I thought it was a joke when my wife, Noreen, asked if I’d heard about the rally in Texas.
Turns out it wasn’t a joke.
On November 2, close to a thousand people packed into Dealey Plaza in Dallas to await—wait for it—the return of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Dealey Plaza is, of course, the site of President Kennedy’s assassination back in 1963. But it wasn’t him that the crowd was waiting for. It was his son. It is unclear whether these people knew that JFK Jr. died in 1999 off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Then again, this was a QAnon rally so that fact was likely seen as fake news.
Those gathered were expecting JFK Jr’s return (from hiding or the great beyond, who knows) at 12:29 pm to announce that he will be Donald Trump’s running mate in the next election.
To their surprise and disappointment, the prophesied resurrection never occurred.
You can see why I thought this was a joke, but such is the state of politics in America today. The rally may sound bonkers but it is symptomatic of some troubling trends.
Do you agree with this statement? “When it comes to the future of the U.S., true American patriots may have to resort to violence.”
When that question was asked in a recent poll, 30% of Republicans agreed. The number jumped to 40% among those who think the last election was stolen from Donald Trump. Of note, 11% of Democrats and 17% of independents agreed with the statement. Among all Americans, 18% agreed.
With the November elections just past and the ball starts rolling toward the midterm elections next year, it feels like choppy waters lie ahead. There is a growing number of people who are active in politics for the sole purpose of disassembling the “rules of the game” or the norms by which we enact our democracy. Before the next election we desperately need, at the very least, some sort of binding commitment on the part of politicians that they will abide by the outcome of the votes we cast.
When facts such as JFK Jr’s death are seen as lies and people stand ready to act violently in the name of hatred and chaos, action is needed now in every sector—including our churches—to elevate the value of truth and promote trust in our democratic institutions.
Truth, of course, can be seen from many different angles and our institutions are not perfect but living from a place of fantasy and abandoning our institutions altogether is not an option. Construction of the road that leads there must be stopped.
See you in church,