|Thanksgiving 2014: John, Eli, Liane|
1. "John, do you regret becoming a US citizen now?" No, a thousand times no. The US needs loyal but skeptical citizens now more than ever. This is my home, and I am duty bound to "seek its welfare". To do so effectively requires citizenship and its rights and responsibilities - the full range, not just to vote now and again. So far as it lies within me, I am ready. If I had not been ready to vote this time, I would have felt in some strange way that I had betrayed my friends (even though that one vote could not possibly have made a difference.)
2. "What will you miss?" Well, I think we will all soon be missing the grace, thoughtfulness and poise of Barack Obama. But, on a more personal note, I miss Eli - God, I miss him today. Even though today would have been an awful day for him, he would have turned it into intelligent, dry, humorous thought, helped me see it differently - and maybe would have helped me push through to a reason for hope (or maybe I would have helped him). Eli made me look at the world upside down, to understand some of what the word "privilege" means and how it can be to live without it. That is a lesson that, I hope, I will never forget.
3. "What danger are you in?" I am in no danger. I am a child of privilege: white, educated, straight, cisgender, articulate, and wealthy enough to be safe (at least for a while) in Trumpland. I am also privileged by incurable cancer: a decision to deny the problems of climate change (which seems like a decision that a Trump administration will surely make) is a decision to privilege those presently alive over against future generations - and my diagnosis means that the problems of future generations will not, in a direct sense, be my problems. Yes, I'm all right. But if I allow that thought to undermine my commitment to fight for LGBTQ people or sustainable energy policies or environmental justice or policing as though black lives matter - well, let Eli be the first but not the last who is on my case if that should happen. "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning." (Psalm 137:5)
4. "Can you see any good in this?" It yells to the church to be an alternative community, one embodying the values of the Kingdom. These values are not those of Trump, nor of his elite opponents. Never was an alternative community more needed. Are we too compromised to enact it? "With man it is impossible; but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)