Monday, October 10, 2016

Debate Weariness

Once again I have diminished and perhaps even wasted the possibilities of today by my activity the day (actually night) before.  I watched the presidential debate and the commentaries of the pundits into the wee hours of morning, long past my usual bedtime.  Therefore, I awoke later than usual, feeling somewhat groggy and my mind still wrestling with all that I saw and heard last night.  I suspect many people did the same and probably feel about the same way I do as this new day unfolds.  The one thing I have going for myself is that I’m retired and will not have to report to a workplace this morning.  However, I have plenty of chores and projects here at home that probably won’t be accomplished today because of the night before.

There has been a lot of hoopla over the Access Hollywood video tape and indeed, that was the first question put to Mr. Trump in last night’s debate.  Many GOP leaders have distanced themselves from their candidate because of that tape in the last 72 hours as if that is the worse thing that has occurred in the past year and a half.  It is not!  What has been far worse is the continuous rhetoric that spurns truth and diminishes the dignity of persons and religions; a rhetoric that by innuendo incites deep-seated fear, paranoia, hatred, and violence which can tear asunder the fabric of our society and our relationships in the world at large.  The video tape doesn’t really expose anything new!

However, we must be careful that we do not become like the Pharisees, who were called “hypocrites” by Jesus.  The word “hypocrite” means an “actor,” and an actor in New Testament times wore a mask to depict the role he was playing.  A hypocrite is a “mask-wearer”, the one who was not real but was acting a role in life (John Sanford, The Kingdom Within, and Matthew 23:25ff/Luke 11:39-40).  There is, writes Sanford, “a Pharisee within each of us….it is not a matter of becoming a person who has no ‘shadowy’ or ‘dark’ thoughts or feelings.  All of us have murderous thoughts, adulterous feelings, and the like from time to time.”  Removing our own mask helps us see our own frailties and woundedness, our own moral humility.  Who among us can cast the first stone?

We are standing on a great glacier that is melting.

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