CAN AMERICA SAVE THE WORLD? INDEED SHE MUST!
I just got home from Mass today on a frigid pre-spring day in the Niagara Region of Canada. Spring hasn’t yet fully sprung and my car door on the driver’s side froze up not to mention I missed the clocks ‘springing forward’ and was supposed to read today’s lesson from Genesis about Eve tempting Adam to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden and their eyes being opened and the world entering the realm or original sin.
In that vein, how then, can the world be saved from the scourge of sin and enter into the heavenly Kingdom that God has promised us? Christ said that His kingdom was not of this world, but is it still possible for earthly realms to deign to speak up for the name of Christ? I say this because I see our emerging struggle with Communist China as a definite threat to the sanctity not only to the rule of law and due process as well as justice and democracy, but also to Liberty and Freedom and to our ability to see the God of our understanding, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, through his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, triumph over all others, being seriously challenged by forces which seek to deny the very existence of a Supreme monotheistic being.
I feel that America is this planet’s one, only and last hope and bastion of faith in the face not only of the secular onslaught, but also against the Islamification of the world and especially more threatening, the linguisto-culturally monolithic Leviathan which is Communist China. This burgeoning enemy combines a sense of emerging destiny as a great world power, one which is rapidly awakening out of centuries of slumber as the strife-ridden and inward-looking, insular Middle-Kingdom, to being an emerging world power with a sense of being not a people possessed of an Eminent God such as our own, but who see themselves as Eminent and are now building aircraft carriers at a frenetic pace, and contemplating establishing naval bases outside their geo-political territory, in this case in Pakistan, clashing directly with America’s geo-political and socio-economic aspirations in the Asia-Pacific area.
But this calls to pondering America’s underpinnings as a faith based society. Some argue that America has lost her relationship with God. However, what many don’t realise is that America is, in a sense, a secular ChristianRepublic, if such an animal can be said to exist. This may sound like an oxymoron, but let me explain. America came into being right near the end of the Enlightenment, just before the French Revolution capped off many decades of intellectual and theological ferment on the continent regarding the role of Church and State and the nature of God and Man and how society should be organized into ‘free’ associations of men, unrestrained by the constraints of theocratic prerogatives and privileges, not to mention their accompanying socio-political and socio-economic intrigues and perversions of justice through the misbeguided and sometimes downright malfeasant actions of Kings, Queens, Popes, Nobles and Bishops in realms both temporal and spiritual.
The founding Fathers of America tried to strike a balance between maintaining a society where there would be a De Jure separation of Church and State by virtue of the establishment of a republican, secular nation, without a Sovereign and without an established Church. However, these same founding Fathers avoided the subsequent errors of the vanguard of the French Revolution, who in their mad rush to rid themselves of the abuses of power of the clergy, nobility and monarchy in mostly the temporal realm, committed an even graver error by throwing out the baby with the bath water and desecrating all manner of religious institutions, killing clerics, religious, even going so far as to sacking and desecrating the tomb of Clovis the first Frankish King to have adopted Christianity and vandalizing it and throwing his ashes to the four winds.
And all this in the name of Liberty Equality and Fraternity. Perhaps the Americans did not act with kindness to the Indigenous peoples nor the Africans, but their society remains one in which all are free to worship the God of their understanding, especially the Christian God, and where the dollar bill still says ‘In God we Trust.’ If we are to vanquish a foe as mighty as Communist China, who see nothing wrong with denying their citizens basic human rights in the name of promoting the collective greatness of their Empire, then what does that bode for the rest of us?
Should we just roll over and say, ‘well Empires come and go, America has had her kick at the can, why not just sit back and let the Chinese have their shot at it? After all, they believe in providing a basic human subsistence for everybody so that nobody goes without!!!’ Funny, people complain when 45 million American have little or no health insurance, but few people realize that half the population of China (that’s 700 million people!!!!) don’t even have access to a doctor!!! Do I want to hand over my fate and my destiny to a society which jails and tortures dissidents who criticize its government, (remember the young university student who stared down the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989, whatever happened to him, I wonder?), or who blocks the internet, seizes land in the countryside from poor farmers, forcibly expels them, builds factories on the land to enrich Communist party cronies and their friends, then jail those who protest, a society where thousands die every year in coal mining accidents to fuel their famous double-digit economic growth ‘success story?’
No, I say, God Bless America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. She may be battered and bruised by internal dissent and external criticism, but don’t count her out. We can’t afford to. She’s our only hope and virtue, despite her many vices and vicissitudes. She may vacillate when it comes to doing the right thing, but like Winston Churchill said, she also ends up doing it, but only when all other options have been expended. So here’s to America, our neighbour to the south, our ally and friend in good times and in bad. Let us support her in her hour of need and fail not to see within her the essence of true Christian virtue, redemption and salvation.
For just as Adam and Eve brought sin into this world through their transgression, so too can we heed the words of St. Paul in today’s Second Reading when he said ‘For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.’ This can just as easily apply to nations and alliances of nations as it can to individual persons. The Chinese people have no notion of a fallen world therefore how can they conceive of a need for redemption? Therein lays the mystery of our salvation. Perhaps the Chinese people will have to be brought to the light of salvation by virtue of fire and sword. Perhaps they may need to taste the fires of Hell before they are able to appreciate the soothing solace of redemption through God’s Grace and the virtues of a government of the people by the people and for the people, indivisible, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.
Funny, I never thought getting locked out of my car, being late for Church and missing my shot at reading the lesson would’ve provoked such reverie. Just goes to show ya. The Holy Spirit works in strange and wonderful ways. I wonder what Adam and Eve would think. I guess they’re too busy bein’ conscious of bein’ naked as a jaybird while takin’ a tip toe through the tulips in the garden that they’re too busy adjustin’ their fig leaves to give a hoot about any of this nonsense. Amen and God Bless.