Brian’s Reflection: Monday, February 14, 2011
America is the only country that went from barbarism
to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde, author, playwright, poet, wit. On this
date , 1895, his play “The Importance of being Ernest”
opened at the St. James’ Theatre, London
Oh yes, dear fellow Americans. This is a “spiritual” issue. Just like Jesus, Oscar Wilde uses hyperbole pointedly to make a point ….. and I think the point is elegantly made.
Don’t get defensive. If you feel your gorge rising, it only heightens the truth of Wilde’s waspish, campy, but accurate observation.
“Civil” points to “citizen” ….. and it assumes that a culture of citizens has achieved some particular characteristics. Usually it indicates that a society, based upon ethical, moral, cultural, artistic, and religious wisdom, has risen to a state which – at a minimum! - sincerely values heartfelt respect for all individuals, demands compassion for the disadvantaged (who are usually disadvantaged so that those with power can lead an advantaged life), lives according to the principles of its founding documents (in our case, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights), and vigourously rejects double standards in support of the principle that all are equal and should be accorded equal rights regardless of public prejudice - which prejudice is, alas, normally supported by American popular religion.
Sound like our America? Not to me! America is an oligarchy of the rich and powerful (not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with riches or power), and equality is only won by powerful allies or by blood. If we lived in ancient Israel, prophets would be at the gates of the Capitol every day and their tombs would litter the landscape.
America is not a civilized nation. It is a decadent nation of an extremely small minority, of a dwindling “middle class” willing to live on hopes of “rising” to decadence, and of a self-suppressed poverty class too depressed to protest, kept in subservience as they are by bureaucracy and by over-dependence on an insidious ploy of “charity”.
If Jesus were here on the Earth today, He would be challenging the oppression - the “skipping of civilization” - and His cross of crucifixion would not be long in appearing on Capitol Hill.
Do you think I am exaggerating? Think again.
p.s. It’s Valentine’s Day. A day of the celebration of Love. How many Americans are denied God’s love today in our land?