I think everyone who’s ever attended church when they were feeling guilty has at some point felt like the preacher was speaking directly to them. There’s something about knowing that a guy who reports directly to The Big Man™ knows your secrets that just makes you squirm in your seat.
But for Donald Trump, it had to be doubly squirm-inducing, both because he is guilty, and because the priest was speaking to him personally.
There’s no other possible way to explain Reverend James Harlan’s choice of sermons for the Holy Eucharist on Christmas Eve, which centered on the power of words and our duty to use them responsibly:
Words matter. The book of Proverbs talks often about the power of words. Proverbs 18, for example says death and life are in the power of the tongue. Words can build up or tear down. Words can speak truth or obfuscate truth. Words convey information, emotion, motivation.”
No president has ever depended on their words more than Trump, who said two years ago almost to the day:
Now I just call them stupid. I went to an Ivy League school. I’m very highly educated. I know words, I have the best words…but there is no better word than stupid.”
One wonders whether the priest had Trump’s 45 million-follower Twitter feed in mind when he elaborated on the power of words, presumably while looking Donald directly in the eye:
Your words and mine too often give voice to and empower the darkness that sometimes seems to loom so large. Your words and mine can have as much destructive and divisive potential as creative and healing potential.”
Unfortunately, the message either went over the president’s head or he simply cared about it as little as he cares about the average American citizen. Within hours, Trump was back at it on his phone, furiously tweeting more lies about the fictional “War on Christmas” and getting himself ready for what is soon to be an epic final showdown with investigators and the law.
It’s too bad Reverend Harlan didn’t call him out by name and point to his pew.
You can watch the service here:
Featured image via screen capture