Here it is, barely spring of the year of our Lord twenty fifteen, and of these United States (until the fourth day of July) two hundred thirty-nine, and already the maelstrom of pre-presidential (no, I wasn’t stuttering) madness is churning the masses, and it promises to be the worst ever. So, you thought the Civil War was bad, tearing apart families, lovers, friends and neighbors, sometimes uniting personal enemies, in the promotion of this or that ‘great cause’—the union, the abolition of slavery, whatever. No, we are already in the churning inferno, and have been, for months without knowing it, being dizzied so constantly that we didn’t notice, chasing and being chased till we’re no better than pools of butter.
Lips blabbing, non-stop already, about this or that candidate, we like partisans of competing, ancient gods, uncaring whose hearts we trample in our hot pursuit, whose minds we insult with our triumphalist, bullying rhetoric, already infect the air we breathe with our meaningless jargon. This used to be a country—I remember well, I am now sixty-four—of the ‘secret ballot.’ It used to be considered nosey and rude to press a man to find out who he was voting for. Now, it’s expected that one should announce with pride, firmness, and even finality who one is voting for, otherwise one cannot be publickly enrolled in the camp of the Reds or the Blues, and qualified to sling mud, stool, or stones at ‘the enemy.’
Well, like Sir Thomas More who would not answer his pestering opponents regarding the legality of his sovereign, Henry the Eighth’s, infidelities and usurpations, only to be tried and convicted of high treason, and sent to the block, I would rather just shut up, not only my mouth, but everyone else’s if I could, and just let human nature take its course in a well-riveted democracy that delivers its deserved despot to those dumb enough to vote him (or her) into office. Yes, we used to have presidents in these United States, and I trust, we shall have presidents again, someday, but not before we repent and return to the sullen silence that prevails when everyone minds his own business, and secretly votes for the worthy.
The venerable Flag of our commonwealth, the ‘stars and the stripes,’ or ‘the red, white, and blue,’ even till now has survived after two or more generations of bashings and burnings by the untaught, yet the splitters at work dividing the spoil and conquering our people, having nearly killed the national conscience, shred its significance daily as they pit their creations, the ‘Red’ and the ‘Blue’ nations against each other. Well, then there’s the ‘White’ nation too, which they’re happy to let exist, just so long as none of these pseudo-nations suspects that none of them really exists at all, that America the Idea cannot be so divided and subjugated, and that the icon of the venerable Flag cannot be rent asunder either.
This day I detach myself from the forms and functions of this swirling rabble orbiting the black hole of consumptive politicking. I deafen my ears to dope dealers of demagoguery, unplug the tube and earpiece—no, I won’t let them pierce my earlobes anymore with their sham thunder—and studiously wait till it’s time to turn in my ‘privacy envelope’ to whatever machine will tally them all. Not yet do even I know who I will vote for, nor is my party affiliation which I inherited along with the rest of my personal world anyone else’s business except those who administer the primaries. Finally, if you know me, forgive me if I walk away when you tell me, ‘There might be a few good Republicans.’ I know you didn’t mean it.
Christ is Everything. He is joy, He is life, He is light. He is the true light who makes man joyful, makes him soar with happiness; makes him see everything, everybody; makes him feel for everyone, to want everyone with him, everyone with Christ.
Where there is no love, there is no Church. There remains only its external form, a deceit, which repulses people. That is why our churches remain empty, that is why our young people lapse. Lord, help us to become Your Church, not just its appearance.
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