Waking Up in Shock by Carol P. Christ

I went to sleep in Greece on Wednesday night January 6 feeling elated that Jon Ossoff, following Raphael Warnock whose victory had been declared earlier, was officially named the winner of his runoff election in Georgia, returning the Senate to the Democrats by the slimmest of margins. I expected to wake up to the celebration of Stacey Abrams’ contribution to the victory and to listening to commentators discussing how it came about and what we could expect from the next Congress.

Instead, I learned that a violent insurrection by thousands of people hoping to overturn the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had taken place in the Capitol of the United States. It was clear from the early footage that there had been a massive failure on the part of police and security forces to secure the Capitol building. The President himself, abetted by his son Don Junior, Rudy Guiliani, and other Republicans, urged the mob to march to the Capitol and to fight to overturn the certification of the Electoral College results. This is why Democrats will most likely move to impeach him for a second time.

Just as disturbing is the emerging news that the Capitol Police had been adequately warned that some of the groups urging their members to attend the rally were posting on social media about their intent to storm the Capitol. Apparently there had been discussions about trying and hanging Vice President Pence and also about killing Nany Pelsoi. Questions have been raised about how the mob knew its way about secret rooms within the Capitol building, with the suspicion being that members of Congress, their staff, or security personnel within the building had been in communication with leaders of the mob.

Though the press has been hesitant to fuel the fires by reporting on it, insurrectionist groups are calling for armed rallies at the US Capitol and state capitols on Inauguration Day or in the days leading up to it. In other words, the failed coup of January 6 could be the beginning, not the end of violent insurrection in the United States. Some former members of the military (including one of the women who was killed) and some former police officers took part in the failed coup. Given the failure of the Capitol Police and other relevant law enforcement authorities including the FBI to prevent the mob from entering the Capitol building, there is good reason to suspect that there are active sympathizers with the insurrectionists in police forces around the country and in the FBI and in the military.

Commentators were quick to compare the militarized response to Black Lives Matter protests to the response to the events of January 6. Obviously, those charged with protecting the public order find largely peaceful protests by black people and their white allies to be more of a threat than the Proud Boys and their ilk. In other words, we cannot depend on the police or the military to do everything in their powers to stop the ongoing insurrection.

I wish I knew what to say about this. There are of course things that can be done. The President can be impeached in order to send a strong message that his words and behavior will not be tolerated. We can hope against hope that Republicans will join the Democrats in the impeachment. We can hope that the Biden administration will be able to pass meaningful gun control legislation. A thorough investigation can be conducted into the failure to protect the Capitol against insurrection. We can hope that the air will finally come out of the President’s balloon now that he is banned from Twitter.

But even if all of this and more were to happen, we would still be left with a deeply divided country in which one side is so rooted in fixed beliefs that no appeal to reality or facts is likely to sway them. While white people have generally believed that the police and the military are there to protect us, we may be forced to recognize—as black people have always known–that the police and the military cannot be counted on to protect us, nor to uphold the law and to safeguard our government’s institutions.

I fear for my country’s future.

See Michael Moore’s Facebook video on the crisis.


Carol P. Christ is an internationally known feminist and ecofeminist writer, activist, and educator who lives in Heraklion, Crete. Carol’s recent book is Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. Carol has been leading Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete for over twenty years: join her in Crete. Carol’s photo by Michael Honneger.

Listen to Carol’s a-mazing interview with Mary Hynes on CBC’s Tapestry recorded in conjunction with her keynote address to the Parliament of World’s Religions.



