Marching or Standing By

After telling governors they need to use national guard units to “dominate” protesters; after saying  looters should be shot (rather than arrested); after threatening to bring in the armed forces to any state that doesn’t put down the protesters with violence; our president did in fact use armed forces.

They used tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bombs to “dominate” completely peaceful protesters who wanted justice for a black man murdered in cold blood by Minneapolis police officers. Our president did this so that he could show how powerful he is and how Christian he is by having a photo op in front of a church, holding a Bible he does not own, and has never read.

cartoon by Tim Holmes

There have been many brilliant responses to the violence advocated and practiced by the president and the heroism of protesters against racism across the county. The best I have seen, in my own biased opinion, is from our Montana Logging and Ballet Company friend, Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes, from his blog today at


 At the cross the people stood by watching;
and the leaders scoffed.
                  —Luke 23.35

Three officers stood silent
while a fourth killed a helpless man, slowly.
Centurions at the crucifixion.

To kill, all we have to do is stand silent.
The killing is already going on.
All we have to do is stand by. Stay silent.

Don’t raise your voice.
Don’t protest.
Don’t question what happens.

Don’t object when the Emperor desecrates the holy place.
Don’t defy the secret police.
Don’t cry out. Don’t disrupt.

That’s all you have to do to abet the killing. Stay silent.
The killing will go on, just fine.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Unless you would like your own cross
to bear. Unless you would stand with the man
with the crown of thorns.

Unless you wish to take your faith that seriously
in these serious times.
Unless in you the Holy Spirit is already crying out.

Unless in this kingdom of death you would be resurrected.
Unless you have already died and your life is hidden in Christ.
Unless in you life is stronger than death, love is stronger than fear.


The future of our nation will be determined by whether we are able to march together to get freedom for all of us, or whether we will let the killing continue by standing by.

Here are two songs about marching and gentleness that are both essential sides of the freedom coin. Steve wrote them for the Montana Logging and Ballet Company 30 years ago, but they sound like he penned them for his blog this morning. The songs follow one after the other from this link.

“Freedom Way” from “Take the Barriers Down” album and “Oh Be Gentle” from “We Don’t Get It” album of the Montana Logging and Ballet Company, words and music by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

About admin

Rusty Harper is outrageously happy because he is retired and living with the love of his life, Pat Callbeck Harper in Helena, Montana. So why does he inflict these ramblings on the rest of us, you ask? Because you deserve it. If you aren't smart enough not to read this stuff, then you have to suffer through it. Maybe that builds character, though I doubt it. Think of all the positive things you could do with the time you are wasting on things that occur to me in the night and then sound strange even to me when I write them down in the morning. Bake a cake. Complain to your Senator. Run for Congress. Do something.
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