I had at least four ideas for posts this week, but only energy enough for this one.
We live in a country on a downward spiral. The two front-runners in our current presidential race are, I fear, bad people. Not bad like they have bad ideas or I don’t agree with them — though both of those things are true. Bad as in not good. As a country, we have enough experience and history with the Clintons to guess the sort of people they are: power-hungry, elitist, vindictive, and predatory. And the Donald makes no attempt to hide what he is: opportunistic, unprincipled, selfish, and immoral. Nor do I have much confidence in the other candidates: even the one man I want most to support seems smugly self-satisfied and insincere each time I hear him speak. When did we last have a president who would defend the Constitution and the country with the same vigor as his own pet policies, priorities, and power?
Our current president apparently carries a papal rosary and feigns support of religious freedom even as he stifles freedom of conscience and seeks to force religious organizations to support sin. He wants to reduce the availability of guns (in the final analysis, to law-abiding citizens); he wants us to trust the government to protect us — but in Oregon, the FBI and local ranchers are using the same aerial surveillance video to argue that the feds executed a peaceful protestor or that an armed insurgent reached for a gun in his coat (see this clip, around the 5:45 mark). The ranchers cry tyranny, and the non-ranchers cry terrorism.
In our own church, we hear rumors of dissension. We hear Vatican officials pay tribute to David Bowie despite a life that was anything but saintly and the pope planning to attend the 500th anniversary of the Reformation — some see an embrace of modernism and heresy; others argue that one can recognize the dignity of a high-profile sinner and the historic shortcomings of the Church without compromising the Truth.
I don’t trust our leaders, but beyond those people I know personally, I don’t know who to trust. Too many issues to track, and too much distortion and deception to wade through — who can persist long enough in the murk to see the truth clearly? How can we preserve the country and the Church we love?
If I’m completely honest, I don’t think we can save the country in the short term — and if I’m thinking clearly, I don’t think we need to worry about the Church in the long term. Our mission, then, should we choose to accept it, is the same as that of the original Apostles: disciple-making. The solution to division and disintegration is unity — and the path is conversion. We need to call our brothers and sisters back to the Whole that is the Body of Christ.
The rest is fleeting. It all seems like a big deal to us only because we, too, are fleeting.
So I will vote, secure my rights and property, and love my family as best I can — and evangelize. Let’s secure the future a soul at a time.