Nathaniel Stalling Jr is Pastor of Burning Bush Temple of Christ Church.
Truth Crushed To the Earth, Shall Rise Again
One hundred forty-seven years after William Cullen Bryant penned his famous quote, “Truth Crushed To the Earth, Shall Rise Again”, we are forced to grapple with the substance of it. The question we should be asking ourselves is; are we living in a time when ‘Truth’ is being crushed or, when it is rising again?
Whichever side you come down on it is certainly reasonable to concede that the United States of America is exhibiting characteristics of two separate Americas. Take the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election for example. The losing party of the election was still able to garner almost half the voting population of the country. Out of four hundred thirty-five members in the House of Representatives, two hundred twenty are Democrats and, two hundred twelve are Republican. There are three vacancies. As of the writing of this article.
The United States of America is going through the worst pandemic ever to ravage this country in a hundred years. Yet, twenty months and, 661,000 deaths later we still can’t uniformly agree on whether we should take the FDA-approved vaccine, wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus, or not. What does that well-known verse in the bible say? “And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand”. Mark 3:25 AMP
It appears as though the United States is going through some serious political and cultural spasms. Our religious wing of the country has been eerily silent, at least in the first half of 2021. After a large swath of evangelicals fawned over the political right for the last four years you would think someone from the evangelical ranks would weigh in on the state of our country relating to the pandemic. After all, this coronavirus is ‘no respecter of persons. It does not discriminate.
I was watching a documentary film about what happened on September 11th, 2001, called ‘Memory Box’ Echoes of 9/11, and I listened to this Muslim woman tell how awful she felt. She and a group of Muslim organizations wanted to build a Muslim community center in New York to help the healing from this tragedy. She immediately started getting hate mail, death threats and, shouts of “go back to your country”. It was disheartening for her and other Muslims to be blamed for something they had no part of. Then something amazing happened. She and others, of the Muslim community, started getting support mail, from everyday average citizens, black and white, Christian and Muslim. People began to show up in person to show their support. She came away from the experience believing that there truly are ‘two Americas’.
Earlier this year Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, testifying before the United States Senate, said they believe the greatest domestic threat facing the United States came from what they called “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”
This assessment by Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as others in the intelligence and policing communities, became all but evident following the violent clashes, where at least one woman lost her life, in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017. The ugly realities of America's underbelly were abruptly exposed for the whole world to see.
Then there were the marches, led by ‘Black Lives Matter and, other civil rights groups across the country, after the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That was the time when the whole world marched in lockstep with America. Well, at least with half of America. The other half was still being blatantly defiant. The defiant half was insisting we did not see what we saw in the videos showing how George Floyd died, and who was responsible. They were essentially trying to gaslight the entire country. But the people of the country, and especially that community in Minneapolis Minnesota, were not buying what they were selling, and justice was rightly served.
This reminds me of the story of Adam and Eve. When they ate from the tree God told them not to eat from Adam tried to hide. God asked Adam ‘where are you”? We too are at a pivotal time in this great American experiment we call ‘Democracy’. We have to decide once and for all if we want to keep it or not. Is this democracy worth fighting for? Are we fighting to ‘crush’ truth, or making way for it to ‘rise’ again? As for me and my house, we choose to assist ‘truth’ to rise again.
© 2021 Nathaniel Stalling Jr