Author: Carol P. Christ

Carol P. Christ is a leading feminist historian of religion and theologian who leads the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete, a life transforming tour for women. www.goddessariadne.org

13 thoughts on “Waking Up in Shock by Carol P. Christ”

  1. yes Carol …I am sorry to say that I also think that Jan 6th could just be the beginning, unless authorities take action, and it doesn’t seem that they want to. There seems a desire in the powers that be, for the rise of a dictatorship … I don’t think they care who heads it, #45 has been a useful person. I hope we are wrong and that appropriate action will be taken to prevent further violence, on 20th Jan.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your thoughts are my own. I was NOT shocked by this attack. I expected something horrible to happen – Americans have excused t’s behavior and those of his dangerous cult members for four years by REFUSING to face the reality that this man is insane and incredibly threatening to democracy. And even now where’s the accountability? People watched passively as the situation escalated for four years so the American people are culpable too. That t has military, police, FBI support is obvious. I don’t expect any of them to protect us from this man’s craziness – Even if we manage to get through the inauguration without incident which I doubt – we are immersed in a division that is so deep and so wide that I cannot imagine how to bridge the gap – even on a personal level. Every day I ask myself the question – how do I begin to talk to people who simply HATE me for who I am?????

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I feel you there. It’s going to take a long time before Trumpism wears off and the supporters fade away, try to go back to normal lives. Probably will take years, sadly. I’ve had to cut off a lot of people in my life because of this madman and his ignorant venom myself. I hope like hell this splits the GOP and the “Classic Republicans”, closer to what The Lincoln Project folks have been. I haven’t been a Republican in many years and don’t agree with most of their positions, but at least I would be willing to dialogue and listen to them. I can’t listen to a Trumper because they only spout and don’t care about the truth or reason. And if you don’t drink the Kool-Aid, too, you’re the enemy. It’s ridiculous and not what a democracy is about.

      I just hope the next few days will wake up the folks that were on the fringes and make them not want to go to the planned armed marches all over the country… but I fear thousands will still show in every state.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I am going to make the suggestion that often with healing work, things get worse before they get better. The anger and the fear is in full boil right now as the work of ‘balance’ proceeds. People who epitomize the worse of patriarchy (Trump, the Proud Boys) are not going to go quietly into that good night. They are scared, and they are angry at the change that is here and coming. And this year will be a bumpy ride for it. I also believe that they could no more stop what is coming (more ‘balance’ for all cultures, genders, the Earth) than they could stop the coming of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance. It is ‘history’ (this time changing to ‘herstory’ and ‘their story’ ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also fear for the future of the U.S. And what I can’t understand is why it took the news media and all the people who watch TV news and listen to radio news and read news online–i.e., all of us–why it took us four years to figure out what Trump was doing the whole time: lying and undermining democracy (and civilization) in every way he could. Reporters and talking heads kept using the soft word “untruths” instead of saying right out that the huge Orange Tyrannosaurus Rex was LYING. Of course he lied about the election. He’s been a liar all his life. Remember–one of his most powerful mentors was Roy Cohn, who was probably one of the most evil men ever born. Ditto The Donald.

    Well, maybe the Capitol police, the D.C. police, the National Guard, and whoever else they bring to D.C. to protect the inauguration will be awake and on guard from now on. Let’s hope!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh Barbara – these are the questions we need to be asking –

    “And what I can’t understand is why it took the news media and all the people who watch TV news and listen to radio news and read news online–i.e., all of us–why it took us four years to figure out what Trump was doing the whole time: lying and undermining democracy (and civilization) in every way he could.

    Why did it? As a psychologist I am obsessed by this questions because I DID see it – it scared me so much I had to drop out of politics for four years….its also why I expected something would happen and I am still so WORRIED….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You know what? I think the TV news (and maybe other sources of news) either thought they were being polite or maybe they’re all chicken. Why can “ordinary” people like us see and say what we see when they cannot? Cluck cluck cluck. Hah!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Because the news media are owned by rich Republicans who tell journos to follow the Rethug party line or else. Trump has been good for clicks. I hope he fades into insignificance. Actually, I hope he goes to prison. He and Bernie Madoff can have a nice time playing checkers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw the Michael Moore vid twice yesterday. I was dismayed and felt bad for him, trying to keep his composure and minimize his anger while speaking slowly and carefully. Some of what he said about the Capitol and how it must’ve been at least partly an inside job just chilled me. And all the cops from around the country that were in the mob… that made me shudder. I doubt I’ll leave the house again til the inauguration.

    Liked by 1 person

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