I am deeply grateful for Sen. Angus King’s integrity and for the action he took following his oath as U.S. senator-juror in the president’s impeachment trial. I honor what I consider the depth of his self-reflection – and Sen. Mitt Romney’s as well.

Given the utter centrality of oath-taking in the trial, I offer these thoughts:

• On worship and belief: Author David Foster Wallace once said that everybody worships. Even atheists worship. “The only choice we get is what to worship,” he said. Thus, there seems to me a deeper question than do you believe in God? It is: Who, or what, is your God?

• On human nature and political power: Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, in his acclaimed book “The Irony of American History,” wrote that it is characteristic of human nature that it “has no possibility of exercising power without running the danger of overestimating the purity of the wisdom which directs it.”

It is the egotistical propensity to make ourselves the center of the universe that makes rigorously honest self-reflection imperative.

• On faith: To equate “faith” with ideological positions that do violence to truth, fairness, reason and compassion is no faith at all. It is blasphemy.

Sens. King and Romney, in their Feb. 5 votes, were admirably responsive to the Hebrew prophet Micah’s words: “. . . what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”

Rev. Alfred M. Niese


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