Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Political Rallies

I am strangely drawn to both of these opposing articles.

The first looks at the huge September 12 rally in Washington, DC and sees this as a great encouragement to the cause of limited government. I like much of what is being said here. I think it is encouraging to see so many people taking a second look at the Constitution and holding the feet of the politicians to the fire. The "sleeping dragon" of the "silent majority" may at last be rousing itself from its sloth.

But on the other hand...

My inner cynic resonates with the second - a more curmudgeonly and crankily critical look at political rallies. It's hard to argue with the down-to-earth reality is that much of this activity is showboating and venting with little promise of success in achieving any goal. Political victories are engineered in smoke-filled rooms (although these days, they are likely more tofu-filled and baby-carrot-fueled than traditionally hazed with cigarette and cigar emissions), not in marches on Washington and in sign-carrying rants.

Besides, Lew Rockwell is spot on about the idolatry that runs rampant in D.C. even conservatives treat government and government institutions with a hushed devotion that is, if not full-blown idolatry, pretty near to being so.

Since the days of the Pharaohs and Caesars, political leaders have claimed divinity and been portrayed artistically like Zeus and Athena. Their meeting halls are often designed in the form of pagan temples. Some even have religious iconography and appeals to holy writings of many religions. Maybe it's time to take a little wind out of their sails - whether at boisterous rallies and marches per Breitbart, or in pensive study and writing à la Rockwell.

Either way, I found the following 1984 quote from the late Roman Catholic priest and novelist, Blessed Malachi Martin, illustrative for maintaining a sense of theological balance and perspective:
"You don't look for Jesus at a political rally. You look for Him in prayerful solitude, in the church, in the Bible, in your own heart, with a friend, and with solid guidance. But not in frenzies that have something other than Jesus at their center." (Malachi Martin, There Is Still Love, Ballantine Books, 1984, p. 76).


Rev. Paul Beisel said...

I don't know--I think you may play too much the cynic in this case. Though these rallies can be overplayed, they give people some feeling of camaraderie. Sitting at home by oneself, one can get the feeling that he is the only one who thinks a certain way, with no power to do anything about it. There is a feeling of "strength in numbers." Do they accomplish much? Probably not a whole lot. But I do think that they may have the effect of striking a little fear into the powers that be. Who knows?

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Paul:

I don't disagree with you at all. I think we need to send a message - even if that message is ignored.

I just hope people don't become discouraged when the tax-parasites ignore them - as they will, at least for a while. I hope people have the stamina to go the long haul. Things are going to get worse - and I believe third-world-country worse - before they get better.

Personally, I'd rather see people engaged and angry than defeated and beaten into submission.

Thanks for your thoughts! They are much appreciated as always!

Paul said...

On a local level, in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this week I'm told the county government had its third and final hearing on whether or not include sexual orientation in its list of protected sacred cows. There were a grand total of four (4) pastors present, all Baptist. Granted, Nashville is the hub of the Southern Baptist universe, but where were the LCMS faithful? Go to Washington by all means, but don't neglect the local city either.