Monday, June 13, 2022


 Jerry was a good churchgoer. He was a part of the church community. If the church was open, he would be there, whether it was to help set up for the annual rummage sale, or to stand out front at the curb selling turnovers. Jerry was there. He was familiar with his scripture too. Rarely was there a time when the pastor would mention a chapter or verse with which he was unfamiliar. This didn't keep him from being fully present when it came time to listen to the sermon. Part of the reason Jerry became a member of the choir was so he could have as many opportunities to listen to the word from on high as possible. He and the pastor had a little joke about this "captive audience" he held no matter what the service. They called this experience "preaching to the choir."

Jerry is a person I just made up for the sake of the following metaphor. This past Thursday night, I tuned in to watch coverage of the January 6 Committee hearings. I have been keeping tabs on the insurrectionist attempt to disrupt the normal transfer of power after the 2020 election. I have viewed each new statement and watched multiple versions of any and all footage taken of the events of that day. I have made myself familiar with organizations like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. I have read accounts of many of the perpetrators of the attempted subversion of our democracy as well as the victims and heroes of that day who kept a horrible situation from becoming any worse. Those who died. Those who were injured. Those who were arrested. Those who were put in jail. 

Last Thursday night, the January 6 Committee was preaching to the choir. The Big Lie never landed in my living room. I watched the election unfold and nervously anticipated challenges to the tallies as they came in. Because they had been announced in advance. The former game show host and two-time loser of the popular vote for President of the United States lost the electoral vote in 2020. A majority of American voters picked Joe Biden in hopes of moving on from the empty promises and hateful rhetoric of the past four years. Every legal attempt to persuade the courts to review the election results failed. Ultimately resulting in the attack by right wing extremists on the Capitol two months after all the ballots had been cast. It is a matter of record. It is a matter of fact. 

And yet, I felt compelled to sit there and watch all that chaos run in front of me one more time. There were no doubts raised for me as I listened to the testimony of those who were there, and those who have spent the intervening year and a half compiling evidence against the perpetrators of that Big Lie. When that first hearing concluded, I asked my wife to switch the channel to Fox News, the only network that chose not to air the hearing live. They were there afterward to put their own spin on the proceedings. Rather than discussing the evidence offered up by the committee, their talking heads chose to highlight the things that were missing. No mention of all the ways that the former twice impeached president had been implicated in the events. 

This was a different church. A different choir. With millions of followers who are every bit as dedicated as Jerry. Or myself. Now we wait to see if anyone's faith can be shaken. 

Stay tuned. 

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