Sister Joan Daugherty Chittister, O.S.B. (born April 26, 1936), is an American Benedictine nun, theologian, author, and speaker. She has served as Benedictine prioress and Benedictine federation president, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women.
She is REALLY a smart lady, and this is what she had to say about Liz Cheney this morning.
"In 1975, a quote in The Oak and the Calf carried a warning from one of the most profound thinkers of the era. "In our country," Russian writer and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, "the lie has become not just a moral category, but a pillar of the state."
It gave me great pause until, now, I myself have seen the truth of it.
"The fact that one of the oldest political parties in the United States has purged a member — a leader of the party, to be exact — for telling the truth. The truth. Not for telling a lie. For telling the truth."
"You heard me. That's what can't be true."
Because if it is true, who do they think is harmed by it? Liz Cheney? Get real. Liz Cheney is right up there with George Washington now. Any child who ever heard of George Washington has known that we need someone to remind us that truth — trustworthiness — is an essential component of leadership for a good long time now.
No, in the end it will not be Cheney who suffers from this debacle. The people who will be harmed are the people who did it. One hundred and forty-seven Republicans voted to expel Cheney from her leadership role for admitting that President Joe Biden won the election, not Donald Trump. Eighty percent of Republicans, the polls say, agree with Cheney's purge for telling that truth. So it's their lie now; not simply Trump's. It belongs to the people who are denying us the integrity we're looking for, and because of whom we know without a doubt now that we can't expect any integrity from them either.
In Germany, the "Big Lie" was "Jews? What Jews? We didn't do anything to the Jews."
In the United States now the "Big Lie" is "Lose? No, Donald Trump didn't lose the election. It was stolen from him." (At least he thinks it was. Maybe.) But as long as we silently accept his big lie, as long as we do nothing to expose it, he will see that the people he lied to about it keep voting its carriers into office.
The leadership in this party has abandoned honor and honesty for the sake of dishonest gains for personal profit.
It tells us that thanks to partisanship — the-do-it-our-way-or-we'll-purge-you-crowd — we have created ourselves a Congress that has no conscience and leaders that allow no conscience to operate.
It tells us that the loss of leadership that emerges is a partisan ploy to get more power rather than to produce new ideas in a creative country and is nothing more than an intellectual firing squad that robs the poor of their votes and bows to the powerful for its personal gain. So goes democracy when the people are not watching.
One voice cries out to us from the past to remember:
"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live the best life that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right and part from him when he goes wrong."
And who said that? It has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Cheney is in good Republican company here.