January 18, 2021
Dear Senator Hawley,
First of all, I want to wish you a Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. What did you do today? So many political leaders were giving speeches, participating in Zoom conferences on social justice or spending time at food banks working to pack up meals for those in need. Oh, wait, I see you Tweeted a nice platitude about celebrating his life and legacy and how he was and “continues to be a reminder that one person committed to justice can change the world.” It’s nice to know you are so committed to justice.
I had actually never heard of you before last week. You remember last week? You became famous for your stance on “justice”. I do have a few questions about your speech during the counting of the electoral ballots. First you condemned the violence that took place just a few hours earlier. Then you said, “Violence is not how you achieve change”. Then you said, “We do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud.” You already knew that there were more than 60 legal cases looking into potential “irregularities” and “fraud,” but none were found, and the cases were all thrown out of courts. You also knew that the violent people in the Capitol building were looking to change an election by violent means. My first question is, did you think you could change an election by lying? My next question is, did you think that hinting there could be something hinky about elections in other states wasn’t a lie? Did you think that “Justice” was being served by your speech? Did you think you would be seen as some kind of hero? Did you think?
I was curious about what was driving your efforts to lie and then pretend you were defending the lie that there was fraud in the election. I was curious to know why a “deep thinker” like you wanted to challenge Senator Ted Cruz as the most hated person in the Senate. I read some articles about you, including the one by Katherine Stewart in the NYTImes. There was one quote from you that really stood out. “We are called to take that message (that Christianity has sole legitimate authority over all aspects of human life) into every sphere of life that we touch, including the political realm…to seek the obedience of the nations. Of our nation”. Since I’m not a Christian but I’m also not a “pagan secularist” (that is a line from David Lang, a political organizer for Christian conservatives), I have to say your words on January 6, 2020 don’t sound very Christian, very “just” or even justified.
Your idea of freedom is to conform to your conservative Christian ideas, not the Constitution of the United States. Your beliefs deny me my rights to follow my beliefs. If you want to demand allegiance to your version of religion, may I suggest returning to your studies and become a priest, not a United States Senator.
I’ll stick with the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.