Over and over, you hear your friends and family talk about how awful politics is now, how dangerous the world is, how low the discourse, how tenuous our relationships. We keep hearing story after story (finally!) of executives’ propensity to hurt women (and/or children) after years of lessers turning a blind eye.
And of course, this is not actually the worst period in history. It is not the most violent, the most exploitive of women and children, the most contentious. We are much more aware of it now, because we are all watching and reporting on each other via twenty-four hour news and social media. But this horror show of humanity has been going on for millennia.
We are doing more about it now, too, which is a Good Thing. We are calling out wrongdoing and holding perpetrators accountable. We are asking crony politicians and perverse industry leaders to behave. We are demanding moral behavior.
So why does it feel like such an avalanche? Why do we feel buried under iniquities and mayhem? We have historical accounts — evidence — that all manner of things have been worse, but we act like this is The Worst, to borrow a Millennialism.
No, no, we’re not going to blame the millennials. Not this time. Your boomer mother is just as panicky and safe-space seeking as your Generation Y little brother. So let’s not do that whole thing again.
Even facing the stark and brutal repetition of human behavior throughout our shared growth has been of no comfort to me in the past year. The only place I find solace, in all honesty, is Christ. You’d think I mean the Mass, but that’s not entirely true. In fact, the Mass is challenging. The Mass is an exhortation to be like Christ, to pull your head out and simply be unending love. That’s a lot of pressure.
Mass is wonderful, period, but I mean Christ in general. I’ve found a church that never talks about politics. It took me a good few months to even find out anybody’s proclivities in the secular world. It is a very Jesus-centered place, which may seem weird to a non-Christian, but there are lots of churches that don’t really place Christ first, or assign Him regional propensities.
I also have a spiritual director — a very patient nun — who sees me on the campus of a hidden retreat center you’d never know was there, even if you drove by it. I feel solace there as we discuss the Holy Spirit’s work in my life and the life of the country.
I have spiritual friends and go to spiritual events and yet I still thirst for Christ. I read my Bible (a gazillion versions for the iPhone!) and do prayer apps and examens and rosaries. Still I thirst.
I cannot imagine what it is like for everyone else. I don’t know how other people watch this episode of “The Human Show” without the anchor of God. I think of the anguished rage coming from the more secular segments of society and cannot imagine their agony. I mean, I did go through a version of that for a while. But you know how women say they forget the pain of childbirth? That’s kind of what’s happened to me.
By now, the poor leftist freelancer I imagine has been assigned to monitor RedState (to write up counter arguments) is rolling his or her eyes, because they know exactly where I’m going here. I’m about to suggest that the reason we all ache now is because we are missing a connection with Christ. More to the point, we are all missing, as a First World, a connection to our Creator.
It’s not just Christians who are failing to put God before Google. Attendance for every Abrahamic faith is in decline in the United States. It’s like we all shrugged and told our Father, “No, I want to do it myself.” Then when we find ourselves angry, lost, and sad, we refuse to call Him to pick us up. We’re like a bunch of teenagers at a party where one kid has been knocked out cold, and nobody wants to call the ambulance. We just keep yelling at each other, “Why won’t you do something? What should we do? This is your fault!”
In writing this, I feel like I’m one of those teenagers. I don’t know what to do besides write about it. I’m already doing what I know to do, and I don’t know how to help you do the same, except to suggest you think about it. If you feel your faith tradition annoyed you somehow, or even hurt you, that’s probably the work of humans, who are generally terrible. Is there a different way back into your relationship with God? Mine was pretty weird; I’ll tell you about it some time.
If you cannot even fathom that faith is a valid path to a more balanced mind, can we agree that addiction to rage and fear is most certainly not? Can we find a way together to focus on things that bring us peace for more hours of the day than the things that make us insane with ire? Volunteer work for a cause that deeply speaks to you might be the answer. If you have time to share posts and argue with strangers (or family) online, you have time to be a CASA or take food to chronically ill people or…well, just check out Volunteer Match. One assumes most readers of RedState are conservatives; more volunteers means smaller government, right?
Oh, who am I kidding? Government will keep getting larger until it becomes the exploding guy in Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life.” But Christ didn’t want us to despair, so I’m just going to go read James again. He always fires me up.