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Seeking truth after the Capitol chaos

How colorful conversations can remind us what’s important

Seeking truth after the Capitol chaos

The U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

I called my Uncle Courtney the night of Jan. 8. We hadn’t talked since July and besides catching up, I wanted to hear his take on the events in Washington the day before.  We sit on different ends of the spectrum—he leans left, while I am a conservative. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched the news unfold, but I imagined Courtney’s reaction to be one of anger. 

A big cup of coffee at my side (he is a talker), I dialed his number. He answered and I readied my notebook and pen—he is always good for some Southern gems, and just in case I ever need a colloquialism for a colorful character in something I’m writing, I try to jot down the best turns of phrase. Courtney didn’t let me down, calling his two brothers “Whiskypalians” right off the bat for their allegiance to Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

I asked what he’d been doing that day, how he came to hear about the chaos interrupting what ought to have been an orderly counting of Electoral College votes. He’d been home with COVID-19 and was awaiting a hip replacement—the perfect conditions for having nothing to do but watch the feed from the House Chamber. The president’s speech had cycled through the major news channels earlier that day, and Courtney told me Trump “knew when he fired ’em up and sent ’em off” that something like this would happen.

I never thought I’d align so closely with Courtney in his criticism of Trump. I’ve listened to clips from the president’s rally on the day of the chaos at the Capitol, and I agree with my uncle—yes, Trump fired them up and then slipped off to see the results.  

The wound in Washington has been poorly treated, as though it were not serious. Some of my left-leaning relatives imagine a Biden administration will cure what ails us. They cry, “peace, peace,” but they are not ashamed of the left’s loathsome actions on abortion. The right seems to desire power above all else, and no one is telling the whole truth. 

My prayer for our nation is that we would heed the words of Jeremiah 5:1: “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.” We must be men and women who do justice and seek truth. We must elevate only those leaders who live by these standards.

After an hour of talking Trump and political intrigue, I managed to squeeze in a thank you for the laser-tag game Courtney had sent our boys for Christmas. “Your great-grandmother, Mama May, well, she always gave us something awful like rabbit-fur gloves,” implying his desire to give better gifts. I jotted down that family story in my notebook, too, glad I’d called my uncle. Glad we’d talked about things that mattered.

Julie Spencer is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute mid-career course.

Comments

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  • HANNAH.
    Posted: Sat, 01/16/2021 02:45 pm

    “How colorful conversations can remind us what’s important”: Indeed! God’s Word is full of color. I’ve just recently understood the importance of “scarlet” – a symbol of salvation. 

    Consider Rahab and her family (Joshua 2 and 6), saved because of a scarlet cord (Joshua 2:12-13, 17-21). Through Isaiah 1:10-26, the LORD speaks of evil and redemption: sins like scarlet (Isaiah 1:18). We must defend children and women (Isaiah 1:17, 23). I can do that through the weapon of prayer. 

    In Matthew 27:27-31, the governor’s soldiers put a scarlet robe on Jesus. Though mocking the Son of God, our Savior, they fulfilled prophecy: He died for our sins, rose from the grave to conquer death, and is coming again to redeem those who have faithfully followed Him – even at the cost of their lives here on earth.

  • Kevin Abegg
    Posted: Mon, 01/18/2021 12:33 pm

    Thank you Ms. Spencer for such an encouraging article. I apreciate the color and candor of your uncle leading up to the Jeremiah passage.  A joy to read!

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Mon, 01/18/2021 03:00 pm

    Wonderful article. I'm reminded of my phone calls with my 95 year old feisty aunt, who has been quarantined in her assisted living facility since March. I never know what she'll have to say about the state of affairs, but it is always enlightening. I figure she has earned the right to express any opinion she wants. We can learn from our elder elders.

  • PILLMAN PILGRIM
    Posted: Tue, 01/19/2021 09:18 am

    I am concerned that many World Journalists are believing much of the main stream media bias as to what happened that day, Jan.6,2021 at the Capitol.  At least we should be considering another point of view.  I have listened also to Pres. Trump's speech.  He did not incite the crowd to violence.  He did encourage peaceful protesting.  For one thing, the Trump supporters were frustrated because their voice was not being heard.  What are they saying? "This election was fraught with so much fraud that the results are wrong."  Trump beat Biden at the polls.  There were foreign and domestic actors who flipped votes, dumped illegitimate ballots into the system and came up with the results they wanted.  It was not free or fair and there was no integrity.  More than that when concerned citizens have filed affadavits and other proof (videos of ballots being pulled out from under tables,) no court of law or even legislature has tested the cases.  The people are frustrated.  That does not make violence acceptable in any way and Trump did not ask for violence.  He asked for constitutionally protected peaceful protests.

