Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

A Nation On The Cusp…

Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:27 am, January 22nd 2013     —    Comment on this post »

I hit the crown of my head on the corner of a shelf yesterday.  While the resultant gash is not deep enough to require stitches, there were profuse amounts of blood, and the pain was not inconsiderable.  I may not be thinking straight.

I am by nature a realistic optimist – that is to say, I am not so optimistic as to not see problems; however, I tend to view them as temporary setbacks and turn immediately to ways to fix the problem rather than dwell on how bad things are.  I believe that the American people, leaning on the Almighty whether we believe it or not, can overcome just about everything.   This morning’s headlines gave me pause in that realistic optimism.  (Hence my concerns about my head injury.)

Let me lay it out for you.  Yesterday, Jim Geraghty cited Patrick Ruffini’s analysis of the Obama campaign’s “legacy report.“  From that report:

“Three out of five team leaders and one in five team members volunteered 10 or more hours per week, much more than other volunteers.”

Folks, most churches I know would shout “Hallelujah” on the mountain tops over volunteerism like that.  I originally set that aside yesterday as more evidence of the “Obama as savior” meme we discussed yesterday.  But the headlines this morning make the situation seem much more dire and much deeper than even that now cliche observation.

First an email came to my attention that told the story of a Washington Post 2007 story in which people could not see beauty in a subway station.  (This cannot be excerpted adequately in a short space.  Please take the time to follow and read the link.)  Then I read about the now “award winning” HBO series “Girls“:

Pay no attention, however, to that man behind the curtain! “Girls,” which features multiple forms of human degradation in almost every scene (awkward sex, binge eating, mindless drug use, a “funny” abortion, endless f-words, and eyeball-charring, floppy nudity) is, according to New York magazine, “a bold defense (and a searing critique) of the so-called Millennial Generation.” It is “courageous,” asserts the Los Angeles Times. The New York Times calls it is “fresh,” “original,” and “a phenomenon.” It is full of “artistry,” according to a recent Atlantic blog post.

When one considers that a literate mankind is a new thing historically and that it is beauty in many forms in nature and man-made that has kept us looking for God – this is frightening stuff.  And then I read this:

As the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision takes place on Tuesday, a majority of Americans – for the first time – believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Now, that is a little misleading, read through to the full poll results.  There is some serious fuzzy math to jump from the questions asked and the responses received to “ a majority of Americans – for the first time – believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.”  But the poll does reflect a significant move in that direction.

It would be easy to conclude that we are a nation lost.  And when you read stuff like this

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to church personnel files.

The confidential records filed in a lawsuit against the archdiocese disclose how the church handled abuse allegations for decades and also reveal dissent from a top Mahony aide who criticized his superiors for covering up allegations of abuse rather than protecting children.

…it is not hard to figure out how we got to this point.  I refuse to believe we are lost, not just yet, my natural optimism is too strong.  But we are on the cusp.

What I know is this, before we can fix the nation we have to fix ourselves.  Until we start to take our faith as seriously as they take their  politics we are going to continue to lose.

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