That’s no way to Behave in the People’s House
Photo by Arun Kumar on Unsplash
When I was a missionary in South Korea I learned when you visit a Korean home, you take your shoes off on a wooden board. You put on slippers or sandals. There were those working in South Korea from foreign countries who didn’t do this. I would see them walk into a Korean’s house without taking off their shoes. I would see the looks of disappointment in the faces of Koreans.
Missionaries work hard at not insulting people in their culture. The same could be said of those who enter the Capitol building. It is referred to as the sacred temple of democracy. It was desecrated on Jan. 6 th, a day Senate Democratic Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, said will be the second day in U.S. history that will live in infamy. The first day was the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, by the Japanese.
I reflect upon what one of the extremists said during the break-in at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. “It’s our house.” You would break windows in your home? You would allow people to steal your belongings and turn your home upside down? You would allow the drafts and the rain to come in. You would allow your home to develop mold. You would give permission for strangers to trash the home you have invested hundreds if not thousands of hours and thousands of dollars maintaining. You would allow many people to break the law and destroy your home? You say it’s your house. I can’t comprehend you having such disrespect for it.
A home is a sanctuary. It’s a safe place to escape from the stress of life. You should enjoy being in your home. How would you feel if you are watching TV, and thugs break in to your home? They threaten to kill you, your wife, and your children. Husbands, what would you do if in protecting your family, your wife was murdered by one of the perpetrators? How would you feel about your children having to hide from being assaulted and possibly killed?
If our home was invaded and my wife, Karen, was killed, I would be devastated.
The people’s house should be a place where everyone feels safe. That didn’t happen on Jan. 6th. House members and staffers were told by the police and congress members with military training to hide under desks and in cloakrooms.
Ashli Babbitt, a 14-year veteran of the U.S. air force, was killed by a police officer. She had so much life ahead of her. Even though she participated in the riot on January 6th it’s still tragic she died.
What is disturbing is these rioters were vandalizing and looting their house. Congressman Adam Johnson has an ear-to-ear grin on his face as he steals Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.
Some of those who stormed the Capitol building were carrying a bag of zip ties, which are handcuffs, A probable conspiracy to murder Nancy Pelosi, who is the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Vice-President Mike Pence is under investigation. Those complicit in this criminal plot were chanting as one person clutched a hangman’s noose, “Hang Pence. Hang Pence.” Trump tweeted that Mike Pence, a colleague who had defended him during the election campaign and while in office like a loyal soldier, was a coward. He failed to invalidate state-certified election results. Vice-President Pence had no choice but do what the U.S. Constitution requires of him.
The scene of offices vandalized and American flags being replaced by Trump ones are painful to see. You hope it’s a nightmare, but you know it isn’t. It’s like experiencing a horrible accident. The memories of it continue after it’s over. I would not be surprised to see a surge in people who develop PTSD and those who have worsening PTSD as a result of this premeditated attack.
It’s despicable conduct that the President and some of his supporters actively encouraged this riot. Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer who took an oath to uphold the law, shouted at the rally before the riot, “Let’s have trial by combat!” He tweeted afterwards that he condemned the violence in the strongest possible terms. What did he think would happen when he incited the crowd with his inflammatory words?
What did President Trump think would happen when he told the crowd to be strong, not weak?
What did Donald Trump Jr. think would happen when he said at a Jan. 6th rally outside the White House,” You have an opportunity today: You can be a hero or you can be a zero. And the choice is yours, but we are all watching,” Trump Jr said. “If you’re gonna be the zero and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re going to have a good time doing it.”
“I suggest you choose wisely,” he warned, adding:” These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what? I’m gonna be in your backyard in a couple of months.”1
He threatened to go to the backyards of those who failed in their responsibility to show their loyalty to President Trump. That wasn’t going to happen. But he did plant a seed in people’s minds that it could happen. You make people think they are important if they obey you and failures if they don’t. This is how you program and indoctrinate people to follow you, You attack their character. You accuse them of being weak if they fail to do what you want. It is an effective way of controlling people. You repeat the concept you want people to believe in different ways. The repetition of the idea embeds the concept in people’s minds.
