Part 2 of "IMPEACHMENT: Constitutional, Moral, or Spiritual?"
[See Part 1 on the right-hand column of this Home Page. -- AW, editor]
For the human species and a million others now imperiled, our present crisis is meta-Constitutional. The present President has taken many actions to subsidize and support the Corporate Carbon Pharaohs that are burning the Earth -- what Pope Francis called our common home. But those actions do not violate any explicit provision of the US Constitution.
But in any sane world, risking the extinction of the human race would be the Highest conceivable of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Claiming that there is no climate crisis, that it is all a hoax, does not exonerate him – even if he believes It. Claiming that bullets do not kill, that shooting someone dead is not a criminal act because the claim that bullets kill is a hoax, does not exonerate a murderer.
Our present crisis is also meta-Constitutional in the sense that there is no agreed world-wide Constitution. No governmental body, not even the UN, has the power and legitimate authority to make enforceable decisions about the two universal threats to human survival – the H-Bomb and the climate/ extinction crisis.
That presence of that absence arises from a spirituality that lifts separate nationhoods far above the Breath of Life that all peoples and all species share – the Interbreathing that keeps all life on Earth alive. The partial and limited sacred value of nationhood, a carved-out piece of the Unity, is being worshipped as if it were the Whole, the One.
That is the very definition of idolatry, and as the Psalms (115 and 135) teach, its consequence is death. Unchallenged, it will mean the physical death of a million species, quite possibly the human race among them.
In yesterday’s Shalom Report, I listed a number of Mr. Trump’s actions that are clear and unswerving attempts to subjugate various communities within and beyond the American people, to shatter American democracy, and to elevate cruelty into US national policy. All, I suggested, not only impeachable but crucial to include in a Bill of Impeachment if we are to deal with the moral and spiritual crisis of American society.
Yet beyond even his attempts to throttle American and other struggles toward democracy, Mr. Trump has taken actions even more threatening to the lives of millions of Americans, billions of other human beings, and a million other species:
For he has not merely ignored the threat to global climate and denied the reality of a climate crisis, but has taken active steps to worsen the crisis into climate chaos and catastrophe.
He has withdrawn the US from the Paris Accord that was the first serious effort of all the nations in solemn assembly to face the crisis. The Paris Accord has its deep shortcomings -- literally, it falls short of what is needed. But Mr. Trump did not try to correct them. Quite the opposite.
He has canceled limits on emissions of CO2 and methane from autos, coal plants, and fracking.
He has prepared licenses to multiply oil wells and pipelines in our already troubled oceans and in our precious national parks and forests.
He is trying to weaken the protection of endangered species.
He has ap[pointed Cabinet officers and regulatory officials who care far more about Hyper-Profits for the Mega-Corporations they came from than about serving the needs pf the people or the survival of life on Planet Earth.
These acts are calculated to multiply the Hyoerwealth of great corporations and to torment and shorten the lives of low-income, disempowered people who are the first to suffer from epidemics of asthma and cancer, flooded homes, burnt-out towns, poisoned water, drought-plagued farms, higher food prices.
You might think acts like these have all been done before. Wealthy corporations have not only gouged their customers but have sometimes brought in private or public police forces and full governmental power to kill striking workers seeking livable wages, livable hours, and protections against letting factories catch fire and burn their workers to death. Workers and others have struggled, and sometimes succeeded, to stop these abuses of power.
But never before has the entire future of humanity been under threat from what seems like “mere” economic injustice. All these acts, and despite them his continuing hold on power in the American national/ imperial government, arise from a deep spiritual crisis amongst the American people. The minds and hearts of a large minority of Americans have been spiritually captured by subservience to enormous wealth and lethal violence, and by the transmutation of fearing the future into hating and assailing those who are weaker.
These presidential desolations should each be made the grounds for its own Article of Impeachment, all in support of the one basic “High Crime and Misdemeanor” that has been committed again and again by Mr. Trump. That High Crime has been his consistent use of arrogance and cruelty to try to subjugate and shatter all independent energies that affirm and embody American democracy.
We should demand that the Bill of Impeachment name these crimes as well as the more conventional ones against the American body/spirit politic. For each of these crimes is part of the policy of cruelty and subjugation, and naming them is crucial to guiding the future actions of every leader of the United States and indeed of every nation, every corporation.
Mr. Trump’s consistent behavior reenacts the idolatrous politics of Pharaoh and of the Caesars who demanded they be not only politically obeyed but worshipped as gods. Mr. Trump has, indeed, even encouraged references to himself as the Messianic figure chosen by God to redeem the world. For them and for him, all-encompassing political power was identical with idolatry.
For us, democracy as politics is the fruit that grows from the spiritual root of the spark of God in every human being and in all Creation. Protecting and healing the ecosystems of all Earth is the fruit that grows from the spiritual root of God’s creation of each species, and from the recognition that one aspect of God’s Own Self is the Holy Interbreathing Spirit of all life.
We share these thoughts with you to encourage your own thoughts, and we welcome your writing us to share your responses and comments.
If you are ready to go beyond contemplation to action -- ready to urge that the Articles of Impeachment address acts of cruelty and subjugation beyond the Ukraine Affair, please click to our website for the on-line version of this article, and look carefully at the last few paragraphs.
How to do this? We suggest kinds of action:
First, .Call 202-224-3121, ask for your Member of the House of Representatives. If you don’t know her/his name, give the operator your zip code. Once you are connected with the right office, ask for the staffer who is working on Impeachment concerns, or if necessary leave a recorded message.
Say your name, city, and neighborhood, who you are as a person and constituent, and then say your own version of this message: “I believe the impeachment of this President is a moral and spiritual necessity, and I believe that every episode of his cruelty, his efforts to undo American democracy, and his attacks on the web of human and other life on Earth – each episode -- should make up a separate Article of Impeachment.” Whether you are talking to a live person or a tape recording, ask, “What is Congressperson X’s view on that?
Then give your name and phone number, ask for a call-back about the Congressmember’s view on this, and say a polite goodbye.
Second: Write a letter to your local paper—a city-wide paper, or a communal paper (religious, cultural, ethnic, etc)
Third: Talk with your friends who are likely to be open to an ethical, moral, and spiritual way of thinking about public questions, and ask them to join you in a visit to your Congressperson’s local office to discuss precisely this question. (You might start by asking your rabbi, minister, priest, or imam.) Make clear that you support impeachment, and a broad basis for it. If at least three people say Yes, arrange a time or date to meet with the House Member if s/he is at home, or with a staffer if not. When you meet, start by sharing who you and your people are and then in your own words ask the question above. Listen to ypur Congressmember, as well as