Yes, I’ve been somewhat missing. I’m busy with planting and sewing Easter dresses. (This was going to be short (and it is… for me), but it got out of hand. I had meant to just write that I was bowing out for Holy Week, but I already have plans for Good Friday’s post.)
(Ok, short story: so Tricia bought this adorable toile dress for my youngest’s birthday. “Wow!” I said, “Do they have this in my size?” Ha ha. Then I got to thinking: hey, that is a nice style. I could do that… “*Thanks* Tricia,” muttered my husband. I whipped out my dress in one day (from new fabric to ready to wear, minus optional trim)… now I have to finish oldest daughter’s dress. So, we’ll all match for Easter. Of coure, we’ll also be at the really early mass, since the 9 and 11 am are swamped on Easter (with overflows in the school gym similarly packed), so nobody we know will see them. Oh, well. Photos to follow.)
On a related note, I was watching an old Bishop Sheen re-run on EWTN (can you believe this guy was on primetime on one of the normal networks? Talking philosophy, politics, and theology? And not only on, but first or second in his time slot for years?). He told the story that he got up into the pulpit at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. I forget if it was Easter or Christmas; one of those two holidays that typically pull in all the people who only show up twice a year, if that. “To all of our holiday visitors, we’re happy you’re here,” he started. “Now, I hold in my hands (thump! on the pulpit) the sermons I have prepared for the next fifty two weeks. Either you promise you’ll come to church every Sunday, or I’ll have to preach all of my sermons tonight, because you need to hear this stuff!”
Plus, of course, it’s spring, which means I’m pushing too hard with both cold and warm weather projects. Which means I’ve come down with a nasty post-nasal drip, feverish something or other.
So, I can’t comment at length about President Obama’s trying to assure Turkey that we’re “not a Christian nation,” that “we’re just a nation of citizents,” and, hey, we’ve had our share of awful history, too. (I notice that the discrimination against Catholic immigrants, the burning of Catholic churches, the entire political party built to fight immigrants (and especially Catholic ones) (the Know Nothings), never get mentioned in these lists of awful past mistakes. Is it because anti-Catholicism is the remaining prejudice that is not only tolerated, but encouraged? Could you imagine Hollywood making a film based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a discredited book claiming to be the true minutes of the meetings of the Jewish bankers and how they’re going to ruin the world to get back at the non-Jews? No? But Hollywood made not one, but two, of Dan Brown’s wildly anti-Catholic novels into movies (The DaVinci Code and now Angels and Demons), while claiming it’s “only fiction.”)
I would also note that, while we are technically a secular nation, Christianity has always held a critical place in our history and civic life. A number of the Founding Fathers commented on the hand of God in protecting us through the Revolutionary War, where time and time again, we should’ve failed. (As my husband commented, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.) Additionally, even Jefferson, no particular friend of Christianity, remarked that Christianity is critical for inclucating virtue, and, without virtuous citizens, we have no hope of surviving as a nation.
Maybe we are a post-Christian nation. Which would explain why so much of our current crisis is driven by immoral behavior. Greed, lust, and sloth used to be denounced. Not everyone listened, but you were at least looked down upon for living a life characterized by those vices.
Today, however, those vices are glorified. Chastity is mocked. Patriotism is denounced as pseudo-fascist. Greed and lust fuel gigantic portions of our economy. And now we are paying the price. As a commentator on Fox tonight said (my paraphrase, sorry; husband has hijacked my laptop, so I’m writing in the other room), “It’s Holy Week. Maybe it’s time to get back to that great piece of Jewish and Christian literature called the Bible and try to find some solid ground again.”
But back to Obama. Did anyone hear any mention of the Armenian genocide? Any mention of how the Turkish government just last year arrested and tried yet another historian for daring to suggest that yes, there does seem to be adequate evidence to prove that Turkey (under the Ottoman government) intentionally tried to wipe out the Armenians and several other ethnic minorities? The Greeks are still bitter about what Turkey did while it was occupying their country (remember how the Turks used the Parthenon to store munitions? And then it accidentally blew up? It isn’t in ruins because of time, but because of abuse). Turkey not only hasn’t compensated the victims’ families (which, unlike slavery reparations in the U.S., would actually be somewhat practicable), the current government refuses to call it a genocide or to allow anyone else to do so.
But no mention of that from our President.
Because he’s still campaigning, even in Europe. All that lovely, suave (at least when the teleprompter is working), speech giving has garnered us how much cooperation and assistance for “his war” in Afghanistan? Nothing. All the sweet talk, glossing over the backbiting and infighting of the EU (wonderful union, my foot), apologizing for America having been “arrogant” (yeah, because nobody had to come over and save the U.S. from itself, but the U.S. had to cross an ocean twice to save the Europeans from disasters wholly of their own making. Darn right we’re arrogant. And that’s not counting the Barbary Pirates.). Just don’t ruffle any feathers by suggesting that all is not socialist sweetness and light around Europe, because we want…
Wait, what do we want?
For the Europeans to like us? Fat chance; they haven’t liked us much from the beginning, except when we were saving their butts for them. For them to give us significant help in Afghanistan? Don’t hold your breath. For them to acknowledge our leadership? No, Obama (and China and others) has specifically rejected any idea that the U.S. can or should exercise any form of leadership on the world stage. (and Obama was very good at not exhibiting any leadership during his first presidential visit to Europe.)
So why is he kissing up?
(drat… that turned into a lengthy comment…)