Jan 6, 2021: Herod in the White House?

I have spoken of the need to sometimes pray the news.

A lame-duck president incites rioters with baseless claims of election fraud, inciting them to invade the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown. Video uploaded to YouTube by Guardian News.

Two days ago was the Feast Day of the Epiphany in the Christian calendar, epiphany meaning appearance, manifestation or showing.   In Washington D.C., it turned out to be quite a showing and manifestation indeed, revealing the very deep shadow in America’s soul where hatred and hypocrisy have been visible for years fanned by unbridled media and hypocritical politicians.   

Live on our television sets yesterday, was a presidential speech repeating lies about an election he lost and urging a mob to march to the capitol building to interfere with the counting of election results.  The mob eagerly followed his instructions, many of them well prepared with gas masks, pipe bombs, guns, confederate flags and unbridled anger.    

“Three Magi Meeting Herod” Fresco in the vaulted ceiling of the Saint-Gonery church in Plougrescant in Brittany, France. Photo by Membeth on Wikimedia Commons.

The traditional Epiphany story has two elements to it: One is about foreign wise men traveling from afar to celebrate the birth of a holy child, Emmanuel or God-with-us.  But the second part of the story is about a wicked king, an agent of the Roman Empire named Herod, who like lots of politicians then and today, traffics in lies and hypocrisy.  On hearing of the goal of the wise men to visit a new kind of prince, he tells them to be sure to return in order to tell him where he can be found so that he too can “worship this new born king.”  All the while he has in mind to kill this rival to his throne and, frustrated by the fact that the magi detoured from returning his way, he goes crazy angry and instead orders the killing of all new-born male babies.

Rioters and election deniers storm the US Capitol building, breaking into the debating chambers and clashing with armed police, but failing to achieve an overturned election. Guardian News

Back in Washington, we are appalled by the scene of this crowd of angry white men (mostly men), some with confederate flags in tow, invading the capital building, desecrating the spaces of congress people, taking their thuggery to the Senate chambers themselves, terrorizing elected representatives.  Meanwhile, still more than 140 Republican congress people carry on the charade of a “bogus election,” carrying on the lies behind the coup attempt.

Amazingly, the capitol appears to be in large part unguarded even though everyone in the country knew that a “wild day” (the president’s language) was forthcoming with so many “proud boys” and other white supremacists and domestic terrorists coming to town. 

The six senators who continued resisting election certification after the Capitol invasion. Top-L-R: Ted Cruz (R-TX); Josh Hawley (R-MO); Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS). Bottom L-R: John Neely Kennedy (R-LA); Roger Marshall (R-KS); Tommy Tuberville (R-AL). Official Senate portraits, Wikimedia Commons.

There is a reason why Satan is called “the father of lies.” Falsehoods banish truth.  When lies get preached over and over again by a person holding power (Hitler comes to mind), very bad things happen. 

Thomas Aquinas taught that truth and justice are companions.  You can’t have one without the other.  In other words, injustice builds on lies.  All kinds of evil follows.  Hatred is enflamed by lies.  And hatred was very much in the headlines of yesterday’s events—as well as of the story of Herod, ambassador of the Roman Empire (whose leader was worshipped as a filius dei or “son of God” in the first century).

When John Lewis left us his Farewell Letter last year, he urged the young to study truth from the past; truth does not diminish with age. 

A political yard sign in Decatur, GA, speaks to a hard-won campaign. Photo by Thomas Cizauskas on Flickr.

Two big truths come through in the Epiphany story, one of them being  to be wary of politicians who lie and practice hypocrisy.  Yesterday, the chickens came home to roost.    

Speaking of John Lewis, there was another manifestation on Epiphany Day yesterday—his spirit won two elections in his home state of Georgia, both of the new senators representing a hopeful shift to more justice and peace in the American body politic on the horizon with a new administration soon to be inaugurated.   

There was some good news amidst the dark news of the day.  Like the first Epiphany.

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, p. 321 (on lies and hypocrisy); 186, 287-289, 293-296, 300, 311, 362, 394 (on hatred); 389-398 (on Hitler as a religious figure).

Banner Image: Cases of certificates of the electoral college votes confirming the results of the 2020 US election, after they had been removed from congress by staffers on Jan 6, 2021, preventing their destruction by rioters. Photo from the Twitter feed of Sen. Jeff Merkley, on Wikimedia Commons.

What are you feeling about the original event of Epiphany and the events on Epiphany 2021?  How can the meditation above inform or nurture your responses?

Upcoming Events

Creation Spirituality Gathering: Falling In Love with Earth & Each Other – Online – Friday-Sunday, 1/15-17 – join longtime leaders of the CS movement in a virtual retreat featuring body prayer, keynotes, small groups, art as meditation opportunities, and socializing, plus a special gala celebration honoring Matthew Fox and his legacy. Learn more HERE.
Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

6 thoughts on “Jan 6, 2021: Herod in the White House?”

  1. Avatar

    Yes, I remember the Herod I met in Jewish historian Josephus’ account [Antiquities 17]. There was much blood on his hands, including that of his first wife. When Herod had a Roman Eagle placed on the Temple it was the last straw for observant men of Judea. Receiving a report that Herod had died, they decided to tear down the offending eagle. But Herod, close to death but still breathing vengeance, hadn’t died. When he was told of this insurrection he ordered the execution of the perpetrators, all the while bragging about the great work he had done in rebuilding their temple, a work that could not be matched by his Hasmonean predecessors. Herod forgave the men who disassociated themselves from the action by claiming it was done without their approbation. The others were burned at the stake. It would have been a dark day for men like Joseph of Nazareth.

  2. Avatar

    Today I called upon the ancestors of Anne Frank, MLK, RFK, to be with us. Have been distraught since Epiphany and the violence. It did “ show” us our ugly and destructive side. Ever more reason to call upon Julian.

  3. Avatar

    Matt’s article is corroborated by a mystic who has influenced me named David R. Hawkins. Hawkins tells us that the average person cannot tell truth from falsehood and from my observation I agree with the statements of Fox and Hawkins.. I know that unethical spin doctors can easily commit tremendous crimes against the human heart. But the horror is that when people are duped like this, we get diseases. We get diseases from perpetrated falsehoods because believed lies, and also, the conscious knowledge that the disease of falsehood is being perpetrated causes internal chaos within our organisms, that is, our bodies. We sense and know that matters are not right. The comprehension ability in many people is not strong enough to struggle through the Force of an intended falsehood when it is delivered from a sophisticated posture . Repeated duplicitous aggressive Force sickens the the collective. The saying, “you make me sick” comes to light. I know that we are on the gradual path of recovery. The gradual path of recovery makes us more peaceful inside and outside of ourselves.

    1. Avatar

      “Repeated Duplicitous Aggressive Force”, is precisely what the Nazis used to sicken the Germans. ” ….. unethical spin doctors can easily commit tremendous crimes against the human heart.” I really appreciate this sentence. This is the fulcrum of an unenlightened society (and, dare I say, evil ..?). We must attend to the Sacred Heart of culture, or we will never evolve.

  4. Avatar

    Trump has only 12 days left. What more damage can he do? Fortunately Nancy Pelosi thought of the worst action he could take. She contact the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and told him not to let Trump have access to the nuclear codes. Mark Milley probably had prevented that already.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: