Damnatio Memoriiae

For I want you always to see clearly the difference between right and wrong and to be inwardly clean” (Philippians 1:10 L.B.).

Lucy asked four of her friends in the Peanuts comic strip to sign a piece of paper. Charley Brown says he doesn’t understand. Lucy demands he sign it. As she walks away she explains: “No matter what happens any place or any time in the world, this document absolves me from all blame.” Charley responds, “That must be a nice document to have.”

I wonder if Lucy would sell those indulgences. The current cancel culture may be a prime market. Getting caught between being responsible for nothing and being responsible for everything these days depends upon who holds the eraser.

It finally became very clear to me that what you say or do has nothing to do with your intent or words. It all depends upon what the cancelling culturist say you think, said, do. I watched as talking heads refused to answer, “Exactly what are the words Trump used to incite the riot?”

What is happening in the political world on this Monday is Damnatio Memoriiae of Donald J. Trump. Damn the Memory! It is more than trying to run him out of town as quickly as possible, it is the attempt to erase all memory, all acts, all friends, family and associates from the collective minds of America and Planet Earth. There is activity to exile Trump from ever holding office again, among other punishment. Witchcraft abounds!

This statue-topping, platform-erasure era is not new. The ancient Greeks and Romans made cancel-culture an art form. When I researched my book, “For The Best of Your Life,” I ran across the practice of “Damnatio Memoriiae”. Faces were chiseled off statues, names expunged from books and state records. Entire families were sometimes obliterated. It was the ultimate practice of photoshopping—once you were in the picture and now you’re gone. The practice was accompanied by a less final act that we call ostracizing.   

Socrates chose death over ostracizing. A definition:

“Voting ostraca. In Classical Athens, when the decision at hand was to banish or exile a certain member of society, citizen peers would cast their vote by writing the name of the person on the sherd of pottery; the vote was counted and, if unfavorable, the person was exiled for a period of ten years from the city, thus giving rise to the term ostracism.”

Victor Davis Hansen gives an informal explanation of the Cancel Culture:


These are the words that now permanently define the Capital riot event:

“…a mob of Trump supporters occupying and vandalizing the Capital.”

“Pro-Trump Rioters Breach the Capitol.”

I have listened to a dozen or more people who were on the Capital grounds during the “breach.” I have concluded that there were several groups in that 500,000 to 1.5 million people gathering. Those I’ve heard describe a totally different mood on the march than the narrative on the “news.” They speak of singing, dancing and gathering in circles of prayers. They arrived to see a group at the front already pushing and shoving and fighting the with law officers. There was, I conclude, “Trump Supporters” with a different agenda than those singing, praying, dancing and shofar blowing.

I have read what the breachers did inside the Capital. I suggest you roll call all the Republicans you know by name—the ones who know your name—and ask yourself if any of them would steal furniture, break things and track their own feces around the Capital Building. Mr. Wray from FBI said about the Breachers,

“The violence and destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol building yesterday showed a blatant and appalling disregard for our institutions of government and the orderly administration of the democratic process.”

I refer you to the Pro-Trump/Trump supporters—people whose names you know. Do you think of them as having, “…a blatant and appalling disregard for our institutions of government…”?

People who attended Trump’s speech—the one that incited violence—say the speech was dull, long, low energy and monotonous. His “benediction” was something like “Many of you will be going to the Capital. Go peacefully and patriotically to let your voices be heard.” I am confused. Which phrase or word(s) incited violence? The marchers said they left the speech “frozen” and joyful.

On a Sunday morning, I announced that I would be preaching on Malachi 3 that evening. I wanted the people to read the chapter. While shaking hands at the door, the Mother of our friend Sam Kirk told me she knew what I was going to talk about. She quoted Malachi 3:16:

“Then those who feared the Lord talked to each other, and the Lord listened and heard.”

That was 55 years ago. The import and impact of those words have stuck in me. Mrs. Kirk’s words opened to me a Kingdom absolute essential. It is imperative that the People of God talk to each other. Masking, unfriending, cancelling, exiling and isolating may work in the rite of Damnatio Memoraiiae; it is not acceptable in the Kingdom. Thinking about this, communication is basic to humanity. Those who do it best with the best words and gestures tend to accomplish.

“…see clearly the difference between right and wrong”…requires intentionality where we get our news and information as well as who sets the focus and trajectory of our souls.

I abhorred some of the policies and activities of the Obama administration. While in my thinking and muttering to God and protesting the probable outcome, I heard God’s words if not His voice: Be careful! No witchcraft! Holy Spirit took me to class about damaging the Presidency while angering about the current president’s stance and edicts.  

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).

We battle against spiritual:

      Rulers     Authorities     Powers of this dark world,     Spiritual forces of evil

   Can we talk? What Spiritual weapons are you effectively using?

©2021 D. Dean Benton–Jesus Follower, Independent Conservative, Tracker of truthful cause & effect. 

1 thought on “Damnatio Memoriiae

  1. “A time to every purpose under heaven.”Can’t get those words out of my mind, added to Isaiah 54:16, “I have created the waster to destroy.” That one is right before the often-quoted “no weapon shall prosper“ verse.

    Then, “I will choose their delusions, and bring their fears upon them.” Isaiah 66:4.

    Psalm 46:8 …”the desolations He hath made in the earth”.

    My coping tool (besides lattes)😋? I go looking for less famous, almost obscure verses that may help me. Basically, the Lord is kicking rear—there is a time for this purpose and an instrument(s) He created.

    As much as I hope I can escape the wrath, I love His power to lead me to quiet introspection away from the “strife of tongues,” (Psalm 31:20), and I love the KJV language. His thoughts are “us-ward”.

    My faith is being refined; it’s not comfortable—like the temporary crown I got last week—but God reigns over the heathen. Psalm 47:9. “…they devise deceitful matters that are against them that are quiet in the land”. Psalm 35:10 Let the quiet speak, but not threaten, vandalize, and destroy.

    Pelosi is obsessed; it’s ugly. The irony of all their schemes is that Trump will be remembered all the more. Who else could have stood 5 years of persecution, while teachers tried to stop bullying? Not saying he’s an angel, but he did detect the pulse of frustration and anger that many felt before he rose to the forefront.

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