I haven’t been writing about politics much lately. Not from lack of interest. Definitely not from lack of interest. It’s more a case of intense frustration. I'm not even sure the word I want is frustration. There may not be a word for what I'm feeling right now. The more my heart moves towards the non traditional ways of seeing the world, the more out of focus the traditional way of “seeing” the world around us becomes. And the more cynical too many of our political and religious leaders appear.
Are they really as blind as they seem to be? Or are they so invested in the current power structure that they’re willing to ignore the slow collapse of our global house of cards.
In a country where too many families can’t make it even if both parents work at multiple jobs is gay marriage really the most pressing problem our society faces? When did the only freedom our elected hired hands seem willing to defend to the death become the freedom to buy what the corporations are willing to sell? When did the refusal to buy become a radical act? When you keep running across posters whose only answer to opposition of any kind is to threaten others with the same fate as Saddam Hussein, can we really say that our culture reveres life?
People who undergo surgery to lose weight are discovering that yes, they do lose the weight. But, it doesn’t cure the reason they gained the weight in the first place. After thousands of dollars in medical bills they find themselves in AA, credit counseling, or addicted to gambling instead of chocolate.
In a world where our oil addiction funds the terrorists sworn to destroy us, how many malls and Wal Mart Super Centers are enough? In a world of overfilled garbage dumps, is more “stuff” going to fill the emptiness in our souls?
Oregon was the site of two separate tragedies in December. Both groups have come under intense criticism on the boards for their poor choices. Yes, it took tax money to search for these people. Outside of overtime, most of it would have been spent anyway, and not nearly as much as the rumor mills claimed. But, when it comes down to poor choices impacting on the pocket books of our neighbors, how many of us could stand close examination? At three thousand US casualties, thousands injured, Creator knows how many Iraqi and Afghan dead and injured, and a ballooning deficit, how much is our addiction to overseas oil costing our neighbors?
If we’re willing to sacrifice lives and spirits to political or religious ambition when does the price become too high? A million, a hundred thousand, ten thousand, a thousand, one? Or, going the other way, if you’re willing to sacrifice one life or spirit, when do you stop?
Are those sacrifices acceptable as long as they don’t share our skin color, language or faith? Is it more ok as long as the casualties don’t live in our country, state, or city? Is the sacrifice more bearable because it isn’t someone from our own family?
I’m starting to believe that we’ve reached this fork in the road after taking generations of wrong turns. I suspect that it started when someone, somewhere discovered that you could get others to do what you wanted them to do by threatening to harm not the person in front of you, but their families and friends. Very few of us have the strength to say, “I will not serve” if it means death or injury not to ourselves, but those closest to us.