The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas, Canon Theologian of Washington National Cathedral
Mark Rosneck, Owner, The Sparta Report www.spartareport.com
August 1, 2019
My fellow citizens,
I’d like to address one specific element of your Press Release: Have We No Decency? A Response to President Trump, which is your question —
When does silence become complicity? What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours.
The answer is when someone has the moral authority and the courage to bring together both sides of our government.
I watch when President Trump’s rhetoric opens opportunities for discussion over and over again and then the door is slammed shut to making progress because too many of our fellow citizens are more concerned with depriving the President of “a win” rather than making progress in areas that obviously need attention.
Baltimore is sadly the latest wasted opportunity. Clearly the city has serious problems and yet no one challenged the President to put “the country’s money where his mouth is.” There are numerous people who could have taken that tact rather than simply parsing the rhetoric.
Bluntly, why don’t you have the courage? Why didn’t you say “the National Cathedral would like to sponsor a meeting between Elijah Cummings and President Trump to pray for the citizens of Baltimore and to develop three actionable items that both will agree to champion for the good of the city”?
The entire topic of immigration also needs someone with moral authority and courage to bring both sides together. We spend all our energy discussing how we got here and very little on what immigration will look like in the future.
What will “good” look like for immigration 20 years from now? I will suggest that both sides recognize that there are political, moral, and legal issues. We should be able as Americans to agree on the moral issues first and then plot political and legal strategies to get us where we want to go. Who will step up to lead the moral discussion?
In my lifetime, I’ve need seen a greater opportunity for moral leaders of greatness to rise up and create healing that moves the country forward. Who will that be? Who will take the risk of being vilified potentially by both sides? Who is ready and able to create history?