Sunday, January 22, 2017

Questioning the Establishment

     I wrote a post that I won't publish. (Sigh.) In the back of my mind I knew I wouldn't publish it even as I typed the words. I had an opinion about the weekend's marches and protests and politics in general, but I hate confrontation and I hate to offend. However, I will share this: The protests and marches aroused the most unexpected reaction in myself. I felt grief. The more I watched and the more I heard, the sadder I felt for everyone. I would have preferred to have felt annoyed or angry. Those emotions are easier for me to quench. But no, it was grief. To examplify (I just made that word up), it was the grief that a parent feels when their children behave foolishly and the parent can only shake their head and wonder and feel sad. Everyone is rightfully entitled to their opinion and I love that our country embraces this freedom. I only wish it could be demonstrated without such hate and ugliness.

     I had to research what the women were marching about because their message was a little convoluted and covered multiple topics. Once I located the Women's March in Washington website and read their agenda, I understood it better and my grief was substantiated. Much of the women's message is based on false or misinformation. Other groups of women were marching in opposition of President Trump. We must be careful to learn the facts and not believe everything the media, special interest groups, or angry people are shouting. I may agree that President Trump leaves a lot to be desired in personal comportment, however that doesn't cause me to back an opposing group simply because it's anti- Trump. I pray that I've taught my daughters to think for themselves and not to ever become a puppet for special interest groups, or Hollywood, or haters in general. There is so much background and agenda within these groups but, if you boil it down to its core, it's all about, "I want what I want." It is about our mortal flesh during our short existence on earth, idolizing ourselves.

     Ironically, given my lifestyle today, I grew up in the 1960's mimicking my older sister who protested the Vietnam War and rallied in favor of everything from feminism to legalizing marijuana. Oh, the arguments she and my dad had around the dinner table! I wanted to imitate her and it felt radical to oppose "the man" and to celebrate free love and peace. I never fully understood what it was we were opposing. I just wanted to belong and to give voice to my feelings. I was a child and I reasoned like a child. At that age, we were sure that we knew more than our parents. Most likely they sadly shook their heads at our conduct. I never dreamed my life's learning would lead me to embrace Christianity or that the "establishment", which is as shape shifting as a Harry Potter character, would be that which I still oppose, albeit in a different manner. Here is a quote from Jack Shafer on Politico,

"If you’re of a certain age, the invocation of the Establishment gives off the scent of the 1960s, when it was believed to be the invisible but ever-present forces of conformity and societal control. Depending on who you talked to, the Establishment was the force behind the war in Vietnam, the muscle that demanded the enforcement of the drug laws, the power behind racism, the reason college dorms were segregated into male and female. It was—and remains—the placeholder for the nameless but omnipotent “other side” of any power relationship. In short, the Establishment was your parents."

     So, the funny thing is, I now see our pre-Trump country as the establishment. I see the stifling governmental controls on manufacturing and society (a 1.5 cents per ounce tax on soft drinks in Pennsylvania?!) as the establishment. I see Hollywood and all the fans who mimic it as the establishment. To me, these are the societal norms and to buck them is to be in opposition. You see how this reasoning has the previous anti-establishment now serving as the establishment? It's crazy! The bottom is up and the up is down. I question the current establishment but, with an entirely different perspective than I had as a child. Do our laws line up with God's Word which spoke the universe into creation? Are they what's best for the individual and for the society in general? Do we want the government paying for everything and therefore controlling our freedom? Our laws should not dictate what we eat or drink, who we love, or what we do in our bedrooms. I believe that the separation of church and state is a good thing for a country and in matters of faith, we must each follow our own walk. In my personal life there is no separation of God from any given portion. God is in my politics, he is in my thought life, he is in me as an employee, a wife, and a mother. So, to ponder anything is to include God and His Word and to hold all these things to that standard of perfect measure.

     Answers to life's questions will often only lead to more questions. But one thing we can know for certain, God is sovereign. Most importantly, life and death matters are not for man to decide. They are way bigger than man's ability to reason. The more we try to understand this puzzling life and the baffling ways of man in respect to God's character and will, the closer it draws us to Him. If we sincerely desire the truth and we seek the truth with all our hearts, it will be revealed to us in astounding ways. Peace and joy will overcome anger and anxiety, and sense will be made of the nonsensical. However, be forewarned, we will often find ourselves in a position of having to choose whom we will please, God or man? God or myself? God or...? Think about this as you watch videos of the marches on Saturday and the riots last Friday. In whom has man put his faith and trust?

      I saw this on a friend's facebook timeline:

"No one in the world can change truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hetacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" St. Maximilian Kolbe. Executed: Auschwitz 1941

     I will leave off here with a beautiful new song, "There Is A Cloud".



  1. All good points. My older sister went to the march in Washington with friends and neighbors. I think it made her feel that she was doing something to get her voice heard - she carried a sign of peace. It made me smile - seeing her revert back to her 1960s self. :)

  2. Yours is an excellent post as are the quotes. Frankly, I'm ashamed of my gender and the signs I saw which prove there is a God of mercy and grace because He did not strike dead those who wanted Jesus aborted. There is a point at which yelling "Fire!" in a theatre is wrong.
    Some of those women want not only abortions but the tax payer to pay for them. I say, *your* reproductive "rights"...*your* money...not mine.
    As to marching in the 1960's or the 2017's...I wonder how many women marched on a man's dime? Listening to someone who powers their own boat is a lot more powerful than someone whose husband, male boss, father or other male paid their way.
    How many of those women would march for Muslim women who are being mutilated or murdered because they are Christian?
    As to the "Establishment"...that's anyone with a retirement plan with mutual funds, 401K's, stocks. If one wants to put their money were their mouth/feet are...sell all you have and go work with the poor.
    Separation of church and state is a most recent development. During Washington and Jefferson's time, Christans were meeting in government buildings.
    Thank you again for a thought provoking post.