Rahm Emanuel’s “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” has become the stuff of political legend. Well, fifty Americans were gunned down yesterday, and fifty-three more wounded, by an assailant whose mind was deeply poisoned by a sick-and-twisted version of a religion held by a large segment of the world population. That’s a serious crisis. That it will be used for political fodder is inevitable, the question is HOW will it be used?
Right now, all indications are that it will be used to divide us. The French, and a whole bunch of other people, think it is about the politics of sex. The president thinks it’s about guns. Clinton thinks it is about both of those things and more, not wanting to box herself in just yet. Trump thinks it is about well, Trump – or at least Trump’s ideas. All of this makes us pick sides and pick issues.
But there is another way this serious crisis could be used and that is to unite the nation. It is possible to disagree with the politics of sex associated with the victims and yet mourn them and grieve with their loved ones. It is possible to acknowledge that it takes a person of intent to commit atrocities like this and that without that person of intent the gun is just a hunk of metal. It is possible to understand, if one is but willing to take the time and use the energy, that the intent is founded not in religion generally but in a distinct and sick version of one particular religion. And if we can achieve those possibilities then this crisis ceases to be about sexuality or guns or religion or even partisan politics and becomes instead about Americans facing a common enemy.
This is the season in which we pick new leadership for the nation and what I desperately long for in that leadership is someone that can create such unity.
In the move Braveheart William Wallace, as portrayed by Mel Gibson, foments a serious crisis between Scotland and England. In the wake of this crisis Wallace offers the presumptive King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce, a choice between uniting the clans of Scotland thus winning freedom for the Scots or enriching his own position and holdings through a deal with the King of England. The Bruce appears to side with Wallace:
only to later betray Wallace and enrich himself. Eventually, after Wallace’s gruesome execution, the Bruce sees the error of his ways and creates the united Kingdom of Scotland that Wallace sought.
As the inevitable political fall out from the events in Orlando begins in earnest it is my fervent prayer that a leader will present him or her self to us that does not need to learn the lessons that Robert the Bruce learned in the blood and guts of his friend – that has learned it in the blood already spilled. I pray earnestly that we can have a leader that understands the good of the nation comes before their political or financial enrichment.
It has been a long, strange trip to this point in this election cycle. It could, and probably will, get longer and stranger still. I just ask God sincerely that the results be good ones.