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“May Yahweh answer you in the day of danger.” 

Psalm 20: 1

When churches are in cities where state capital buildings are located, they become more aware of current issues. State capital buildings attract both supporters and protestors. A new awareness for me is that when capital buildings are protected, walled off from public access, people can pour into church parking lots for their confrontations. Sometimes these confrontations turn violent. We are wondering what to expect on January 6th near our state capital.

Danger is the word rising to the top these days over the news, on social media, and in casual conversations with this focus toward January 6th. There is an expectation for conflict. A phrase often repeated is, “We are in danger of losing our democracy.” However, some other danger is being felt and expressed by those who are protesting the election results, and I am not sure what that is. I am assuming there is some threatened loss that is being felt by folk. I am trying to understand what lies beneath this fear.

Whatever this loss is, often expressed as “the election being stolen,” it is being felt as a danger, or people would not be rising up in such anger. It seems that people are willing to see a legitimate election overturned to keep their president in power. He represents something to them that they do not put into words. Whatever that is, they choose him over democracy. I believe we are witnesses today of a process that has put other authoritarian dictators in place. In other words, we have seen this outcome before in other countries.

As a lover of democracy and a believer in the radical equality of persons as taught to us through Christ Jesus, I am having difficulty getting into the mindset of those who prefer authoritarianism. Those who prefer this style of government seem to do so even when it is of no benefit to them personally. This behavior is expressed as “voting against one’s own self-interest.”

Perhaps it is as simple as a sense of threat against what is seen as the “normal way of things.” Certainly, this pattern of thought is tied to the structuring of society into classes of persons, with a preference for patriarchy and a hierarchical structure. I know that many people think there is a natural law that places some persons over others. Some people even see a patriarchal structure as a divine law. The predominant people involved in these protests of the election results are white men, often with guns. Sometimes they are accompanied with a few white women supporters. I believe that the man they would choose to be their president symbolizes their white, male power.

God sent Christ Jesus to earth to show us that patriarchy and hierarchical structures are not God’s plan for humanity. They developed over time as people lost their connection with the God who created them in God’s image and walked with them in the garden. People developed a taste for power over others and this development has bedeviled us down through the ages with the danger it brings for violence, including wars.

My beloved ones, let us all pray for a peaceful transition.

Bishop Kedda

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