A GOP Christmas Carol

It’s Christmas Eve.

Uproarious laughter rings out from the Oval Office, piercing the snow speckled DC sky.

Around a massive table overflowing with food and wine, sit a bloated and blurry-eyed Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell—along with a cackling cadre of Cabinet members, Republican Senators, FoxNews anchors and celebrity evangelists. They’re regaling one another with joyous eyewitness accounts of the pair of recent uninvited and already evicted dinner guests.

The Ghosts of Christmas 2017 Past and Present have both been summarily dismissed, their best efforts to show those gathered the terror they’ve visited upon the people entrusted to them—drowned out in the din of their jeers and slurs and cries of “fake news”. In exaggerated gyrations around the table they now slap their knees and wipe tears from the corners of their eyes, incredulous at the two specter’s naivety in believing their dire revelations would be found remotely moving.

Suddenly, a towering figure appears from the ether and moves toward the table, shrouded completely in black, save for a long skeletal hand: The Ghost of Christmas Future. Without saying anything, it moves swiftly toward the table, and before those gathered can utter a word they’re whisked from that place and into streets and living rooms and hospital and funeral homes.

In vivid and sickening detail, the specter shows them the coming America their present deeds are surely birthing:
A couple with a terminally ill daughter sells their dream home to pay the sky-scraping premiums on care for her very survival.
The grieving family of a bullied Transgender college student speaks words around his casket about the incessant violence he endured, and the deadly cost of a President who banned mention of his very humanity and made him feel unworthy to live.
A Muslim teenager again sits alone in her high school cafeteria, surrounded on all sides by the stares and snickers of her peers, emboldened by parents who now conflate her faith with terrorism.
A single father finds himself awake in the middle of the night, pushed toward homelessness and feeling helpless to take care of his children, with so few resources and no way to earn a wage to sustain them all.
A young woman wears her trauma on the inside, so desiring to speak the truth of the damage done to her but knowing that staying silent will be less painful, given what she has seen other accusers endure.

The vignettes begin to pile onto one another in rapid succession, along with the anguished cries of the people who will soon find themselves alone, mourning, silenced, bullied, and terrorized in this future these men are building together.

The sounds and pictures begin to multiply and rise and spin into a horrible, noisy, disorienting whirlwind around them—and then as if deposited from a roller coaster, it all screeches to halt and they once again find themselves in the Oval Office.

The ghost stares at the group gathered around the table, as breathless, they pause for a moment and look at one another.

“Damn snowflakes!” McConnell mutters, as the silence is pierced by an explosion of sarcastically inflated laughter from all corners of the room.

Seeing the supernatural vision of the suffering of the sick and the poor and the vulnerable they will be responsible for if unmoved from their current course, they are not terrified or racked with guilt—but greatly overjoyed.

“Seriously, Specter,” Ryan bellows, “is this supposed to bother us? You’re gonna have to do better than that!”

“Yeah,” adds the President, “what did you think we’re doing here?”

Steve Bannon staggers in from the hall wearing a filthy Santa suit. “This is the whole point, you black apparition” he brags, as a smile curls across his lips. “This has been the plan all along—This is what we wanted.”

“Yeah, and wait until you see the Tax Bill!” Ryan adds, before spitting his drink all over himself and falling from his chair.

A flood of congratulatory hugs breaks out around the table, and as the throng of jubilant white men celebrates—the Ghost of Christmas Future departs, shaking his head as he realizes that what he intended for them as fearful warnings, were instead, welcomed predictions.

There would be no Christmas morning miracle.
There would be no waking up of good men, so long asleep in their greed and contempt.
There would be no rewriting of sad coming days for those who they’ve disregarded.
There would be no healing of a sick child, too tiny to be noticed.

There would be no “God bless us, every one,” spoken around a welcoming table big enough for all.

There would only be the continuing waking nightmare visited upon good people, by men whose souls or humanity could no longer be reached—even by the terrible vision of what they were making.

While outside there would be sadness and mourning on that Christmas Day, they would go on sleeping right through it.


Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here.

24 thoughts on “A GOP Christmas Carol

  1. The English language, perhaps no human language, has words to describe how vile are the members of the GOP, how far they have turned their backs on Jesus, ignored the Holy Spirit.

    It’s not just that Trump is unfit for office.

    Trumpism itself – including all the sexual harassment, and the financial misconduct, and the cronyism, and the racism, and the know-nothing Ayn Randian MAGA idiocy – *Trumpism* needs to be brought down, hard and fast and definitively, and to take Trump, and Pence, and Ryan, and Sessions, and everybody else, down with it.

    Trumpism needs to be repudiated, definitively and thoroughly, as no resignation, and certainly, no Quixotic plea for resignation from a few members of the minority Party of the House or Senate could begin to accomplish that.

    The origins of Trumpism is Hell. The GOP serves as Satan’s spokespeople. It is obvious that the GOP refuse to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, provide for the poor.

    One cannot be a Christian and vote for Republicans as those are two mutually exclusive options. One can be a Christian and follow Jesus. One can be a Republican and follow Satan.

    I am not saying that the Democrats are perfect people. I am not saying that Democrats haven’t let us down because they have. But on the whole, the Democratic Party wants to see the hungry fed, the naked, clothed, the sick cared for, and the poor provided for.

