Counting the Collection, Otherwise Known As the Offering*

It started in time immemorial
and for us with Washington
and continues with Trump

and includes everyone in
between – state and church
sanctified/salvific violence.

It’s May and Memorial Day
is coming, he thought as the
passed the cemetery in the

small town in which he once
lived. His son, upon seeing
the town for the first time,

called it Beaver Cleaver-ville
with a church on every corner –
a slice of white Americana –

sturdy, upright, industrious
people, descendants of sturdy,
upright, industrious immigrants

who believed they followed their
God to America, signed on for
the Civil War and every war

since then and who have walked
the streets every Memorial Day
in the biggest parade of the

year to salute fallen daughters
and sons and God and guns and
sanctified/salvific violence

and when the parade is over,
they take the flags back to
the chancels of the churches

where preachers proudly pontif-
icate on patriotism and in a
room in the basement of each

church Pilate and Caiaphas count
the collection, otherwise known
as the offering.

*the idea came from a meditation
on the destructive nature of
sanctified violence.

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