In her latest column, Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister asks her readers if they will also stand with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who was ousted from leadership for saying that President Donald Trump lied about the election fraud and that victory was stolen from him. NCR readers responded to Chittister's call with letters to the editor that have been edited for length and clarity.
A brief comment on this article. A recent newspaper puzzle answer sums up the anti-Liz Cheney, Donald Trump-idolizing Republicans all too well: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" — Voltaire (1694-1778).
Minot, North Dakota
Most discerning centrist Republicans and Independents distanced themselves years ago from the hawkish Dick Cheney/George W. Bush/John McCain mentality. In desperation, some dallied briefly in the Mitt Romney camp.
Later, many acted upon the beauty of Barack Obama rhetoric with its righteous cry for moral cleansing by choosing for the first time a president of color and waited anxiously for a transformative, transitional government that might help cleanse the U.S. from its history of "nation building" atrocities. On many levels, Obama's political immaturity disappointed them, so when they saw their nation being taken advantage of and being disrespected on the world stage, they welcomed with open arms an outsider who, like Harry S. Truman, did not suffer fools gladly.
Donald Trump's "promises made and promises kept" resonated with close to 75 million people who confirmed their trust by voting for him in 2020 and truly believe that, due to electronic rigging of the voting machines and on the ground skullduggery, Trump was robbed of his second term. To excoriate, gaslight and cancel 75 million people for being taken in by "The Big Lie" is not only totally opposed to the tenets of our republic, but unchristian. Furthermore, all previous and current efforts to obstruct Republican efforts to legally and forensically prove their case is diabolical and complicit with the biggest lie ever perpetrated on the national, political stage.
Coincidentally, all of the aforementioned deceit and power plays exemplified by dedicated Never Trumpers (like Liz Cheney and Joan Chittister) are more than reminiscent of the Catholic episcopate at large when it discredited, gaslit and canceled the first wave of abuse survivors who bravely stepped forward to expose its Big Lie.
I have just read Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister's column about truth and lying in the national political scene. It seems this topic needs more attention, to keep it alive so that we are not complacent when a major political party decides to stand for a lie rather than truth and to oust from leadership one of their members for telling the truth, Liz Cheney.
Many Catholics vote Republican for various reasons, one of the main ones being the issue of abortion. But if the majority of that party then decides, on another issue, to stand for a lie, how shall the Catholic and Christian, and any decent person, respond to that reality?
And then there are the Republicans who want to sweep the Jan. 6 insurrection under the rug, as though it didn't happen or "it was just a group of unruly tourists." (Give us all a break!)
And so we ought to keep speaking so that the big lie about the 2020 election is not ignored. Joe Biden won the election.
(Fr.) TOM ZELINSKI, OFM Cap.
Elizabeth Lynne Cheney is a staunch advocate of the wealthy and of U.S. imperialism, and therefore an opponent and indeed an active oppressor of the poor (especially non-whites) both domestically and internationally.
Now this horrible figure is being canonized because she opposed someone who is even worse than she is, but only after supporting him and his fascist demagoguery for four years. She is an awful role model. Where's the praise for Rep. Al Green of Texas? That brother was trying to impeach Trump in 2017!
Hamburg, New York
Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, as usual, hits the nail on the head. But she asks, "With whom shall we stand"? I know where I stand, but I don't know how to move myself, my representatives, those who agree, those who have swallowed the Big Lie, the apathetic, the discouraged, the intimidated, the power mongers, etc.
What practical things can I, a 78-year-old woman with caregiver responsibilities in red state Utah, do? Not only on this issue, but on all the other critical ones, like climate change, voting rights, human rights, systemic racism, etc.? Standing isn't enough — and neither is praying!
MARY V. KOLESAR
My congratulations for the clarity and power of your article. I will share it in Facebook.
I appreciate the way you put in evidence that the Big Lie is now not of Donald Trump only, it has become the Big Lie of all the members of the Republican that have demoted her.
I would like to suggest that you give us your reflections on the infiltration of QAnon conspiracy theory in the American religious communities.
EMILIO De LUIGI
St. Catharines, Ontario
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