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My Thank You Note to President Trump

By Michael K Marsh on Wednesday February 1st, 2017

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How Trump Is Inspiring Me

A tumultuous first week of a Trump Presidency in America is inspiring people from all walks of life to express their feelings. Here, a Texan priest with the Episcopal Church offers his own powerful message, which originally appeared in his blog ‘Interrupting the Silence’. The following article is the personal opinion of Father Michael K Marsh.

– – – – –

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 that you have; however, that is not an excuse or justification for the violence that does inhabit some of my thoughts, words, and actions. In this regard, maybe we are not so different.

Trump can be a mirror for us allTrump can be a mirror for us all to take a closer look at our darker side.

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.

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.

Dorothy Day, Gandhi, Martin Luther King JrWe must choose our own peace leaders, to inspire us on our journeys 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, for America, and for 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, just 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 of violence, that 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.

Love resistance“I will resist you with love and seek your good.”

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

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

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Words By Michael K Marsh

Originally posted on Interrupting the Silence

 

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references

References

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)

comments

  • Karen Taylor

    If only, if only. But does this course of action have results, or must we witness another 6 million people of a certain race/creed/religion go to their deaths before we act?

    • Steph

      Doesn’t mean that at all. History/American politics are repeating 1933 Germany, in a way, but the world is watching. This isn’t happening in a vacuum. We’ll throw out the bad people before they go too far and if we don’t; the world will. Pray/chant/hope for peace.

    • Gaynor O Brien

      Just as there was no stopping the forces of past atrocities,nor, as
      we ve seen, this president’s rise to power so it may happen but I also see good people put down their non essentials and rise up to stop unacc3ptable forces.

    • Gaynor O Brien

      Did we not notice genocides SINCE the WWII holocaust? Werent we powerless to stop them? I know this. I ask myself am I the only one? If a world leader doeant rally to stop it it will go on.

  • glideair

    You cannot take the pickle out of the jar and return it to it’s original self.
    I will die defending my right to life.
    This admission is non-partisan and non-negotiable.

    • outer_rl

      who do you think is trying to take that away from you, the left or the right?

      • glideair

        The refreshed discipline of the U.S. Constitution and rule of law will prevail.

        • outer_rl

          Will it prevail over a reckless and tyrannical populist president? Or over totalitarian social justice warriors determined to undermine the democratic will of the people who elected the president? Or both of the above?

          • Right

            A priest wrote this, yet he doesn’t acknowledge the support of pro-life that now exist in the White House? IMO he’s looking at the glass as half empty and being self righteous.

          • outer_rl

            The priest’s seeing the world through nice/nasty prisms that obscure what’s really going on. There’s good within evil and evil within good. I don’t know how much effort Trump will put into being pro life. He never believed in it before he stood for office. I don’t know how much I believe in it myself. But I am interested in seeing how it all plays out.

  • outer_rl

    I fundamentally agree with the sentiment of this article, the biggest benefit of a Trump presidency is how he is open about the selfishness and greed that Clinton, Bush and Obama shared, but kept under a cloak.

    However, Trump isn’t the anti-Christ. He’s just another politician, and so I disagree with how this and other articles pretend otherwise. Yes, resist the bad things he does. But also recognise that the office of presidency has an important purpose, don’t deny the legitimacy of the holder of office, don’t undermine the proper functioning of constitutional government.

    • Miz Julia

      Trump is actually a unique threat. The only way to absolve yourself from the harm you helped unleash on your fellow human beings by voting for him is to acknowledge, on a fundamental level. the harm he’s already doing and will continue to do.

      • outer_rl

        Of course, I acknowledge he’s doing a lot of harm. He’s terrible really. But I voted against Clinton because she wanted to start ww3 with Russia. So I still see Trump as the lesser evil.

        • Miz Julia

          ::eye roll::

          Nah, you voted for the vulgar buffoon predator because you liked that he weaponized racism, sexism, xenophobia and you apparently like being lied to. I wish I could say it nicer than that.

          • outer_rl

            I don’t see him as any more racist than Clinton. Clinton attacked him for not being pro-Israel enough. That did not endear me to Her Majesty. Clinton’s anti Russian hostility is clear xenophobia. Yes, he’s a sex pest. But I don’t expect many people I know to actually be grabbed by his octopus hands. She actually wanted to bomb the Syrian government – it’s like she was both pro Israel and pro al Qaeda. I can’t tolerate that kind of stupidity in a leader. I was going to vote Jill Stein, but all the Clinton supporters said it would be a wasted vote. So it had to be Trump.

        • Lyla McLean

          The lasser of two evils is still evil.

