Letter: Some thoughts on fear, current events and the power of faith to stand firm

A firm stand is needed when dealing with fascists

To the Expositor:

The riots and insurrection incited by former President Trump at the Congress this past week caused your old retired clergy a lot of fear. I was truly frightened out of my wits imagining that the deranged and unhinged former president would set off the missile attack process, or blow up the congress. Learning later in the day that pipe bombs and weapons were placed strategically about the area added greatly to my fear and helplessness. This topic of fear is mentioned more than 300 times in the Bible and one theologian (Walter Bruggemann) advises that the bible can be summarized in two words: ‘Fear not’ and ‘I’m with you, don’t be afraid,’ says our God.

John Mueller in his book ‘Overblown’ when examining the topic of fear and terror questions countries responses to fear and terror noting that “politicians, media, the security bureaucracy have whipped the American population into a state of terror.” “Which is the greater threat,” he asks, “terrorism or our reaction against it.” Mueller makes a good point: As we recover from this week of terror, what will our reaction or response be exactly? Initially I felt hatred toward our neighbours to the south, and anger at their willingness to allow this deranged fellow to hold office for so long. However, I finally calmed down and realized that living in fear and experiencing hatred toward a deranged former president simply allows him and terror to win and to generate more fear and more terror. We come from a long line of people who have not given in to acts of terror, who have spoken out, who have declared that never again will this happen, and never again will we give in to fear and to terror. 

If we give in to fear and to hatred, then Trump has won and is destroying us from within. Rather let us stay strong and let us dig into our Bibles and into our history to remember the words of Moses to the Israelite people when in distress: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today.”

We must indeed “stand firm” and part of standing firm involves standing up against the fascism that Trump and his supporters have been promoting for the past four years. Fascism, a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, has been endured and promoted by Donald Trump for far too long. People chose to bury their heads in the sand rather than to take a firm stand, and a firm stand is what is needed. Trump has promoted insurrection, violence and insists on writing history his way rather than on the truth—he lost the election! History reveals that one does not negotiate with terrorists/fascists, rather one takes a firm stand by removal from office, arresting of the terrorists who stormed the congress, removal of passports and in short zero tolerance. 

Let us pray, stand firm, and indeed “fear not.” Fear not President Trump’s fascism, fear not terrorism, fear not COVID-19. Rather let us trust in God, stand firm, and remember that we are not alone.

Rev. Jean Brown

A Haweater born in Mindemoya

Henderson, Ontario