, the inauguration of Mr. Trump should sound as a call to action to us all. In all nations of the land, we must be vigilant, we must be resistant and we need to find ways to support the millions of Americans who will be actively opposing the new administration’s policies if they threaten to demean, disempower and threaten the middle and lower class citizens, the immigrants, or the other nations of the world.

In all our Edmonton schools there are active anti-bullying programs in place to teach our children not to stand for it. Can we do any less than what we ask of our children?

In the city there is Jesse Lipscombe’s #makeitawkward campaign asking us to call out racism where we find it and have those awkward conversations.

When I, the optimist, look at the historical record, I see periods of great darkness and tragedy, but I also see that those periods give rise to some of the greatest advances in our social and technological development. Are we entering one of those shameful periods? Perhaps, but maybe just maybe it will inspire us to stand up for what we believe is right, to refuse to be bullied, to step in and rescue others from that treatment.

See you in church,