For The Future

I see some potential developments from the current unrest in the US. Today, mostly focusing on the positive:

I think there will be an acceleration of the taking down of statues, flags, and other symbols. It will probably include that depiction of Vladimir Lenin in a city nearby to me, but the retirement of a privately-owned statue is okay with me. It might result in the de-memorializing of figures like Washington and Jefferson, but that’s an inevitable result of a society struggling with the whole new phenomenon of un-statuing their public places. On that, thanks alt-right, for being part of the discussion, and speeding things up on that front. Good going.

Maybe a productive thing coming from all this is that we don’t always need to look to icons of the present or figures of the past to lead us. Don’t get me wrong: there’s always a place for saints and heroes. But societies can freeze over waiting for a word from the past, or expecting that routine decisions must have some intervention from above. I see the phenomenon in church circles: let’s wait and see what the pope or bishop or pastor or guru says. There’s nothing wrong with having a discernment and discussion and decision on the local level.

The phenomenon of President Trump may also be good in the long run. Maybe voters will look more carefully at whom they select for public office. Maybe citizens will get more involved rather than submit to the worst impulse of permitting a nanny state.

My own hope, a less confident one, is that more Americans will realize a distinction between rights and responsibilities and will recognize that embracing the latter is a mark of maturity, not oppression.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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