Let Him Who Is Without Sin

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

By Pamela "Priya" Barr

I’ve been up reading and watching the news since 1:00 a.m. this morning, when President Trump tweeted “Tonight, @Flotus and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Yeah, I follow POTUS on Twitter, but I’m not a Republican.

And yeah, my cousin is the Attorney General, but I’m not a Republican.

So many of the comments of my “friends” on social media—many of whom have “disowned me” because I share DNA with Bill Barr—are utterly gleeful that Trump is sick. “He got what he deserved!” “Sympathy? Hell no!” “Death would be too good for him!” and so on. You get the idea. Maybe you actually posted something to that effect today.

And, if you did, I’m asking you to take a step back and think about it.

Even if you’re not a Buddhist filled with compassion for all sentient beings or a yogi who believes in karma, it’s wrong to hope POTUS suffers or dies or roasts in hell. He’s a tragic figure, not unlike some of the characters in ancient Greek dramas. He probably brought this on himself out of his own hubris—the sin of arrogance and pride. Fortunately for all of us, however, the gods are not going to punish him by having him eat his own children for dinner, as was the fate of some who messed with Zeus.

No, Trump is just like you and me—highly flawed, and, in his case, maybe even fatally so. And that’s sad—deeply, gut-wrenchingly sad, no matter what political party you follow.

I don’t mean to sound preachy, but remember that Sunday school lesson: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”? Well, I think it applies now, as we wait to hear the fate of our president and his wife.

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we are all one. I know that’s a yogic slogan that we’re tired of seeing on T-shirts and mat bags, but I truly mean it. The virus is the great equalizer, in its perverse way. And, at the end of the day, Trump, for all his many and egregious flaws, is just one of us. And he's sick and suffering.

So instead of ranting on social media about the bastard getting his just deserts, let’s pray for his recovery. Quietly. Sincerely. You and me. All of us Democrats. We’ll be better people for it.

Priya is an art historian, trained at Yale, who was employed as a senior editor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for about thirty years. She now works as a freelance editor and counts The Warrior Flow Foundation among her clients. When Priya was two, her mom began teaching her yoga. Priya is a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji) and often sings with Krishna Das' Cosmic Kirtan Posse. She divides her time between Manhattan and upstate New York and has a special "home" in a small village in Belize.


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