          • outer_rl

            Indeed. I wish Bernie had won.

  • Unity of Cookeville

    As a minister trying to keep folks centered on love, peace, meditation and a conscious connection with the God of their understanding, I thought this article was very well written and I agree with the sentiments expressed. I also would like to thank President Trump for waking us all up. We will no longer be able to take our liberties and rights for granted. We will have to engage in a political system that seems to be in crisis. It will not correct itself, we have to exercise our freedom of speech and the power of our votes to redirect the course of this country. With the dark side of this nation being exposed we each need to look within and go to God first then to man as God directs.

    • Miz Julia

      Why is it that we couldn’t be inspired instead by Hillary’s positive message? A LOT of harm will come to people before all of this inner work has gone on. I understand he’s trying to “uplift”, but I was already uplifted by choosing to engage consciously with the social and racial justice movements that were/are already alive and well in this country. Perhaps he’s younger than I am and needed this awakening to not take things for granted. I’m sorry that it’s taken the ascendancy of Trump, which will result in a roll back of a lot of hard work on civil rights. Only a privileged white male could write a piece like this, I swear.

      • Lyla McLean

        Some peaple need a gentle touch to wake up, others need an explosion.

      • talon1812

        What exactly is Hillary’s positive message???? World War 3 with Russia that will result in the total destruction of the planet? Oh, maybe it’s her stealing billions of dollars of money that was funneled from Haitian flood and earthquake victims. Maybe it was the deliberate murder, then the subsequent stand-down of the murder of our American Ambassador in Benghazi, along with other American Citizens. Or maybe it’s the uplifting hope she perpetuates when she goes to her witch’s church meetings in California. Or maybe it’s the child sex slaves that she runs in her underage children’s sex pedophile rings. The woman is the direct descendant of Satan. What is it about her that you haven’t figured out??? Talk about having your head buried in the sand like an ostrich. I just hope you haven’t bred yet, because your kind of ignorance and stupidity is sure to be genetic.

  • I think this is well and honestly written. Perhaps this is the gift in the lesson of current poltiical times (and the Trump presidency is reflected in the UK’s Brexit and in politics where I am in Australia) – we must all do our own shadow work and we MUST all uplift.

  • Elizabeth-Ann Piche

    I think his letter has inspired me yup yup

  • Sally Burrell

    I feel similarly that we are face to face with a powerful opportunity to wake up and to grow our capacity for love and justice. I don’t tend to make important changes in my life with out a painful stimulus. I have been inspired by the recent horrors to show up, stand up and speak from my heart. Many are doing the same, peacefully and respectfully, knowing we are all One. It’s creating a feeling of rising love and cooperation. I am inspired and grateful for each moment that comes my way to respond positively to the darkness that lives in us all.

  • talon1812

    You’re an insane dingbat. Before you start talking mindlesslesy about President Trump being filled with hate, maybe you should read these words of wisdom from your lovely Koran.

    Koran 2:191 “slay the unbelievers wherever you find them”
    Koran 3:21 “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends”
    Koran 5:33 “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam”
    Koran 8:12 “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Koran”
    Koran 8:60 ” Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels”
    Koran 8:65 “The unbelievers are stupid, urge all Muslims to fight them”
    Koran 9:5 “When the opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you find them”
    Koran 9:123 “Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood”
    Koran 22:19 “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water, melt their skin and bellies”
    Koran 47:4 “Do not hanker for peace with the infidels, behead them when you catch them”.

    • Gaynor O Brien

      Mysterious that no one explains this rubbish.

      • talon1812

        Intelligent people with brains don’t need an explanation. They can figure it out.

        • donsalmon

          Talon: If you persist in reading breitbart and similar sites for your information, you will continue to live in fear.

          Surah 2:191

          And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

          I read this and realized that it is a bit out of context…what we have there was a time of war and to be fair, people are expected to die whenever there is war…

          What is quite interesting in there is that, the order was to engage and fight when the opposition fights you which is quite different from killing innocent civilians…this also is made clear when you read the previous verse:

          • talon1812

            And I’m sure you listen to CNN and MSNBC for your trusted news sources.

            Keep living in la-la land, delusional.

      • Alain Bos

        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…
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9f3ad370194616de626657fb114bc576949d7c1db8b6473cc846639fb92b712.jpg
        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 !!!

    • Lyla McLean

      This is not a forum for Muslim-bashing. The bible contains similar horrors. Spare the rod and spoil the child, women taken in a dultery should be stoned to death….etc.

      • talon1812

        Read it again, dingbat.

        • Lyla McLean

          Troll. Your rudeness shows the level of your intelligence. Who are you to name-call? Go away with your bigotry.

