Today is Good Friday, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, the day when, according to Christian theology, Christ was crucified. For the first time in years I opened up the Book of Common Prayer and looked at the Liturgy for Good Friday.
The Anglican tradition has a lengthy set of prayers for this day. Some of them are easier than others: praying for the hungry and homeless, the destitute and oppressed; the sick and wounded; those in loneliness, fear, and anguish; those who face temptation, doubt, and despair; the sorrowful and bereaved; prisoners and captives, and those in mortal danger.
There are a set of prayers about people being called to the church, which I mentally ignore, except for the last one: it is a prayer for those who persecute others in the name of Christ, that God would open their hearts to the truth, and lead them to faith and obedience. This is my favorite prayer in the Book of Common Prayer, although I wish they had an explicit prayer for those who have been persecuted in the name of Christ.
But there is one set of prayers that draws me up short. The Liturgy calls on us to pray
For the President of the United States,
For the Congress and the Supreme Court,
For the Members and Representatives of the United Nations
For all who serve the common good
Whoa. Talk about difficult. Okay, I have no problem praying for the Representatives of the United Nations. May God give them health and wisdom. I have no problem praying for those who serve the common good — there are a lot of them out there.
But Donald Trump? Mike Pence? Mitch McConnell? These men do not serve the common good and have shown themselves impervious to attempts tp correct their corrupt ways. If anything, they have gotten even more brazen in their efforts to continue their unprincipled power grab as time goes on.
My brain keeps praying for Trump and McConnell, though: it keeps praying they get coronavirus and die. In as painful way as possible. I find myself praying for Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to get coronavirus and die, too, although in a gentle, painless manner.
I keep feeling these are improper prayers, and I think that praying for death for someone shows a damaged soul.
But right now it’s all I can manage about these men.