I spent the morning of January 6th, 2021 drinking tea, chatting about the news, as always. I was actually feeling happy, as today was Three Kings Day, or the Epiphany. It represents an incredible journey of perseverance and wonder, as Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar traveled the desert following the North Star to see the newborn messiah, Jesus.
I laughed at these people gathering with no cause and passion like these Magi. They are sore losers. I spoke with my therapist that afternoon about how ridiculous they are. But when our session was dismissed, it got worse. The mob breached the Capitol, and everyone had to hide.Excerpted from my diary entry on January 11th, 2021
The diary entry above is somewhat incomplete, as it was done as part of a timed exercise at a work-based wellness zone. During the time I mentioned, not only was it the Epiphany, but John Osoff and Raphael Warnock had won their senate runoff races in Georgia. I was rooting for them not simply because they are Democrats, but also because the Republican party in America has become a perverted, reactionary heap who views lack of hygienic safety as a “personal liberty,” among multitudes of other problems. Both bring refreshing, faith-informed perspectives to our governmental system. Seeing them win, I thought this contempt for humanity had died, but alas.
In the morning, there were people outside the Capitol building. They were shouting, they had flags, signs, Trump-themed paraphernalia, some Revolutionary and Civil War paraphernalia, mostly those which signified sympathy towards reactionaries, and some megaphones. It was, in its formation, a protest. But protests have a movement, and keeping a tyrant who lost his reelection in office isn’t a movement. It’s just sore losership. I chided them. It was pathetic.
But the pathetic often becomes the disturbing. Seeing them breach the building, knowing lawmakers and their staff had to hide, watching rioters loot, vandalize, and defile is just disgraceful. Knowing a US Armywoman had been deluded by her president to attack fellow law enforcement and defense officers for his sake is disgusting. This veteran held a duty to defend the country and its electoral procedures, not to subterfuge them. While she survived her tours of military duty, she died after being brainwashed into believing fellow defense-men were her enemies. But even after seeing one of their own get killed, many rioters will still defend their perverse actions.
The Attack on the Capitol in 2021 was a journey. Caravans loaded up on buses, trains, cars, taxis, and bikes. Similarly, the first Epiphany approximately 2021 years prior to that day, there was another journey. Magi and shepherds came to visit a new miracle. It was a messiah that Jewish prophecy foretold about. He was a poor infant boy, living in a manger. Mangers tend to be dirty, and magi tend to be neat, but they overlooked the mess because they knew there was something awesome among them. There was a righteous ruler. Naive King Herod presumed this meant the child would usurp him one day. but the child never expressed such an interest, even in his adult life. The magi visited the infant Jesus in a tender, fleeting moment. Soon after, he and his family would have to return to Jerusalem to take the census, then to Nazareth to escape a draconian decree to have every infant boy killed.
I think about how arduous travel is. It takes hours. How could these rioters drive and ride, watching clouds and roads go by and think “yes, this is what I’m meant to do”? “Yes, this is my pilgrimage”? “Yes, this is a cause worth dying for”?
Donald Trump cheats tax collectors instead of befriending them. He denies knowing prostitutes and sex workers instead of outwardly acknowledging them. He snubs the paychecks of tradesmen like carpenters, such as Jesus’ adoptive father, despite the fact they had performed finished and satisfactory work for him. He had violently accused his late first wife Ivana of infidelity (despite his own wayward libido) and pressured her into sexual situations instead of telling adulterers to “sin no more.” In his continuance of presidential power, this is your epiphany? This is your pilgrimage, your hill to die on? Your revolution? Someone who, should he meet a carpenter’s apprentice-turned preacher in present day, would scoff?
This post has been almost a year in the making, so I’ve ruminated on this for a while. Point is, make sure your journey is meaningful and you chose battles that are worthy and have momentum. I am truly no one special. Just a former church youth choir girl and catechist’s pet at CCD. I’m also someone, who, in her adulthood, gained innate sense of justice and passion for persuasive diction. I may not be a clergy, pastoral associate, political aide, investigator, or lawyer, but nonetheless, I encourage you all to do everything with purpose.
Merry Little Christmas, Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Befana, or however you prefer to call it. Additionally bless the lives lost, tarnished, or periled in the events and aftermath of the Insurrection Attempt on the Capitol. Amen.