Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Benefits of Old Age And Adult Children

As the Lovely Wife says: "I'm just glad we don't have any kids in school right now."

Oddly, I remember this atmosphere and this ferment after integration came to the school district of my feckless yute in 1970.  16 years after Brown v. Board, if you're trying to count.  Except then we didn't think the republic was done for and fascism was on the rise.

I'm not really surprised by the resurgence.  I would be, I suppose, if I were younger.  But now I realize I've seen the movie and I know how it turns out.  I also understand the nature of "culture," which is almost as pernament as death and certainly as implacable as stone.  Everything we're seeing now I saw in 1970, or earlier, to be honest.  Seen it all my life.  We will eventually get over it.  The arc of the universe is long, and it does bend toward justice.  And "justice" is not when all the "bad guys" are locked up.

But we really haven't moved on from that since I was born.  We didn't move on from it too much before I was born, either.  And we're still being mealy-mouthed about everything:

"While we could easily justify our vote for Trump as followers of Jesus (as opposed to voting for Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden), the way many of us joined ourselves to him deeply hurt our witness. So, it was not voting for Trump that hurt our witness, but our actions as Trump supporters that did," he confessed. "In many ways, by our carnal behavior, by our obsession with the elections, by our over-exalting of a man, by our savaging each other over our differences, by our following false prophecies, by our embracing of QAnon conspiracy theories, we deeply hurt out witness to a watching world, becoming better known as the Trump supporters than as the Jesus followers."

He added, "In the case of Trump, there were so many good things he stood for, so many admirable things he championed, so much courage he displayed, so much of our burden that he shared, that it was all too easy for us to get seduced. (By seduced I don’t mean voting for him; I mean acting the way we did.) In the process, we compromised our witness, put our trust in the political system, and divided over the president rather than united around Jesus. Will we do better if Trump decides to run again?"

That's Michael Brown, a "Christian broadcaster," writing a column for the Christian Post. Dr. King wrote his famous letter to "Christian leaders" like that.  Brown takes no responsibility for the evils of Trump, but instead barely chides Christians like him for not being better known as "Jesus followers."  Whatever that means, he undermines it in that final paragraph, where his main concern seems to be political, not ecclesiological or theological or even ethical.  He makes it clear the problem was undefined behavior of "we," not the electoral support for Trump.  It's about as empty an analysis or criticism as can be imagined.

And, of course, it's Trumpian to the core, because "a watching world" is not paying attention to these "Jesus followers" who are instead following Trump; watching them, presumably, to learn what Christ wants for the world.  I hate to disappoint Mr. Brown, but the whole world is not watching him and his fellow followers.  And what it does watch is unchanged since the appearance of Mr. Trump at the escalator in Trump Tower, as he denounced Mexicans and rapists and thieves.  And in the Christian tradition of humility and penance, what he writes here isn't even the offering of the widow's mite.

Nothing has changed, but it is changing.  The segregated world of my childhood is something from another planet to my daughter, as distant from her experience as medieval Europe is from modern times (or so we think, anyway).  The collapse of segregation is truly radical, and was truly born on the backs of Baby Boomers who insisted it happen.  Now our children insist our children's children grow up in a world that more resembles the ones Boomers were born into.  That's an inevitable push (it's not the swing of a pendulum, or even the return trip down Yeats' gyres), and it must be resisted.

It must also be seen for what it is.  A really sad attempt to create a world comfortable for a handful of people in a few isolated places.  The funny part about banning books from school libraries is the assumption students are flocking to the libraries to read these "illicit" books.  The counter to this at the level of school boards like GCISD:

(there's a whole thread there) is to take school board elections seriously. National groups are being effective there because nobody is paying attention. But 200 people signed up to speak at that GCISD board meeting; those opposed to the board's actions need to be sure they vote in the next board elections.

That's pretty much how this stuff works.

Now excuse me, I've gotta go order a copy of Mr. Dawson's book from my local bookstore.

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