That is how Adolf Hitler got educated men and women to follow him. If you take the time to listen to just one of his fiery oratories, you will see how he repeats certain phrases to get the crowd whipped into an emotional frenzy. It is terrifying that this same kind of inflammatory rhetoric was used to bend the crowd to the will of Trump Jr. and his father.
I will never forget the image of congresswoman Cheri Bustos as she is lying in terror on the floor of the House of Representatives, That should never happen to anyone. If we remain silent about the things that matter, one day that congresswoman could be one of us.
Every day members of Congress and their families are receiving death threats.
If Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman had not turned the angry mob in the opposite direction of an open Senate chamber, many more people could have been murdered. He did it armed only with a nightstick. He is being hailed as a hero. He is. Officer Goodman would say he was doing his job. He allowed himself to be used as bait to save many lives at the risk of losing his own.
The definition of a hero is an ordinary person doing something in an extraordinary way. Officer Goodman did that, This tragedy could have turned out much worse without his quick thinking.
Five people are dead. At least 50 police officers were injured in this riot.
Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died because President Trump failed to dial down the fury of those who feel this election was stolen. State officials have verified them as being accurate. 61 of 62 court challenges ended in defeat. Trump’s lawyers won one of those cases. A judge determined in Pennsylvania that electors had three days after the election to provide I.D. to “cure” their results. To cure a ballot means to fix it, so it can be included as a verified result. The small number of ballots wouldn’t have changed the outcome in Pennsylvania. The two U.S. Supreme Court challenges were thrown out.
The blood of the dead is on President Donald J. Trump’s hands and those who incited the crowd on January 6th. Those responsible for this act of sedition must be held accountable. How can there be healing for the United States and our world if the guilty escape justice?
We cannot allow this President to run for any political office ever again. He is a dangerous man. Many well-known psychiatrists say President Donald J. Trump is a malignant narcissist. He has wounded America and our world, but he failed to thwart democracy.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are the caretakers of American democracy. Threatening those who take care of your home is no way to treat them. This is not America. America is better than this.
The angry mob failed to subvert democracy. President-Elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were certified as the winners of the 2020 U.S. election.
We need to do our part to be healers in a nation, in a world filled with terror.
What about the shiny innocence that was stolen from young people interning at the U.S. Capitol building? Nancy Pelosi said she could see the fear in them. How long will it take for their wounds to heal? Will they ever fully heal? Only time will tell.
Martin Luther King Jr. would be disappointed to see this sad time for America. He was committed to a path of non-violence. Let his inspiring words touch our hearts. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too heavy a burden to carry.”
Let us set aside our political differences and work together for a united America, and a more peaceful world.
Please pray for peace to come back to the people’s house.
Pray for families, colleagues, and friends who have lost police officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. They need our prayers as they grieve.
Thank God for those who are willing to give the sacrifice of their lives to preserve our democracy.
And, yes, pray even for President Trump. Pray that he sees the truth that he incited the crowd with his incendiary remarks. Pray also that Rudy Giuliani and Trump Jr. will understand that while we have the right to express our opinions, we need to be careful about the words we use and the way we use them.
Censuring this President is not enough. It carries no legal consequence. Action needs to be taken so he never gets the opportunity to run for any political office. He has disgraced the office of the presidency. He violated a position of trust.
Thank you to those who have witnessed that public service comes with the risk of losing your life, but you still serve.
Hate never wins. Love wins. Let that shine.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ―Mary Anne Radmacher
Tomorrow is another day to be people who build up and not destroy others. Hurting lives need healers like you.
You’re not required to always get it right. I blow it. We all do. But courage says, “Get up and try again tomorrow. You’ll do better this time. Really you will.”
That’s how courage lives another day.
Dr. Kevin James Osborne M.A., M.Div., Psy.D.. D.A.B.T.E, C.M.H.C. is Dean of Psychology and President of Student Affairs at St. James the Elder University. Karen Osborne B.A., D.Sc. in Psychology (honoris causa) C.M.H.C. is the Registrar of St. James the Elder University.