          • Alain Bos

            Leilah, don’t stereotype talon1812 – the only dingbat he recognises in us is just a part of himself, as is bigotry noticed in others just a part of your own perception and does not necessarily describes talon1812 actions to default
            You are both seriously engaged with your mission, just don’t forget :
            .
            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…

          • Lyla McLean

            Alain, don’t tell me what to do. I do not need your approval.

          • Alain Bos

            So I’m allowed to tell you to make mistakes and so are you to point out when you think I need to be corrected….
            1 question, dough – For what do you think I want(ed) to give you my approval ? Or did you mean it like that I would like you better if you would refrain yourself from stereotyping in the future ? Because than I did overstep it a bit and I apologize sincerely.
            Thank you for calling me by my name, I appreciate that !-) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9af58cb60427e71273b933b50ec84dadb80f86da2896950994fd6ba92e8fd0bb.jpg

        • Alain Bos

          by the way talon1812, what is a dingbat ? or should I just google it ?-)

          • talon1812

            [ding-bat]

            Word Origin

            See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com

            noun

            1.

            Slang. an eccentric, silly, or empty-headed person.

            2.

            dingus.

            3.

            Printing. an ornamental piece of type for borders, separators, decorations, etc.

            4.

            an object, as a brick, serving as a missile.

            Origin of dingbat

            1830-1840

            1830-40; origin uncertain

            Dictionary.com Unabridged
            Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.

            Cite This Source

            Examples from the Web for dingbat

            Historical Examples

            Your tiles are loose, and the lady knows what is good for a dingbat like you.

            Nothing But the Truth

            Frederic S. Isham

            British Dictionary definitions for dingbat

            dingbat

            /ˈdɪŋˌbæt/

            noun (US, slang)

            1.

            any unnamed object, esp one used as a missile

            2.

            a crazy or stupid person

            Word Origin

            C19: of unknown origin

            Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
            © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
            Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

            Cite This Source

            Word Origin and History for dingbat

            n.

            1838, American English, some kind of alcoholic drink, of unknown origin. One of that class of words (e.g. dingus, doohickey, gadget, gizmo, thingumabob) which are conjured up to supply names for items whose proper names are unknown or not recollected. Used at various periods for “money,” “a professional tramp,” “a muffin,” “a typographical ornament,” “male genitalia,” “a Chinese,” “an Italian,” “a woman who is neither your sister nor your mother,” and “a foolish person in authority.” Popularized in sense of “foolish person” by TV show “All in the Family” (1971), though this usage dates from 1905.

            Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

            Cite This Source

            Slang definitions & phrases for dingbat

            dingbat

            noun

            An unspecified or unspecifiable object; something one does not know the name of or does not wish to name; dingus, gadget : I don’t think any wire and glass dingbat is going to ”oontz” out cheek-to-cheek dancing (1905+)

            A stupid person, esp a vague and inane simpleton; dimwit: All in the Family was reexported to the BBC complete with ”Polack pinko meatheads,” ”dingbats,” and ”spades” (1915+)

            Any of various typographic symbols used as decorations, separators, emphasizers, trademark and union-done indicators, etc (1930s+ Print shop)

            [first sense fr German or Dutch dinges, ”thing”; second sense fr Australian have the dingbats, be dingbats, ”be crazy”]

            The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
            Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.

      • Alain Bos

        Unmarried women who furnicate with men should be stoned , I never gave this much thought because Jesus skillfully turned the tables on that one. Until I found out that Moses was the one who created that law , the same moses that brought down the 2 slabs of stone with the 10 commandments written into them. Of which the 1st is “Thou shall not kill…” That same moses that is worshipped by jews as the last great prophets send by the big G. !! Well, there is no possible way that I will ever accept Moses as ‘a friend of mine’ if he doesn’t apologises for this blatant error of judgement and heinous act against God’s wishes/will…. RHA !!!!

    • Alain Bos

      two dutch jokers made a funny youtube-video about the koran.
      they read certain highlighted passages to people in the street and asked for their opinion
      needles to say they had chosen the right texts to highlight and people responded either with anger or were appalled and at mildest apost.
      Than the jokers turned the tables and removed the paper cover of the koran which revealed the bible.
      the same people reacted a little shocked but were also gibeling a little and diminishing the role of such texts in our society
      I know that in the many different islamic-cultures/islamic-countries many if not most of them the people living there think the same way about the texts that you are citing in your comment as we think about the violent texts that are present in the bible
      Or do you disagree with this assessment https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9f3ad370194616de626657fb114bc576949d7c1db8b6473cc846639fb92b712.jpg talon1812 ?

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