    Back to Jan. 6.  I believe this was a fully orchestrated, planned protest by the violent left crowd of BLM, antifa and even a Russian operative who dressed as Trump supporters and stormed the Capitol making it look like it was Trump supporters gone violent.  I won't deny that some legitimate Trump supporters got swept in.  It became a mob (which was exactly what the left wanted it to look like).  But we should not just run with the media narrative that the left wants.  Lets speak truth as the truth comes out.  Trump and many Republicans said that any law breakers should be punished to the full extent of the law.  Where were the democratic politicians when our cities were burning this summer?  Were they crying for law and order and punishing the wrong doers planted amonst the peaceful protestors? They are continuing with the same playbook and being fully protected by courts, media and politicians or every stripe.

    Michelle Bochman was one on site observer.  You can check out her story on olivetreeviews.com  See what her take is.

    Why does World keep saying that Biden won the election?  Why do they say that the two democratic senators won the GA election fair and square?  It was not fair and it was not square.  It needs to be called out or at least investigated.  You have heard what Rudy Guiliano and Sydney Powell have been alleging.  This allegations need to be verifyied or debunked by forensic investigating, public opinion, courts, politiciaans I gather they have .enough evidence from regular patriotic citizens that it would hold up in a court of law. Check out Michael Lindell of Mypillow

    I am from WI and I have a newly elected State Assemblyman named Clint Moses.  He syas he is going to check out some of the allegations here in WI.  We need to hold our elected officials accountable for voter fraud.  If what some are alleging is true, Trump truly won the election.  Why are we inauguarating a President who did not win in an election with transparency and integfrity?  If you can prove to me that Biden legitimately won, we are sad, but we move on in legitimate ways to win the next cycle.  But so much evidence shows otherwise, that I need to be convinced.  What is wrong with investigating and looking for the truth.  Really the future of a constitutional republic hangs in the balance.

      

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Wed, 01/20/2021 12:09 am

    Great reply! Yes, essentially they rigged the vote the second time around - again! The same system and process was setup so why should we expect a different outcome? 

  • JUSTIN10292000
    Posted: Thu, 01/21/2021 07:11 pm

    Exactly. Well said. The usurper is NOT MY PRESIDENT!

  • CM
    Posted: Sun, 01/31/2021 07:50 pm

    I am also from Wisconsin, and the claims of fraud in the election in our state have been investigated.  There is no fraud to be found.  Please wake up, and if you worship the God of truth, the Creator of the Bible, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, please stop spreading unsubstantiated lies.  https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/in-thousands-of-complaints-about-wisconsin-election-few-that-could-be-substantiated/article_e7f37ef6-4072-536c-aea6-4427de4fcc99.html

  • R AND D
    Posted: Wed, 02/03/2021 04:03 am

    CM – I have read the article you cite yet it provides no mention of the hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chaired by Senator Ron Johnson (WI) on December 16. Attorney and former Judge James Troupis, as a sworn witness, presents the case regarding irregularities in the state of Wisconsin, including the research discovered during the recount where over 200,000 votes were counted in violation of the state’s election law. This number is ten times the margin between Biden and Trump. Please view his testimony at: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/examining-irregularities-in-the-2020-election  (52:29 into hearing) Also, his comments at 2:34:02 and 3:42:40 regarding public distrust should be heard by any who are sincerely concerned about election integrity.

  • R AND D
    Posted: Thu, 01/21/2021 01:14 pm

    Facts matter. FBI brings conspriracy charges re riot at Capitol - planning dates back to at least January 1.

    Video link:https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6224268946001

  •  BoyScout's picture
    BoyScout
    Posted: Thu, 01/21/2021 08:37 pm

    Julie,

    "Trump fired them up"??? - perhaps but AFTER the main actors of the day had slipped away and started the assault on the capital.  The assault started first.

    "the right is seeking power above all else"  are you kidding me?  Censorship, silencing the opposition, cancel culture, re-education camps - all rhetoric of the left, not the right

    "no one is telling the truth" - amen, the core problem, truth is a casualty of our time

    "we must elevate only those leaders" - what if none of them qualify under this standard?  I would propose we elevate those that kill the fewest unborn, not the most.

    I challenge you to read your work before posting and ask if you have a good handle on the facts and the truth first.

    Jim Molnar

    Atlanta

  • CM
    Posted: Sun, 01/31/2021 07:53 pm

    Excellent article, Julie.  I, too, have found it fruitful to continue dialoguing with friends and relations who may have a different political viewpoint than I do.  Keep up the good work.