Recovering Democracy

“Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.”

Catherine of Siena

Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

Now would not be a good time for anyone in the United States to take a stress test.  Having experienced the deadliest pandemic in 100 years, witnessed racist violence in cities across the country, and endured deep political divisions that have made movement on urgent social issues impossible to address in Congress, we face an unimaginable crisis.  The mind-numbing attack on the US Capitol on January 6 left most of us reeling and trying to comprehend what was happening.

As I attempt to process the reality of a coup, and insurrection of thousands of “proud boys,” neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and conspiracy theorists, I come to the realization that truth has been missing in action for the last four years.  Social media has provided a platform for lies, disinformation, and conspiracy theories gone mad.  Finally, Facebook and Twitter have halted President Trump from using the platforms indefinitely, but this action comes much too late.  The power of anyone occupying the presidency and using social media or standing in front of a camera can sway millions, make it impossible to pass legislation, and bring fear to those who just want to be reelected.

Conspiracy theorists have written a script of lies that they dressed up as truth. “The election was rigged,” a mantra promoted by the president, continuously fed through social media, and promoted even before the election. The seeds for a violent coup attempt were planted early.  The consequences were obvious: the lives of governors and secretaries of state, the speaker of the house, and the vice president were threatened. Five people died… another Capitol officer committed suicide days after the attack.

By Tyler Merbler from USA – DSC09523-2, CC BY 2.0,

Lies led to the storming of the Capitol by domestic terrorists armed with military-style assault weapons, explosives, tear gas, guns, knives, confederate battle flags, waving racist hand signals. They wore shirts that mocked the Holocaust and carried flags that said, “Jesus is my Savior, Trump is my President.”

This white mob was on a mission to take prisoners and demand the election be overturned.  They were fed Gospel-like lies of the deep state taking over lives and Trump was the savior of the country.

The property that was destroyed – windows broken, doors torn down, computers stolen, can be replaced.  Can the human spirit be revived?  Can trust in the government be restored?  Can political parties do the hard work of promoting the common good, and put partisanship aside?  The biggest challenge: can lies be addressed vigorously and immediately?

We have had a leadership vacuum in our political world for years.  Sins against truth continue to be found in all of our institutions, including our own Church.  Truth has taken a beating in social media and in many avenues of communication.  Our “better angels” need to demand that truth permeate all platforms, or simply wait for the next coup.  What is more important than resuscitating truth and restoring a democracy?  Maybe then someone will write volume 2 of PROFILES IN COURAGE.




Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

16 responses to “Recovering Democracy

  1. Thank you, Judy for your sharing the Truth of what is happening in America as well as our Church. As Dominican Sisters of Peace, we are questioning what is God asking of us today. I believe you are helping us to assist others to come to the Truth also within ourselves as well. How have we have been taken in by a lack of truth in our own lies. Pope Francis’s book on “We Have a Dream is a good start.

  2. Judy,
    Thank you…I always appreciate your informative and thought provoking blogs….and today especially, this one..

    The path ahead is not clear, but a few things are true: be alert for wolves in sheep’s clothing, speak the truth as though we had a thousand voices, and …we are not alone..

  3. Good analysis and commentary, Judy. Thanks for writing this & for helping us to see that our hearts & lives are very much needed for the struggle ahead.

  4. I felt a bit of hope today watching the members of the house discuss debate and vote for impeachment. Justice and peace is the only way forward! I am proud to wear my OPA pin.

  5. Dear Sr. Judy,

    Thank you for your most articulate article that helps me try to understand how all this can actually be happening. My Aunt Sr. Regina McCarthy is an OP. You are my hero’s. God’s women fighting for justice and peace.❤️

  6. Thanks for your message, Judy. I too am wondering what we Dominicans can do to Preach The Truth loud enough to drown out the Lies.

  7. Judy you are truly our voice in this position. I congratulate you for your wisdom and forthrightness. Thank you for expressing so well my thoughts and feelings

  8. Thank you, Sr. Judy.
    We will heal! America is strong and through faith, we will grow stronger. We have President Elect, Joe Biden and VP Elect Kamala Harris to guide us through the pandemic and corrupt government of the last four years. Joe Biden is one of us, and will work diligently everyday to repair what has been destroyed. Be Peace and stay strong as we begin to heal around the world.

  9. Sister Judy, Thanks so much for your thoughtful insights.
    It makes me appreciate the Dominican hunger for truth and study.
    Pax et bonum.

  10. Judy, I add my thanks for your blog as well. A number of Sisters asked me today, “Have you read Judy’s blog? It’s really good.” You have captured so much of what we are all thinking and feeling.

  11. Such a comprehensive reflection on such horrific times in our country. You put into words some things for which I had trouble finding words. Thank you Sr. Judy. The Truth will never be wrong.

  12. Judy, I too have been struggling over the insurrection and I would say attempted coup to keep Trump in office. The BIG LIE has been embedded in the psyche of America. I ask myself, what are Dominicans to do? What is ours to do and how are we to be going forward? I ponder these questions and need to come to some direction, some approach that is about proclaiming the truth and no longer just let the BIG LIE pass by. All of us have a role to play in what happens next. thanks.

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