Under Attack From Your Own Side

If you thought the title was a description of Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama, for that matter), you’re mistaken.  It’s how I felt after reading Bill Quick the other day.  The proximate cause of his tirade is the Huckabee candidacy, but the cause hardly matters.  He brings a powerful question to be answered: “So tell me: In America, where does religion fit into the exercise of power?”

After accusing a generic Huckabee (and the religious oriented reader, btw) of highjacking the political system, he reiterates:

I repeat: Where does religion fit into the exercise of political power? Why would your religion wish to possess political power? For what purpose?

I submit there is no such legitimate political purpose for the religious expression of power backed by force in the United States of America.

In other words, get religion out of politics.  Completely.  Now.

Um… okay, Bill.  But, uh, didn’t I hear “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” coming before “Render unto God…”? As I read it, despite you’re accusations, it’s an order to 1) keep it separate 2) keeps the priorities straight 3) not disengage from the world.

But he’s not listening to me, which is why, I suppose, it felt like an attack, especially after this followup.

Sigh.  And I’m in general broad political agreement with the guy.  This is my own side making me just want to give up on rational debate about – about nearly everything.

Well, I’ve been in a pretty downcast mood most of the day.  I went to church this morning, but went to the later Mass becasue I got to bed so late last night.  The Mass was crowded, and although the choir is very good, I was annoyed (like I am too often) at the music, annoyed that it went on for five verses when three was one too many, annoyed the the tune was cloying and trite.  Even the traditional Christmas Carols didn’t improve my mood when the second and third verses were not the traditional verses I learned decades ago.  I was there, but I was not happy about it.

So, as often happens (especially to me), I came across these words by Julie at The Happy Catholic.

It probably was the first time I’ve ever come to prayer feeling as like a rebellious kid about to have a tantrum. Oh, I’ve been mad at God before but this was different. I didn’t even have anything in particular that I’d rather have been doing, except anything but be there.

I thought about Jesus in my mind’s eye. And I started talking. Not to him as God but to him as my brother, as a person, in relationship. I said, “Listen, I’m sorry because I know I’ve got a lousy attitude and I’m wasting your time here.”

Into my head floated the thought, “But you showed up.”

Sometimes we’re pretty hard on ourselves, she reminds me.  And I come to realize that my own side is not attacking me – I am.

I suddenly thought of something I’d read (can’t remember where or who) that said that we are much harder on ourselves sometimes than our friends would be or that God would ever be.

“But you showed up.”

So today, I just showed up.  I suspect that Bill Quick and Mike Huckabee will just show up too.  None of it is wasted effort, apparently.

Explore posts in the same categories: Catholism, domestic, Personal, politics

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