The world has been a heart-wrenching place lately. Here in the US we might have enjoyed the disfunction watching the House Republicans choose a Speaker, but as we’ve learned more about Mike Johnson—a name so generic I feel it should always be encased in quotes—and it’s all bad. The worst part is finding out that a Christian dominionist is now third in line to the presidency.
You can read more about Christian dominionism here, but in a nutshell, it’s a flavor of right wing Christianist extremism that takes the opposite view of people waiting for the rapture. Dominionists believe that the earth must be improved for Christ to come back, and so they must take over the government to create the world Jesus wants. (It’s funny, right, because they can’t see the irony?)
And this religious and political extremist is now going to be in charge of crafting the US response to the Israeli-Hamas war, and that war is so heart-breaking and awful. And with extremists running both war rooms, there’s very little hope for some kind of workable agreement. I continue to hope that Joe Biden can negotiate something, but even Dark Brandon can only do so much.
Feeling overwhelmed by tragedy isn’t a good place to be. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. I keep reminding myself of something one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, wrote—that if you want to have loving feelings, you need to do loving things, things that as a kid in the Catholic church we called the corporal works of mercy. These are things that help people in the here and now: food, water, shelter, medical help, etc.
One of my favorite charities is World Central Kitchen which I learned about when they fed people in DC during the last government shutdown. You may remember that WCK showed up in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and is seemingly everywhere people are hungry and in trouble. I learned that WCK has partnered with a local group in Gaza to provide people in Gaza with staples for cooking, so when I feel the despair start to rise, I send then a contribution. I know it can’t fix the whole problem, but it help someone.
I think that’s really all any of us can do—to try to alleviate some tiny part of the misery we see around us in the ways we can help using our time, our talents, and our money.
Take care of yourselves. Here’s a song for peace: