Thursday, May 25, 2017

In a strange land

I called this blog "I'm Just a Visitor Here" because I've always felt I was looking at people from a distance, like someone dropped on the wrong planet early in life who's then been compelled to spend his time trying to figure out his strange new neighbors. As a child I was told by "helpful" siblings I'd been purchased at the supermarket (and so I imagined babies of various hues lined up along the back wall at the A & P, available that week only for just $2.99 a pound), but I was never told where I'd been shipped from.

Not that I really believed the supermarket story, but I might as well have-I've always felt like I didn't really belong "here".  

That lack of a sense of "connectedness", of community-I guess I'm not so dissimilar to the masses now. People who ponder why depression is in epidemic mode in the US point to that loss of associations as a big reason why. It's just as true for other sorts of mental illness, most likely. Every ad for cell phones talks about "staying connected", and we seem desperate to avoid losing those few associations modern society affords us.

We have slice and dice marketing for products, and for votes. Seemingly nothing is offered to all. Everybody's assumed to have differing opinions and values. Elections no longer count because "the wrong person" won.

But of course, it really is true that we no longer have the same values. There is Christian America, in decline here as elsewhere in the West, and there is post-Christian America, eager to eliminate all vestiges of the old order. Not to be melodramatic, but our very own Cultural Revolution puts all at risk, for the sake of a "more just" society.

Lincoln spoke of both North and South reading the same Bible. Now, our two warring nations have radically different understandings of, well, everything. We cannot hold together like this. I am frightened.

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