    This is the third week of Advent. Advent is that season of the church year when we prepare for the coming of God’s Anointed One, the Messiah who came preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven which is right here in our midst, so close it is”at hand.”

    Matthew 25 makes it crystal clear what Jesus wants to see in those who follow Him. He makes it crystal clear that when we don’t do to the least of these, He tells us he doesn’t know us.

    Jesus is saying this every day to members of the Republican Party and those that voted for them.

    • Hi Gloriamarie. Long time, no communicate. Haven’t you heard:

      “President Donald J. Trump is the Anointed One of The Lord—a special vessel of unique righteousness set aside to lead…blah, blah, blah…….upchuck.”

    • Why be involved in democratic processes at all then since all are quite obviously evil – it certainly isn’t only (or even) the GOP? Although in the tribal atmosphere you suggest we should embrace, you seem to have thrown your lot with one iteration of darkness. It is truly disheartening to see hatred, disunity, and intolerance tossed casually around by many of the same folks who have preached it in recent years. It kind of reminds me how easy it is to embrace ‘peace’ from the comforts of a superior First-World perch.

      One can be a Christian and vote for a Democrat. One can be a Christian and vote for a Republican. One can argue about one view being better than another, but one’s failure to consider other points of view: different paths toward similar goals, different life experiences, is inexcusable.

    • Gloria M, the Dems are horrible people! They hate and reject God and His Son Jesus, as well as His redeemed people. You can save the nonsense for some of the stupid people who would believe such foolery.

  2. If their goal is to return us to the pre-Dickensian era of devastating poverty, they are well on the way to their Scrooge-like goal. Sadly, most Americans have no idea how the middle class was created, or how millions were lifted from destitution 80 years ago. I hope we remember. I also hope that Dickens’ love for children will overflow among us for young LGBT people. Lord, have mercy.

  3. This is why I am not celebrating this year. I will hold the spiritual celebration in my heart, of course. But decorating the house, humming Christmas tunes, basking in the lights and in the mythical belief of common human decency — not this year.

  4. Under Obama also your America had all these problems. Just look at the money Obamas spent on luxurious holidays! Here in Australia we have these same types of politicians too. And if you want to see real greed just look at the African political leaders.

  5. Interesting and sickening this spectre …………………….and scary. When does the second American Civil War get started – or is this it?

  6. I am sitting here hoping I will be helped at a hospital or immediate care because no one know seems to know if my Medicare insurance will cover a visit. I have a collar bone looking like it could break through the skin. And, I read this and I’m trying hard to keep from crying because it’s true. I want to scream from the rooftop “why are we letting this happen”? I know there are lots of groups and individuals trying to stop it…I’m a card carrying ACLU member.
    You have a gift for writing and sometimes, like now, I almost wish I hadn’t read this. It’s not “almost” it is. God help our country.

    • Dear Cynthia. If you signed up for Medicare Part B and have been paying your premiums, at least 80 percent of it is paid for. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan and have been paying the premiums, you are most likely 100 percent covered for a doctor visit. If you are poor as a church mouse, tell the receptionist at the doctors office because they can most likely cover it with Medicaid or some other state medical program for the poor. If that fails and you are still poor as a church mouse, go to the emergency room and wait to see a doctor there. They are set up to take you—cannot refuse to help you—and it will be covered by something. Just tell them you are poor—if that is the case. Merry Christmas.

  7. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
    – Hebrews 13:8
    I am God’s Son. – John 10:36
    I am the resurrection and the life. – John 11:25
    I am the way, and the truth, and the life. – John 14:6
    I am the true vine. – John 15:1

    The present-tense Christ. He never says, “I was.”

    We do. We do because “we were.” We were younger, faster, prettier. Prone to be people of the past tense, we reminisce. Not God. Unwavering in strength, He need never say, “I was.” From the center of the storm, the unwavering Jesus shouts, “I am.”

    Tall in the Trade Tower wreckage. Bold against the Galilean waves. ICU, battlefield, boardroom, prison cell, or maternity ward – whatever your storm, “I am.”

  8. This main post by John Pavlovitz reminds me of two scriptures from the Bible and two closely related video clips from famous movies. Jesus will not allow this travesty to go on forever. Jesus knows all too well the scenes John Pavlovitz sets in his Christmas Carol, and He has seen these scenes millions of times and in millions of places already. Here are the scriptures:

    There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, THEY WILL NOT BE CONVINCED EVEN IF SOMEONE RISES FROM THE DEAD.’ (Luke 16:19:31)

    And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto the servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:18)

    Charles Dickens passed out this same warning in his 1840s version of “A Christmas Carol”:


    And in one form or another, the arc of the moral universe is long—but it bends toward justice:

  9. This site is a new discovery for me and I am exploring every nook. What a powerful, moving voice for all that is good and true and compassionate in this world. This was heartbreaking to read. But we must read heartbreaking things, because they motivate and inspire and energize us as much as they sting.

  10. Charles Dickens is being remembered this year as “The Man Who Invented Christmas.” It’s a wonderful movie, and well worth the time to go and see it.

    The Trump Administration will be infamously immortalized as the men who tried to destroy the Kingdom of Heaven!

  11. John has it right.
    They have sold their souls to the demon Mammon and worship at his altar. Mammon is not the demon of money he is the demon of domination over other. Money and lives sacrificed to him are just counters for keeping score.

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