I write this column to you from just outside Washington DC, where I’m attending the annual gathering of UU musicians. I hadn’t been to the national capital since before the Trump election. (I went to the Women’s M arch in Cleveland, not in DC. I had an aversion to coming to DC.) I arrived early and decided to cross the river to see the changes on the National Mall.

As I approached the seat and symbols of power, I felt sick. What do our monuments represent now? Unnamed Pentagon workers think our president is crazy. I disagree; I think he knows what he’s do- ing. He’s been consistent throughout his life: Stirring up controversy to control attention and further his own advantage. Is he a front for the Russian oligarchs? Undoubtedly. Will he throw the rule of law under the bus to further his economic interests? Undoubtedly.

What does that mean for you and me? We are a nonprofit religious congregation. It is against the law for us to participate in partisan politics. This situation is far beyond Democrat and Republican.

It threatens not only the rule of law, it threatens who we are as a people. We are in deep need of new vision. That new vision and new story will emerge from lovers of democracy, protesters with emotional and spiritual resilience, consistently supported and re-inspired to stand up for civil rights, racial justice, economic justice, environmental rights, public education, health care, women’s rights, disability rights, LGBTQ rights. We need open-hearted religious community more than ever. None of us can do this alone. We are not alone. We are part of one another, we lovers of democracy.