Because every human life is sacred, each life is to be treated with dignity and honor. According to Jesus, we are to even love our enemies and to bless those who curse us. As I stated in a previous blog SANCTITY OF LIFE Part 1,
“The term sanctity refers to the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly. Sanctity also denotes something of ultimate importance or inviolability. As one who acknowledges and worships God as the creator of the universe, I espouse the sanctity of all healthy life forms. Human life is sacred. The life of our earthly biosphere is sacred. One cannot claim to believe in the sanctity of life while at the same moment deriding their fellow humans and treating them with disdain.”
Who would have thought that we would live in a time where we need to instruct our children and grandchildren to not behave like the President of the United States. My Christian upbringing included instructions on treating others with respect. Name-calling, ridiculing, and deriding others were included on my parent’s non-acceptable behavior list.
I do not remember ever hearing my parents talk about another person derisively. They led by example. I remember one of the most hurtful situations they experienced, betrayal at the hands of another person. My family emigrated to the US from Canada in July of 1965. To secure a US resident visa, my father had to prove that he had secured guaranteed employment in the US. In February, my father had visited the central Los Angeles branch of the company for whom he had worked since my birth. The regional manager agreed to hire my father whenever he would relocate to the LA area. The manager signed off on the necessary visa application documents, guaranteeing my dad’s employment. In early July, my parents, having sold almost all their earthly possessions, loaded us five children in a station wagon and headed to Burbank. I remember us making a “California or Bust” sign to tape inside the rear window of our station wagon. We received many joyful honks from others along the way! After settling his family in a Burbank motel, my father reported to the regional manager. Dad was informed by that manager that there was, in fact, no guaranteed job awaiting him. You can imagine what a blow this was for my father. As usual, God proved faithful. After visiting other branch offices over the next few days, my dad was able to secure a position with the company.
I remember my parents sharing this story matter of factly to others a few times over the years. They never cursed or derided this manager or called him names when they spoke of him. I even remember, during my college days, my mother telling me about the untimely death of this man. There was genuine sadness in her voice. She did not gloat as if somehow our family had been avenged by his untimely death.
I recently read the book A Very Stable Genius written by two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. This book is an expose of the inner workings of the Trump White House. A phrase kept echoing through my head as I read the book, “This is a hot mess!” This was a sentiment penned by South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott and shared with the media by him during the Senate impeachment proceedings.
One of the most distressing revelations for me in this book is Trump’s treatment of some of the most respected leaders in our country. This mistreatment included top military leaders who have distinguished themselves through their dedicated service to our country. The authors detail a meeting Trump had with our military leaders in room 2E924 of the Pentagon, otherwise known as “The Tank.” The details of this July 20, 2017, meeting in the Tank has been documented numerous times in other media outlets and most memorably by Bob Woodward in his book, Fear.
“Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford sat in the seat of honor midway down the table, because this was his room, and Trump sat at the head of the table facing a projection screen. (General) Mattis, (then-Secretary of Defense) and the newly confirmed deputy defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, sat to the President’s left, with Vice President Pence and Tillerson (then Secretary of State) to his right. Down the table sat the leaders of the military branches, along with Cohn (then Director of the National Economic Council) and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Steve Bannon was in the outer ring of chairs with other staff, taking his seat just behind Mattis and directly in Trump’s line of sight.” (p.131)
“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass. Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.” (Emphasis mine. p.136)
No one, regardless of political affiliation, should condone this kind of behavior, especially from the leader of the free world. This kind of behavior is wrong. The Commander in Chief dishonored these leaders in such a shameful way! This is not the behavior of a man who values the sanctity of human life.