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“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your sisters and brothers throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV
You may have noticed, dear reader, that I seem to have hit a wall in terms of my posts here. I haven't been able to put my finger on it. My writing doesn't seem to have slowed down in other places, but I have not been able to get anything on this website.
Anybody who knows me will tell you that it isn't because I've run out of things to say. "Seldom right, but never unsure," probably comes as close as anything I know to describing the life of my discourse, and for better and worse I seem to have stuck remarkably close to that motto for very long time now.
WE ARE DROWNING IN AN OCEAN OF TOXIC FAITH
This morning it occurred to me that it isn't so much about not having things to say as it has been about a real crisis of faith in communication of all kinds.
Of course the run-up to the election has a great deal to do with it, but I don't mean the ad campaigns. You can read Jim Denison's usual insightful take on the impact our politics is having on the heart and soul of the U.S. of A. here. He documents the fact that in battle ground states, voters will be bombarded with 10,000 political ads per week, with a 14:1 ratio in favor of negative advertising. He didn't say what the percentage of genuinely truthful communications would be taking place.
Thank God for people of faith and insight like Jim, because right now I wouldn't give you a plug nickle for the rest of cyberspace.
Which pretty well explains my crisis of confidence in words.
The thing that has me more concerned about the state of things right now, though, is not the level of vitriol and untruth in political ads.
Who can be surprised by that phenomenon?
What alarms me more than anything is the level of mean-spiritedness, dishonesty and winner-take-all spirit that prevails among ordinary people who are posting online.
A very large minority have completely abandoned civility and honesty in favor of outright profanity, name calling, ridiculous dishonesty and shameless vitriol. It is as though people have given up speaking to one another and are now just throwing words at each other like jailed chimps flinging feces at their captors.
Except for the fact that this is a democracy, and if the people get the government they deserve, then we are our own jailers now, smeared with the excrement of our own degrading motivations.
CORRUPTION ON A GRASS ROOTS SCALE
It reminds me of those scenes in Lord of the Rings where the heroes, the ordinary characters upon whom the fate of middle-earth depends, are corrupted by the power of the ring. Not the villain Gollum. But Frodo, Gandalf, and Boromir. They betray one another, plot the worst for one another, and are relentlessly absorbed into the degradation of an evil power, if only for a moment.
In the last several weeks I've become more worried about grass roots corruption among ordinary individuals than I ever was about corruption on Wall Street and in Washington, D.C.
Have we ever needed more evidence that the devil is a roaring, ravenous lion, swaggering across a nation- a world even- looking for whom he may devour?
The devil is not Romney. It isn't Obama or Democrats or Republicans or socialists, liberals, or fundamentalists. The ravenous lion is a power much greater than all those earthly powers, one that only uses the political feuds of the moment to swallow integrity alive and to convince people that honesty must take a back seat to winning. That civility is a sign of weakness and a prediction of failure. That integrity is nonexistent and that our choices are only between strong and stronger, not good and better.
How can we resist the devil at a time like this? Is there any hope that God may still be directing affairs in this television talk show brawl we have made of politics in the U.S.?
Leave a comment with your read on what we can do to effectively fight the corruption that is infecting our nation.